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Magicians Title Card

The Magicians is a British family entertainment television show, first broadcast throughout January 2011 on BBC One.[1] The show features magicians performing a number of magic tricks with guest celebrities, competing for audience support.

The show returned as a live show in 2012, with new host Darren McMullen, replacing series 1 host Lenny Henry. Also Jason Latimer and Pete Firman joined regulars Barry and Stuart replacing Luis de Matos and Chris Korn as the magicians.[2]

It was announced on 28 June 2012 that The Magicians had been axed.[3]

Show format

Each episode featured each of the magicians being paired-up with a guest celebrity performer. In Series 1, each pairing had to perform three magic tricks:

  • Grand Illusion - The pair perform a grand illusion in front of the audience, inspired by the episode's set theme.
  • Street Magic - The pair go out on to the streets to perform in front of the general public.
  • Celebrity's Choice - The pair perform a trick that the celebrity has always wanted to perform.

The former of these was always performed on-set in front of a live studio audience, the latter shown as a pre-recorded sequence filmed on location, while the trick of the celebrity's choosing varied between being performed live and having been pre-recorded. The order in which the magicians performed, and the order in which each of the three tricks was done, changed from show to show.

After all nine performances had been completed, members of the studio audience voted for their favourite magician-celebrity partnership using an audience response system, and the host then revealed the 1st, 2nd, and finally, 3rd positions of the magicians, as chosen by the studio audience. Those in the 3rd position then had to attempt a forfeit trick that had been previously explained to the magician, but not the celebrity, for whom it would be their first time performing this trick. The forfeit trick was usually of a dangerous nature.

In Series 2, the show was broadcast live, which made it the first live magic programme to be broadcast on the BBC in more than 30 years.[2] In place of the studio vote, the results were decided by the TV audience via a phone-in voting system. Also, the three tricks from Series 1 were replaced by four new ones:

  • Grand Illusion - Same as series one, however, this time it was performed live.
  • Street Magic - Same as series one.
  • Close Up Magic - The pair perform a simple trick live in amongst the audience, usually involving cards.
  • Location Grand Illusion - The pair perform a grand illusion in a similar fashion to their street magic.

Each show also now included a guest performer, who performed after all of the celebrities had performed their various tricks. This provided the time for the votes to be counted and the results passed to the studio. Additionally, the forfeit they would be expected to perform was explained to all three celebrities and magicians at the very beginning of the show.

Series 1


1st Position 2nd Position 3rd Position

Episode 1

Theme: Box prop

Barry and Stuart Luis de Matos Chris Korn
Sian Williams Ashley Banjo Bruno Tonioli
Grand Illusion Sian being shut inside a cardboard box, through which a number of crossbow bolts and javelins were then fired, apparently impaling her. Diversity appearing out of a small box Tonioli suspending Chris in a box over spikes
Celebrity's Choice Mind-reading illusion Escapology trick involving a chest The Double Sawing - Chris and Bruno each sawing an assistant in half and switching their lower halves
Street Magic Hand through stomach trick Making Ashley Banjo appear behind a coat on top of a park bench Teleporting extracts from books from one London Eye pod to another

Forfeit trick: The Firewalk - Sian having to walk barefoot over hot ashes.

Episode 2

Theme: Transportation

Barry and Stuart Luis de Matos Chris Korn
Adrian Edmonson Peter Jones Amanda Byram
Grand Illusion Mind-reading prediction, including making a horse appear Making Peter's car disappear Making a car fly, making a helicopter appear
Celebrity's Choice Blending and restoring an audience member's phone Escapology trick featuring a straight-jacket and chains Victorian Mystery Box trick
Street Magic Spoon-on-nose trick, using a nail Card trick, tearing it apart and making it vanish before reappearing inside an orange Card trick with mind reading

Forfeit trick: The Buzz Saw illusion - Amanda being sawed in half by a large circular saw without any boxes covering her body.

