Tuesday, 21 April 2009

THE MAGIC OF RADIO

Some years ago, I presented a six-part radio series on the history of magic.

"Ho, ho!" everyone laughed, "Magic on radio! That's like ventriloquism on radio!"

Of course, that's like ignoring the fact that one of the biggest American radio shows in the 1940s starred ventriloquist, Edgar Bergan and his dummies Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd while the biggest British radio show of the 1950s featured Peter Brough and Archie Andrews.

As it turned out, my series - rather unimaginatively entitled It's Magic! - was successful and, indeed, earned me my membership of The Magic Circle.

* Pause for cries of astonishment and muted applause *

Anyway, now there's a new radio series with the much better title of Smoke & Mirrors that has just started on Resonance: 104.4FM in London or online anywhere in the world.


Smoke & Mirrors
is presented by fellow Magic Circle member, Matt Duggan, and I'm delighted to be his guest on this evening's programme, talking about the history of magic and some of its colourful characters like Chung Ling Soo, the famous non-Chinese Chinese Magician, one of whose posters (above) carried the somewhat immodest legend: A GIFT from the GODS to MORTALS ON EARTH to AMUSE and MYSTIFY.

We'll also be talking about two of the early masters of British magic, John Nevil Maskelyne and (below) the Magic Circle's first president, David Devant...


...as well as the man often referred to as 'The Father of Modern Magic', French conjurer, Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, whose many wonders included the Marvellous Orange Tree (shown below) which bore flowers and then fruit and from which two butterflies emerged holding a previously borrowed (and vanished) handkerchief.

You can read more about the show on the Smoke & Mirrors website and to hear the programme online tonight at 6:00 pm or the repeat on Friday 24 April at 10:00 pm...




5 comments:

LisaH said...

Nice to see that you're going to be on the radio yet again, Brian. Isn't it about time someone gave you your own regular slot?

Brian Sibley said...

They did - but that was in the last century! ;-)

Brian Sibley said...

Actually, the last millennium...

LisaH said...

Well, you're a 21st Century man, so you should be considered.

Brian Sibley said...

Who knows? I may just get discovered! Or, rather rediscovered! It's about bloody time!