Keith, Stratford-upon-Avon: An interview with a magician

Keith, Stratford-upon-Avon: An interview with a magician

First name: Keith

Your location town and country: Stratford-upon-Avon, England

Occupation: Doctor and writer (

Describe yourself in three words: Eclectic. Dogged. Curious.

What did you want to be when you were growing up: Two things. A conjuror and a doctor. I became the latter and maintained the conjuring as a hobby.

What is your magic skill level: Hobbyist (just for fun)

How did you get into magic: As a kid by spending my pocket money on Saturday mornings on tricks at Woolworths or another shop where there was an Ellisdons rotating rack with jokes and tricks. Then I pestered my parents for a David Nixon Magic Set, which I still have. It allowed me to join the David Nixon Magic Club. Then from the school library I borrowed a book called 101 Magic Secrets by Will Dexter, a copy of which I later bought with pocket money. From then I've never stopped buying magic books. It's been a lifelong hobby and joining the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians has kept the magic in this wonderful hobby.

Who is your favourite magician and why: So many. Robert Harbin, David Nixon and Tommy Cooper when I was a youngster, then Paul Daniels, David Copperfield, and now Penn & Teller and Dynamo.

What type of magic do you like performing: Children's magic for my children and now my grandchildren. If I have to give a lecture or a talk, either as a doctor or as a writer I have a bad habit of starting and finishing with a magic trick. The picture of me is from a talk I gave as a doctor in a library, producing gardening tools and a sweeping brush from my old medical bag.

What is your favourite magic tricks: Baking a cake in a hat, using a chef's (change bag) hat, but actually producing a hatful of jelly babies instead of a cake.

Do you have a treasured magical prop: A mirror production box and a change bag.

What is your favourite magic memory: Receiving applause from the class at my first magic show aged seven. About twenty years ago I took a nephew and godson to see David Copperfield in London. On the way to the show they were very impressed because a couple of security guys took me aside and frisked me to make sure I had no hidden cameras. They told the boys it was because I looked like a magician.

Any tips for budding magicians: Make your mirror your best friend and practice, practice, practice. Watch as many magicians as you can and if you can get to one, join a magic club.

A shout out to call out any clubs magic shows or mentors that have helped you along the way: The British Ring of the IBM. A great society for hobbyists and professionals.

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