Episode 3

Theme: Animal magic

Barry and Stuart Luis de Matos Chris Korn
Stephen K Amos Chris Tarrant Samantha Womack
Grand Illusion "Mind-poking", use of cards, making a camel appear with Amos sat on it Making an animatronic dinosaur appear Making many white rabbits appear from an apparently empty shed
Celebrity's Choice Making Barry disappear Card selection trick using a pool table Clearly Impossible - Samantha being sawed in half inside a clear-sided box while an audience member held on to her feet to stop her moving them.
Street Magic Woman selects a card and then chooses a pack containing only that card from many packs suspended from a ceiling Psychological; members of the public attempt to open a box by selecting keys Passing a ticket through glass

Forfeit trick: Glass and Sword Staircase: walking on broken glass and swords

Episode 4

Theme: Fairytales

Barry and Stuart Luis de Matos Chris Korn
Martin Kemp N-Dubz Rolf Harris
Grand Illusion Kemp makes a goldfish appear in a bowl, made an audience member put a needle 'supposedly' through Stuart's tongue, balancing Stuart on the tip of a sword and piercing him with it. 3 separate effects: disappearing Fazer’s chest and stomach, sawing Tulisa into eight, and shrinking Dappy Tricks based around Alice in Wonderland, using a member of the audience as Alice, including transporting a ring and making a bottle disappear
Celebrity's Choice Transportation of Barry and Kemp from one box to another Luis and Tulisa making paper butterflies appear and remain airborne Rolf draws a person with features as selected by members of the audience, later shown by Chris to have been predicted on a scroll, and a model appears wearing the same items as in the painting
Street Magic Card trick where a member of the public signs and shuffles a card back into the pack, and a restrained Kemp produces it from his mouth Set in a school, using Segways while blindfolded to correctly locate from many CD players the one playing N-Dubz's music Rolf draws a spider on a web, Chris disappears the spider from the drawing, and a fake spider appears on the back of the person's hand

Forfeit trick: Stone Cold Smash; smashing a concrete block on the chest of an individual balanced by their ankles and shoulders on two hurdles*

  • Chris was supposed to be on the hurdles, with Rolf smashing the concrete, but due to a hernia sustained in rehearsals, Chris was unable to do the forfeit. Host Lenny suggested that he take Chris' place, and a member of the stagecrew stepped in to smash the concrete.

Episode 5

Theme: fright night

Barry and Stuart Luis de Matos Chris Korn
Angela Griffin Neil Morrissey George and Larry Lamb
Grand Illusion Story of the McCrae family, with Angela tied up and placed behind curtains which were closed and opened, showing once with the stage demolished, second with Angela with a coat on with maggots everywhere & third with 7 people appearing, and throwing 'maggots' into the crowd. A card trick in which a audience member identified a card were placed in a 1000L box of water. Luis was suspended within it to try and find the card, disappearing from it and reappearing at the back of the studio. The Table of Death - George was tied to a bed with a panel of nails hovering above him ready to fall. When they do, curtains are dropped and George appears on top of the nail panel.
Celebrity's Choice Angela had been made to appear out of nowhere in a box, audience was then shown the same trick again but with an infrared camera to see through the box panels, but then came to know that Angela wasn't in the box, but sitting next to Lenny. At the end of the trick, Angela went back into the box, and spikes were driven through it. Neil lying down on a plank of wood and being levitated by Luis The Bullet Catch - A audience member identified a paintball and Chris was strapped into a device that prevented him from moving. George then proceeded to fire the paintball through a panel towards Chris, and Chris caught the paintball in his teeth.
Street Magic Barry & Stuart approached someone in a library and asked them to type in their email into their phone, sending them a email containing a Youtube link. They then asked her to choose 7 books from random and choose one from the ones chosen. Then, they played the Youtube link, showing Angela reading out the book chosen by the member of the public. Neil showed members of the public how to easily see to the backs of cupboards, by moving Luis' neck halfway down his body without him bending over Chris showed off some sleight of hand magic in a bingo hall, transporting coins from George and Larry's hands.

