For me one of the highlights of my weekend viewing in the 1980s and into the 1990s was The Paul Daniels Magic Show.
While I always enjoyed the various tricks that he performed, I also liked the fact the various illusionists from around the world were featured too.
Sadly not long after his show finished, magic on television for the family audience tended to be something of a rarity.
In its earliest days magicians did not do well at all on Britain’s Got Talent. Magic when it was shown, tended to be on Channel 4 and street magic tended to be the type featured. In very recent times thankfully this has changed somewhat. Britain’s Got Talent in its last three years had Darcy Oake, Jamie Raven and Richard Jones all making the final with Richard actually winning. Recently, ITV seems to have rediscovered the variety show and the speciality acts that used to be included in them. This Sunday at seven o’clock on ITV there is a new series, which is mainly studio-based, featuring illusionists from around the world. The programme is called The Next Great Magician and for the next five weeks there will be six world class magicians each week performing their best material. There is a competitive element to the programme as each week the featured magicians have to decide which one of them goes forward to the final which will be held on the sixth week. The prize for the winner is their own ITV magic special. The show will be hosted by Stephen Mulhern, who is an excellent choice for this as he made his name as a magician. The show will be co-presented by Rochelle Humes of The Saturdays fame. The series will include - big illusions, comedy magic, escapology and close-up magic.