my favourite magicians

The Magicians That Shaped My World

Close-Up Chris

The Magicians that Shaped my World

I’m often bombarded with questions about my magical journey and who I admire in the world of magic. In this blog post, get ready to dive into the mystical realm of magicians who have not only shaped my world but still spark inspiration and influence in me today.

Paul Daniels – A magic kit like no other

In the foggy haze of 1989, a time when crimped hair and neon were mistakenly labelled as fashionable, a certain Brit made his mark on the small screen. Not with the scent of cedar, but with a whiff of showbiz charm. Paul Daniels, the magician whose influence isn’t just the stuff of pulling rabbits out of hats; it’s the very foundation upon which those early magic sparks ignited.

His wit and charisma were such that he pulled off the highest form of magic—teaming up with the mysterious Debbie McGee—a partnership that, to this day, stands as one of the greatest illusions not quite believed by the wandless.

As a Christmas gift, I received the Paul Daniels magic kit and you could say it became a hobby that has got out of control 🙂

I have a photo of me aged around ten proudly owning a brand new book I just purchased from a Mevagissy bookshop. I still have this book and like to dip into it every so often to reminisce about the “good old days” when I was a young magician trying to find my way. The book is titled Adult Magic if you fancy learning how to become a magician (I wouldn’t recommend it!)

paul daniels book

David Copperfield – Crafting Illusions for the Ages

David Copperfield, the grand wizard of wonder, was the first magician I had the pleasure of witnessing in the flesh.

Copperfield’s grand illusions were nothing like this 14-year-old kid had ever seen! Those female assistants were…nothing like this 14-year-old kid had ever seen!

His spellbinding performance at the NIA in Birmingham was nothing short of extraordinary. Whether you think you’ve cracked the code or not, his flying act is a sight to behold. The presence of his dazzling assistants only heightened the theatrical magic. His more lavish spectacles kept the enchantment alive throughout the mid-90s. David Copperfield’s shows fueled my magic obsession during my teenage years; it was his artistry, not the scantily clad assistants, that truly enchanted me.

David Williamson – The Magician’s Magician

David Williamson – my all-time favourite magician. With his unparalleled skills, he manages to be quite the comedian. His magic is simply delightful – strong and fun, just the way I like it. Back in the late 90s, I stumbled upon a David Williamson video cassette (before the YouTube era). Hailed as “the magician’s magician” in the magic community, David is indeed a true gem. His performances are a mix of comedy, endless gags, and magical finesse that might even give Harry Potter a run for his money. David Williams possesses exceptional talent in the world of magic, perhaps not as widely acknowledged, but catching his act is an absolute must if the chance arises.

Not only does he perform close-up magic but he’s equally at home entertaining large audiences, both young and old – check out this video…

Greg Wilson – The Architect of My Performing Identity

I first bumped into Greg Wilson at an IBM meet-up in Llandudno back in ’99. It was my debut year at a magic gathering, an experience like no other. Those early years of attending magic events are treasured memories. While I now make sporadic trips to the Blackpool gathering, the nostalgia from the IBM meets remains unrivalled.

Greg Wilson played a crucial role in shaping my approach to close-up magic – lively, unconventional, and sprinkled with humour. He introduced me to “gorilla” magic – his forte was “off the cuff” and impromptu magic which I lapped up like a sponge ball. I purchased all of his videotapes and DVDs and should he ever lecture nearby, I make sure I’m on the front row.

Honourable Mentions

David Blaine

While his performance style may not exactly be my cup of tea, let’s give credit where it’s due – David Blaine can’t be ignored in this scenario. His street magic performances in the past were genuinely impressive and sparked a new wave of magic that captured the public’s imagination. This essentially acted as a trigger for regular folks (muggles) who fancied having a magician at their shindig!

Derren Brown

25 years back, a sprightly Derren Brown graced the IBM convention, just before capturing the limelight on TV. He wowed the crowd with a twin drawing duplication. If I had foreseen his future fame, I’d have bagged a signed photo!

Though the mind-reading stuff is not really my thing, Darren is undeniably a talented entertainer. His impressive portfolio in television and live theatre truly showcases his flair.

Penn & Teller

You’ll probably know this duo best from their super successful TV show, Fool Us, but I remember these chaps showing up on late-night Channel 4, pretending to be the rebellious lads of magic! Well before the masked magician, this pair were spilling magic secrets like a stripper unveiling her undergarments on a work trip.

They’re highly esteemed in the realm of magic, both hailed as brilliant intellects and exceptional entertainers.

Derren Brown

The Magicians that shaped my world

So, among the four magicians, David Williamson’s performances enchant me the most – he’s seriously spellbinding (and you should witness it firsthand). However, the other three magicians played pivotal roles in moulding me into a full-time close-up magician. I’m pretty sure many magicians my age have had similar experiences – the Paul Daniels magic kit is a well-known symbol for those over 40. But hey, it’s not just about wallowing in nostalgia and childhood memories; these magicians still manage to light a fire in new generations of performers, keeping the magic spirit alive.

Are they the best magicians in the world? Difficult to measure, however,  they are certainly among the most influential.

Here’s to Paul, David Copperfield, David Williamson, and Greg – a big thank you for enriching my world with your captivating acts, tricks, and illusions. Long may your magical legacy continue.

my favourite magicians

Who is Chris?

Chris, the chap penning down these witticisms and magical musings, is a bit like a magician stuck in a muggle’s life, always on the lookout for that next trick to leave his audience puzzled and awestruck. Imagine someone who can shuffle a deck of cards with the finesse of a Las Vegas dealer, yet gets equally excited about a well-brewed cuppa. Chris found his call in the art of misdirection and sleight of hand after being enchanted by the luminaries of the magic world. Not just a follower of the greats, he’s also a performer in his own right, combining humour and a straightforward narrative to keep the magic of yesteryears alive in the hearts of many. A hobby that started with a Paul Daniels magic kit has spiralled into a lifelong pursuit of the perfect illusion, making Chris a true purveyor of wonder in an all-too-often predictable world.

professional magician