Forfeit trick: Iron Pole Bend; bending an iron pole by pressing it into their necks and running towards each other

Series 2

Episode 1

Barry and Stuart Jason Latimer Pete Firman
Tyger Drew-Honey and Daniel Roche Flavia Cacace Keith Duffy
Grand Illusion Making Barry and Stuart appear from an empty sealed box in the guise of two ghosts. Turned a laser beam of light into a solid object. (Hanging objects on it, bending it, breaking it, and manipulating it like a staff). A role-reversal illusion with Keith as the magician and Pete as the 'assistant'.
Location Grand Illusion Asking a woman to choose a random CD from an HMV store and then creating subliminal art prediction using Joe McElderry. Latimer and Flavia perform a "relay race escape" attempting to escape from wooden boxes to free their team-mate in another wooden box before a bus plows into them. Using a rubber 'crystal ball' to create a mind-reading prediction using a piece of laundry.
Close-Up Magic Using predictions made using Facebook or Twitter to create a card sequence trick. Pulling coins through a solid handkerchief visibly. A slight of hand trick using sausages.
Street Magic Making a volunteer's worst insect nightmare appear in their cup of coffee on the London docks. Drew a deck of cards on Latimer's arm then made the drawing animate on his skin as a selected card rose out of the drawing. Making a glass pitcher break via a mental "high note".

Forfeit: Eating fire and gurgling molten metal

Guest act: Eric Giliam and Hiroki Hara

Episode 2

Barry and Stuart Jason LATIMER Pete Firman
Craig Revel Horwood David Hasselhoff Julia Bradbury
Grand Illusion A guillotine trick, removing Craig's head and making it re-appear, with added party blowers. A modern day variation of the "powers of Darkness," using a series of female assistants, with David as a "magic ninja" secretly assisting Latimer without a spectator knowing. "Windshear" - Passing Julia through an industrial fan with the aid of a fake protection spray named "Firmanite".
Location Grand Illusion Sending Craig over a cliff, locked in the boot of a car, making the car explode, and then making Craig re-appear on a helicopter. A prediction using a series of letters on randomly thrown out T-Shirts and the car appearance of KITT the car from Knight Rider. Using a bandstand and a marching band in Battersea park to predict a song a member of the public is thinking of.
Close-Up Magic Using 'The Pirate Shuffle' dance to re-create an age old card trick with a musical twist, against Barry and Stuart's will (with pre-recorded messages halfway in to give the audience a laugh at Barry and Stuart's expense). Using the audience to break a world record in which a mass number of people all reach the end of a sequence of cards, despite starting in different positions with different cards, each making different choices, Latimer and the David Hasselhoff find millions of different cards at the same time. Using a drawing pad to make a prediction as to an animal that a member of the audience is thinking of.
Street Magic Hasselhoff reveals his prediction of a freely selected card by burning his predications and rubbing the ashes on his arm and it magically spells out the name of the card. Latimer then burns his prediction "accidentally" burning his skin causing a blister on his finger tips that take the shape of a "K" on one finger and a figure of a "Club" on the other.
  • In the pre-recorded sequence where Julia Bradbury first met up with Pete Firman to begin rehearsals for the show, she revealed that she was hoping the studio grand illusion would be her being sawed in half as she'd had the ambition to do that since being a little girl. Although that illusion didn't feature in the show, Julia later revealed in an interview that they had performed it a number of times during the week, just for fun.

Forfeit: Walking barefoot up a staircase of swords, and then lying on your back on top of another set of swords, whilst a monk slices a watermelon on your stomach.

Guest act: Michael Halvarson

Episode 3

Barry and Stuart Jason Latimer Pete Firman
David Haye Kimberly Wyatt Mel Giedroyc
Grand Illusion The Slicer - Sawing a female assistant into nine pieces using blades piercing through the top of a sealed box. Performing Jason Latimer's "Perfect Picture" levitation with Kimberley. Latimer levitated Kimberly up into the air while the entire scene on stage rotated 360 degrees, giving audiences a full view from every angle. Asking a member of the audience to choose from a number of different fruits, and then creating a cabaret performance based around it.
Location Grand Illusion Using a member of the public, and mind-reading using lights on a building in Canary Wharf. Took the concept of walking on water to new heights. Kimberly walked on the surface of water at Marble Arch fountain. Latimer walked out on the water then performed his "Fountain Walk" effect where he uses water jets as stepping stones . Moving through a wall of tinned baked beans without any of the tins falling or moving out of place.
Close-Up Magic Turning a glass of water into a glass of wine, and then turning it back into water again. Visually turned a whole deck of cards one by one into the design of one particular card, chosen by an audience member. Asking the audience to pick a sequence of four cards, and then by using mind-reading, re-creating the sequence.
Street Magic Creating a tattoo on a man's arm based on a special person he was thinking about. Jason Latimer and Kimberly went to a pub in london and proceeded to push items through a glass table. Kimberly pressed a straw through glass, while Latimer pressed his drink through the glass table surface. Taking a woman's a mobile phone from an envelope and moving it to an arcade machine on Brighton Pier.

