TV magic

Magic is made for TV. It’s somewhat different from magic on stage. In a theatre, people are watching the act from all sides and above and below. On TV there is just one viewer, the camera. You in TV land don’t get to watch what you want, you get shown just what the performer and producer want you to see, with the dodgy/tricky bits hidden.

They always used to say no camera tricks, being non-specific about the meaning of the word ‘tricks’. They don’t seem to say that any more, and certainly some magicians in recent times have used technology to, er, enhance their performances. And there’s some neat editing.

My first memory of magic on TV is watching David Nixon in the 50s and 60s. Nixon was a tall, bald, rather elegant and well-spoken chap. He was intelligent and appeared on many quiz and panel shows. He had a hand in introducing the Mellotron to the UK, and Basil Brush. He was also a heavy smoker. However entertaining Nixon was, he was not a great magician.

And Ali Bongo…

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