I was born in 1971 in Lincolnshire.  When I was one my family moved to King’s Lynn in Norfolk, where my parents still live.  It was on my eighth birthday that I realised my life was going to be MAGICAL.  Because on my 8th Birthday my Grandmother bought me a box of magic tricks as a gift.  From then on my life would never be the same.  I was HOOKED, bitten by the magic bug. 

An early picture of me performing the Neck Spiker

I do not really know why I took to magic; I think mainly because it gave a child of eight the chance to get the total attention of every person in a room as they watched you perform some minor miracle.  I was never one to do things by halves and very soon grew tired of performing the smaller tricks.   I needed to get my hands on the type of magic that the REAL magicians used and at that time I was fortunate enough to live two doors away from a wonderful old lady called Sybil who not only had a son who was a magician but a daughter, Hazel who was married to and performed with, a magician called Graham (Gus) Wilson.

Graham & Hazel Wilson with my brother Phil

It was Graham and Hazel who really helped me get started in the world of professional magic.  At that time they owned a small shop in King’s Lynn called “The Magic Shop” and an eight-year-old boy would go to that shop virtually every weekend with his pocket money to buy tricks and jokes.  It was there that I asked where I could buy some of the professional magic.

 Hughes House of Magic

Fortunately, not far from where I lived was the son of the man who I still consider today to be the world’s greatest maker of magic, Jack Hughes.  His son, Bernard was behind this particular business at “The Grange” in South Wootton (now a hotel).  It was here that I bought my very first professional piece of apparatus.  If memory serves me right it was actually my parents who bought this item for my ninth birthday and I went along to choose the prop. My mother and I were shown into a large room with beautifully handcrafted props lying all around.  There were big cabinets and small colourful table props – a dazzling array of magic to choose from.  

Jack & Bernard Hughes

However, I knew exactly the item I wanted to buy.  The previous summer my brother and I had been lucky enough to have front row seats at the Wilsons’ magic show in the King’s Lynn Festival.  Towards the end of the show, Graham Wilson called for a volunteer for one last, very exciting effect – “The Neck Spiker”!  Like bullets from a gun, my hand and that of my brother shot up into the air.  And guess who got chosen?  Jealous?  Me?  You bet I was!  I could only conclude that my recent unsightly bout of chicken pox had cost me my place on the stage as I watched my brother having a steel poker passed through his neck!  And my spotty face was positively green when I saw the picture the local paper published of him a few days later!

 Neck Spiker In Catalogue

I resolved that that was the last time “The Neck Spiker” was going on stage without me and so, on my ninth birthday,  my parents invested the best £15 of their lives into my career.  I have performed this illusion in nearly every single show I have ever done and 27 years on, it still seems that every parent wants to have a photograph of their child having a spike pushed through their neck!

To be continued