Well, we've all heard of something called 'patter' right? Typically, the magician needs patter to keep an audience engaged and, more importantly, to divert attention away from what may or may not be really going on. There are many fine examples of patter from some of the greats of magic, some relying on speedy jokes and witty comebacks, while some relying on deadpan personalities and more indirect approaches. Some magic acts don't even use dialogue, they are silent and use body language or music.

So, which am I?

I've been told, on several occasions, that I can be a funny chap. I like jokes and pranks and I try to make light of as many situations as possible. Coming from a background of depression, I have had to learn to at least try to look at things on the brighter side. I enjoy laughing and making people laugh, but I also enjoy learning and taking things more seriously sometimes.

One of my favourite things about performing is meeting and interacting with people. As someone with Asperger's, it sounds strange to say that, but I include as many people as possible when I'm performing both close-up and stage magic.

Yes, I do have certain comedic moments in my act, but not so much for patter, more because I genuinely enjoy the interactions and having a laugh with folks. As far as I'm concerned, when I'm performing, I'm just being myself or at least more so than usual. I hope I can be funny and make people laugh, but I also want to be engaging and keep people's attention.

At the risk of sounding a little pompous here, I also try to enlighten people and let them in on a few things that may make the magic more interesting. There's a card trick I perform, for example, that is sometimes known as 'The Trick that Fooled Houdini' and that's not a made up line, it's literally true. I try to get people intrigued by that, as well as other magic facts, as part of my particular patter.

Am I a 'funny' magician? Well, do we have to specify?

When you book me, I am there to share my love of magic, to entertain, amuse, intrigue, enlighten AND to have a laugh with you and the audience.

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What happened to a good old fashioned magic show on tele? When I was growing up, there were several great magic shows to watch. Nowadays, of course, you have 'reality' show after 'reality' show after 'reality' show. I put inverted commas over the word reality because I don't believe they come anywhere close to being realistic.

Bring back a good old fashioned magic show. Not a stupid show with so called celebrities making fools of themselves dancing, ice skating, eating maggots in the jungle (how exhilarating!)

Why do most things on tele seem to have some sort of gimmick nowadays? It can't be just entertainment for the sake of culture and interest, it has to have things like phone in voting, so called celebrity involvement, or an element of competition. I've asked peoples opinions on this and I get a lot of the same answer -

'What about Penn & Teller? That's a magic show on the tele'

Don't get me wrong, I have watched P&T since I was old enough to do so and I bloody love them, they are amazing at what they do, but 'Fool Us' is not my idea of a magic show. Like I said, for some reason there has to be an element of competition involved nowadays. Just bring back the magic shows.

Tommy Cooper (the legend that is, was and ever shall be) had his own show in the 70s. I used to watch him with my grandfather. For 30 minutes, Tommy would give us his brilliant self, mucking about on the set with his endless array of props and costumes. Brilliant stuff.

David Nixon. Now, here was a guy who knew how to work an audience. Like Tommy, David had already gone by the time I arrived, but that certainly didn't stop me watching his magic shows from the seventies. I absolutely loved his mix of magic, music and theatre. His storytelling as he performed a magical routine would just enthral me, still does.

One of my favourites was a show called 'The Best of Magic', which was presented by good old Geoffrey Durham (AKA the Great Soprendo) along with radio personality, Simon Mayo and Anthea Turner. Later, Arturo Brachetti joined to present the show. Arturo became one of my all time favourite performers. He's a phenomenal quick-change and performance artist.

The Best of Magic featured incredible magicians from all over the world, some of the best in the business at the time (early 90s). I never missed it.

The Magic Comedy Strip was a British (although styled as American) magic and comedy show, which aired in the early 90s. As the title suggests, the style of the show was that of an American comic book - going from performer to performer by way of comic book panels and including blurbs and text boxes such as 'And now...' etc. It had a great saxophone riff as well.

I loved this show because it introduced me to some of the great magicians and illusionists from across the pond, such as The Pendragons, Rudy Coby, Jeff Hobson and David Williamson (whom I now idolise!) The show also introduced me to a certain young squeaky voiced comedian with a song that 'got on my nerves'.

Wayne Dobson's 'A Kind of Magic' was another one I loved. More of a modernised magic show with great style. Watching Wayne taught me about presentation, the confidence of this guy was astonishing and I also picked up some great patter from him, he's always been great at comedy delivery and he's a great inventor of some amazing close-up effects.

But, of course I could never forget the one magic show that made me fall in love with magic in the first place.

The Paul Daniels Magic Show aired from 1979 to 1994. I took one look at it and was hooked. This show may have featured one of my all time favourite magicians, but he wasn't the only reason why I watched. I absolutely loved the way that the show was put together. Like me, Paul was a guy who obviously appreciated magical acts of all forms from anywhere in the world as well as the education and entertainment value of the arts. Paul opened up my eyes to so many incredible magicians and performers from all over the world, whether it was card men from Sweden like Lennart Green, jugglers from Switzerland like Kris Kremo, aerialists from the Ukraine like Svetlana, or clowns from the U.S like George Carl, every week I would be glued to this amazing show and revel in the knowledge that there were so many others from all over the world who shared my passion for the entertainment value of magic.

I wish that we could have shows like this back on the tele. No competitions, no voting and no so called celebrities trying to make a temporary comeback. Just pure and simple entertainment from artists who wish to share their amazing talents with the world.

I just wish we could bring back the magic shows.

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You may have noticed that sometimes it says 'award-winning' magician on my site and social media. So, am I an award-winning magician? Well, yes, I am. I won an award for my stage show (well, ten minutes of it) a few years back when I was still living in London.

I can't remember how, but I came across a venue in South Hamstead called The London Improv Theatre. It turned out that this venue hosted a monthly show called The Magicians Showcase, where a small group of top magicians (seriously, some of the best!) would come together to perform. I went along to watch a couple of times before practically begging the host to give me a spot.

(I've actually just remembered how I came across it, I met the host at a charity fundraiser event and we got talking)

I would always put my name forward to take part in The Magicians Showcase and, for the next year or two, became something of a regular. The showcase remains one of my all time favourite gigs. The atmosphere was always fantastic and the house was always full with an eager audience, which sometimes even consisted of some of my magic heroes - for example, one evening I turned up to find Faye Presto in the audience! (EEK!)

So, what's this award all about?

Well, it turns out that the showcase was hosting a stage magic competition, which was being sponsored by a magic media company called Big Blind Media. I believe it is now a regular competition at the showcase, but this was the first time. As always, I just leapt at the chance to perform again, so I entered.

The competition ran the same as any other showcase. Just four or five of us each giving a ten or fifteen minute performance. I did my usual card routine and rope routine, with an added twist at the end ;) It all went smoothy for all of us as I recall, with the audience voting at the end. We all stood offside as our host gathered together the votes and announced the winner. Yep, it was silly old me.

Well, after recovering from the initial shock, I managed to round the evening off with one last trick, during which, I was remembering something one of the other participants had said during his performance. He had 'jokingly' said that the only reason he had entered was because he wanted to call himself an 'award-winning' magician.

I couldn't help myself.

As my final trick came to an end and the applause had died down, I thanked everyone for an amazing night and for voting for me. Then, for the first time, I 'jokingly' said -

'My name is Jono Blythe, award-winning magician'

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