What an amazing couple of weeks. It all began with the idea of doing the Halloween special on Titchmarsh and with TV developers not sure about what tricks should go where and frustrated magical advisers who were suggesting certain illusions. The magical adviser was going to bring the fire cage for me to make Alan appear, the canister and budgie trick and the guillotine to chop off someone’s head. The studio call time was Monday 11.45am and by the Friday evening before the weekend, the adviser couldn’t commit because the developers developed too late. I had lost the beginning of my show and the end of my show and one trick in the middle.
Thankfully Michael Gee had a fire cage however it would be too small for Alan to appear but he also had a shadow tent which he had never used, didn’t know how it worked and couldn’t assemble
it. I organized something else to go in place of the budgie and an idea that we could end the show by making a ‘pumpkin cake’ in my top hat. As late as Sunday night it was touch and go with the shadow tent and Michael was trying to work out how to assemble it at 11pm. I rang Mike morgana on the off chance that he knew about the illusion. Thankfully he had a few nuggets of insight and told me that we needed a workman’s torch. And the stage lights must be brought low.
I was up at 6 am working on the spooky patter about camping at Halloween and the shadows falling. Got in the studio, saw the prop for the first time and rehearsed it with Alan as if I had known it all my life thanks to Michael’s input.
The result of all of this madness was a more appropriate Halloween trick at the beginning and more fun and airtime at the end. So the moral of the story is enjoy the journey and in true Paralympic
fashion, turn your handicaps from stumbling blocks into stepping-stones!