Forfeit: Lying on a bed of nails, whilst a second bed is placed on top, and six audience members walk across it, crushing it into your stomach.

Guest act: Juliana Chen

Episode 4

Barry and Stuart Jason Latimer Pete Firman
Tina Hobley Myleene Klass Adam Woodyatt
Grand Illusion A fake box trick, moving Tina around, ending with Tina reappearing out of the first box. Matter illusion trick, involving Latimer dancing with a dress, making it come 'alive' and making Myleene appear inside it. A series of cabaret tricks in the style of 50's duo Sigfreid and Roy, including a magic assistant act.
Location Grand Illusion A series of tricks based a disused hospital, with a ghost-hunting style-show theme. Being locked in a chamber, being lowered into a river and then escaping to safety on a bridge. Using a number of different cars and vehicles to create a matching prediction trick.
Close-Up Magic Making a real-life bowling ball appear from a 2D drawing on a large jotter pad. Turning a carton of Orange Juice into a series of different alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Street Magic Holding a frog in the hand, making it disappear and then making it re-appear in the mouth. Making a chosen card from a deck of fifty-two reappear beneath the sealed ice of an ice rink. Asking a member of the public to think of an animal and making it appear inside a sealed box.

Forfeit: Walking barefoot across some broken glass and then having some concrete smashed on their head.

Guest act: David and Dania

Episode 5

Barry and Stuart Jason Latimer Pete Firman
John Torode and Gregg Wallace Phil Tufnell Arlene Phillips
Grand Illusion A 'Find the pea' trick, switching and make a person disappear beneath three different places. Passing objects through a solid mirror using a volunteer, ending with a relative of the volunteer appearing. Locking Arlene in a chamber, making her disappear and then making her re-appear.
Location Grand Illusion With John dangling from the top of the building, Stuart makes a mobile phone vanish and reappear in John's lunch bag. Prediction based on a large mural which has been created over three days by members of the public. Making a donkey disappear on Weymouth beach, and re-appear on a bandstand a mile away.
Close-Up Magic Mind-reading with the home and studio audience using a selection of different foods on a circular chart. A child choosing a card from a deck of fifty-two, it disappearing, and then re-appearing in a sealed glass box with Latimer inside. A 'Find your card' trick with an audience member acting as the magician and Pete as the volunteer.
Street Magic John and Gregg transmitting taste via 'magic gum' to a volunteer. Linking rings using the stem and bowl of a standard wine glass. Making a ring vanish and reappear in a duck on a hook a duck stand.

Forfeit: having an apple shot off of their head by an archer on a rotating turntable.

Guest act : Les Chapeaux Blancs

Episode 6

Barry and Stuart Jason Latimer Pete Firman
Ed Byrne George Sampson Joe Swash
Grand Illusion Making Ed Byrne appear inside a box whilst 'revealing' how it's done. Shaping water into three dimensional shapes. Using the Tan-O-Matic 3000 to turn Joe into an old man.
Location Grand Illusion Ed bungee jumping in Magna, with Barry & Stuart cutting and repairing his rope using magic. Making five people on a trailer lorry disappear and re-appear on another lorry. A prediction trick using animals at the London Aquarium.
Close-Up Magic Using pirahna fish to predict the answer to a question. Using a man's wedding ring to hold up an entire glass box. Eating a maggot, regurgitating it and making it appear in the eye socket.
Street Magic Using a mini-moto bike to pick one card out of a possible 156 cards. Turning airport flyers into twenty pound notes. Making a chosen card appear on the inside of a shop window.

Forfeit: Bending an iron bar in their mouths and breaking an arrow against a wall with their necks.

Guest act: Hans Klok


External links

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