Press and news

September 2012

A week on Television

​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!

The Daily Mail- Max works his Magic on Mansell

The Daily Mail reports on how Max turned former motor-racing world champion Nigel Mansell into a conjuror...

"As the Duke of Beaufort’s magician cousin, Maximilian Somerset has always had a trick or two up his sleeve. But even so, friends were astonished to learn that he has secretly turned former motor-racing world champion Nigel Mansell into a conjuror.

Mansell, 58, turned to 38-year old Somerset after suffering head injuries in a 200mph crash at Le Mans in 2010. It is thought the discipline of learning sleight-of-hand techniques was vital in restoring him to full health.Indeed, within 15 months Mansell was so adept at his new skills that he was thought good enough to apply to become a member of the Magic Circle.

‘He went before a panel and was accepted into the hallowed magicians’ society,’ says Max, who is also a member and is performing at the Magic Circle Theatre next week. 

‘Magic tricks are brilliant for hand-eye coordination, which obviously is very important to someone who is a racing driver. Nigel was keen right from the start and he practised very enthusiastically.'

‘It really helped his coordination and thus helped his recovery. I also think it gave him a fresh focus in life.’

Max tells me he had been watching the fateful race at Le Mans with Mansell’s daughter Chloe, who is a friend.

‘He had a puncture and crashed at the Indianapolis stretch. It wasn’t too bad considering, but he got concussion and other bits and bobs,’ he says.

‘Some time after the crash, he came round to Chloe’s house in London for lunch and I ended up showing him some magic.

‘He seemed very interested, and the next time I met up with Chloe, I gave her a trick to give to her father, saying: “Let’s see if  he can get his chops round that — it will give him something to think about.”

Mansell, it seems, was hooked, and he has since given a number of magic shows at various corporate events.

‘Nigel lives in Jersey, so if I wasn’t able to show him a trick in person, I would make a video of it and then get Chloe to send it to him. He is now so good that he adapts some of my magic tricks to give them his own stamp,’ says Max."