Bring back the magic shows!

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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