When Magic Goes Wrong, Channel 4

by | Dec 30, 2005 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

There were some eye-opening, even eye-watering, clips. But overall a whole hour of this was stretching it a bit. And we are really fed up with talking head shows.

What was good about it?

• The woman who was chosen by a magician as a volunteer and ended up having a spike jammed into her hand. The trick involves putting a spike under four cups and thrusting a hand down on three of them. Unfortunately, the magician in question forced her hand down on the wrong cup. The woman claimed never to have received an apology. There was quite a funny, if painful silence when her hand hit the spike, but, amazingly, as the magician claimed he couldn’t carry on and took a bow, the crowd gave him a small round of applause.

• Quite a lot of the footage was stuff we’d never seen before – a refreshing change from the usual fare of this genre.

• The clip of the magician crashing his motorbike into a flaming ring was amusing for its sheer stupidity, but Andy Nyman, one of the pundits, went over the top saying he hoped he’d died and all kinds of crap in an effort to make himself look edgy.

• There were some good ‘gasp’ moments – such as the clip of idiot magician Jonathan Goodwin trying to escape from being tied to a bed before an iron could burn through a sheet above him. He failed and the hot iron slammed onto his stomach.

• The very funny footage from a Superbowl half time show that featured some of the most botched magic and illusions ever seen. Brilliant

What was bad about it?

• It was presented by Barry and Stuart again. They were also on the next programme. Do these two really possess the talent to have an entire evening of Channel 4 dedicated to them?

• The irritating trait of these programmes where some incredibly obscure home footage is dug out and pundits comment on it as if they’ve known about it for years rather than just having it shown to them previously by the production team. It’s a redundant concept, we are able to see what went wrong, we don’t need no-marks to point out those tiny details that they think we haven’t spotted.

• The fact that the magicians needed different descriptions under their names, like “sleight-of-hand magician” and, worse, “street-magician” which is just a common, lame attempt to be ‘down with the kids’ by putting the word ‘street’ in front of something for no reason.

• Dominik Diamond was in it.

• Penn and Teller turned up with 15 minutes left. We were delighted to see these legends on the show, then annoyed because they hadn’t been on more often, before realising it was an interview for something else bought in for this show.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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