October 13, 2005

Trouble in the Magic Circle - Embarrassment for Broadcaster with Alan Shaxon <p>Prior to meeting with Mr. Shaxon, the broadcaster held one defining moment in his career as &quot;the lowest.&quot; He recalls, &quot;For a long time I reckoned I had already endured my worst ever moment in broadcasting, and could go no lower. The occasion the automatic door of a train toilet slid open without warning while I was seated inside happened during my time presenting Newsnight, and was one of the reasons for starting a new life on Radio 2.&quot;</p> <p>We agree his prior low-moment would even embarrass us. But, Mr. Vine confesses, his meeting with Mr. Shaxon established an even more embarrassing moment. While the lesson learned from the toilet door incident could be to check the lock before beginning one's freshening up; the horrible events surrounding Mr. Shaxon's interview taught him there is much more to magic than secrets.</p> <p>Secrets, while important to magicians and certainly to the Magic Circle, do not define magic. Mr. Vine notes Mr. Shaxon in his role as Britain’s &quot;Mr. Magic,&quot; &quot;presides over a famously secret organisation. For 100 years the Magic Circle has, through its members' combined knowledge, been the keeper of secrets behind all those infuriatingly puzzling tricks.&quot;</p> <p>His article refers to an apparently famous expulsion of US magician John Lenahan for revealing secrets in a prime-time television show. We are not familiar with this story but will look into it for a later update.</p> <p>While the Magic Circle is tough to enter, Mr. Vine points out &quot;it's much easier to be thrown out.&quot;</p> <p>Mr. Vine hastily rehearsed a card trick for Mr. Shaxon and at the outset of his live radio interview with this first gentleman among all gentlemen of magic, he performed it.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;If possible,&quot; I said seriously, &quot;I would like to show you a trick first.&quot; </p> <p>&quot;Fine by me,&quot; he replied, leaning forwards.</p> <p>Put aside all thoughts of that train to Hitchin and the automatic door. This was far, far worse. Genuinely intending to pull the trick off with aplomb, I managed to reveal the missing card the moment it disappeared and lose one of the red aces just when it was needed. I tried to blame a faulty deck but no one was falling for it.</p> <p>&quot;I'm sorry about this,&quot; I stammered.</p> <p>&quot;Don't worry, don't worry,&quot; he replied as my embarrassment grew.</p></blockquote><p>Mr. Shaxon's comforting words did not save the broadcaster from his self-criticism but did teach him the truth of Mr. Shaxon's reflection. &quot;But that is to think there is nothing more to magic than secrets,&quot; says Mr Shaxon. &quot;Magic is a skill. Skills take time and effort to develop.&quot;</p> <p>The full show, &quot;Trouble in the Magic Circle&quot; will be broadcast on BBC Radio at 10:30 BST tomorrow (Saturday) October 15th.</p>


The eighth generation of the Magic Hardy Family. Son of Li'l Tom Hardy - America's Foremost Psychic Entertainer