Dynamo returns with his third series of Magician Impossible.
When I was younger, David Blaine was everywhere, in a perspex box above the Thames, standing on a 100-foot pillar in the middle of New York City and has even been drowned alive, and when he appeared on GMTV with Eamonn Holmes, the world knew something was up. He was weird, refused to speak, and when he did he muttered, and then showed host Eamonn Holmes a weird eye symbol on his hand.
But then, in 2002 a new magician arrived onto the scene, called Dynamo, from Bradford. He was much cooler and his tricks genuinely amazed audiences all around the world. If you've not seen any of his stuff yet then go to YouTube after reading this and be amazed. Or of course you can watch his show which starts tonight (Thursday 11 July) at 9pm on Watch, which at the end of the day is the whole point of me writing this piece. Yesterday, I went along to an exclusive private screening of the first episode in the new series and this was followed by a Q&A with the man himself. Here's what he had to say and what I made of that first episode...📷
Dynamo's telly career first started on Channel 4 daytime show Richard & Judy which led to a one-off Channel 4 show called Dynamo's Estate Of Mind and since then has appeared on several episodes of Jonathan Ross' chat shows, be they on BBC One or ITV.
He has also sat on many a panel show before and made quite a name for himself in the celebrity circuit, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Beyonce & Jay-Z and became a bit of an underground magician.
His big telly break came in 2011 when digital channel Watch offers him his own show, Dynamo: Magician Impossible, and here we are two years on talking about series 3, so something has gone right.
In a small private viewing in Covent Garden last night, I was lucky enough to watch the first episode of the new series, in which Dynamo travels the world, including South Africa, Ibiza and of course London.
In the first episode, he heads to America to show the people of New York his tricks and Dynamo couldn't have put it better himself when he said that often "the non-famous people make the show" - as there are some classic reactions from the New Yorkers, not forgetting one particular scene early on where a guy in the background sort of steals the show.
When I asked Dynamo where else in the world he'd want to travel to and take is magic is Japan, more specifically Tokyo, because he has a massive fascination with cars, and after watching The Fast And Furious: Tokyo Drift, he's always thought "I want a bit of that."
Speaking at the screening, Dynamo revealed an impressive list of celebrity cameos for Series 3, Keith Lemon, Samuel L Jackson, Jessica Ennis, who he revealed jabbed him with a javelin. Now that I've got to see. When asked what Keith Lemon was like to work with, Dynamo simply described him as "nuts" and described the scene he did with him as one of his favourites ever.
The series isn't without it's dramas, sure it's all about the tricks and my does he pull them off, but something which runs through the first episode is 'Hurricane Sandy'. Throughout the episode we see news flashes where the threat of the storm is imminent and in fact we do find ourselves at the centre of the storm at one point.
Speaking about the experience, Dynamo said being there in the middle of a hurricane brought back the hunger and passion he has for magic as too often it can just feel like 'work'. The reason he wanted to go out there was to show that he had 'matured' and he loved how much "less reserved, the people were" in America compared to the UK. Dynamo also told me how it's weird to think that his TV show, which has now gone global, was number 1 in Russia amongst other countries. He said this led to a press trip out there, which made him feel like Justin Bieber as he arrived into the airport.
Will you walk away from this asking - "How the hell did he do that?" - Yes. But surely that's the point, Dynamo's tricks are so out there that you'll never be able to recreate them at home, and for me what makes the series is very much people's reactions after a Dynamo trick. Many are left speechless, many try and fail.
I for one can't wait to see what he gets up to in South Africa and Ibiza, not forgetting the London episode which Dynamo revealed they were still filming earlier on that day. If you're reading this thinking, 'he sounds good', clear your diary for the next few Thursday's as this is one show you will not want to miss.
Also, what really struck me, meeting Dynamo for the first time last night was how down-to-earth, charismatic and funny he actually was. Sure he has this air of mystery around him, but what decent magician doesn't?