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Paul Daniels

Everyone of a certain age will probably remember one of these:-



The Paul Daniels' magic set. The tricks were sort of okish(you'll like them - not a lot), but Paul Daniels was massive in the 1980s. He was very much a man from the past. His style was a bit music hall, he cultivated a cheeky and slightly smarmy persona.

Magic moved on, TV moved on and his show got cancelled. New magicians are more mysterious - Derren Brown, Dynamo and David Blaine and are more psychological in approach. They seem to use less of the chatter(although in his live shows Derren Brown is funnier than when on TV). They seem darker. And they approach was more that they had some sort of super advanced skills that rather distanced them from the audience. Whereas Paul Daniels always seemed to imply that he was just sort of doing simple tricks - some of which you could buy and perform at home.

Now he is dead, perhaps not a huge tragedy as we was not terrible young. But overal he was a big part of television in my youth and has a better reputation than some of the other big names from that era(Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall, Jimmy Saville). He reminds me a bit of Bob Monkhouse, in that he did rather go out of fashion as style and tastes in their respective areas of performance changed. Yet both of them probably were at the pinancle of skill for the old fashion way of doing things. Both of them also did gameshows which seem to require an interest in and ability make ordinary people sparkle, however briefly, in the spotlight.
I adore magic and used to like watching his shows.

Magic has its fashions and they come and go. About 20 years ago a friend of mine went with another student to interview him for some university thing, in a bit of a scornful way. Instead they were utterly charmed by both him and his wife and always spoke fondly of them.

I also fancied his son, who was more of a comedian at that time before following in his footsteps!
I quite like modern magic, who knows if a more chirpy style will make a comeback? It does seem that todays stars adopt a different style of presentation. I like Derren Brown, but all of his shows seem to rely on social compliance rather than any kind of conjuring or sleigh of hand.
My friend had that magic kit. Big part of TV when I grew up too. (I'm still not over the Rolf thing).

Bloody love Derren Brown.
I like Derren Brown, but there I have found that the last few TV specials have largely relied upon social compliance - which I suppose is interesting but once you understand how it is "done" then every special is a bit obvious. His live shows are great though.