Comedy magician Pete Firman has taken the entertainment world by storm, by devising some of the best tricks in the business.
The star, who is on the road with his new show, Hoodwinker, will headline Telford’s Oakengates Theatre @ The Place tomorrow (January 26).
He started out as a magician, but drifted into comedy-magic when fans started responding to his witty banter.
“Magic definitely came first, I’m completely self-taught.
“I got a magic set when I was eight years old – a Fisher Price magic set and then there was subsequent sets, a Paul Daniels one and then a couple of other ones.
“Then books were the next move after that.
“When I was at college I did magic as part-time work which I suppose is a little bit odd. I was working in bars and clubs doing sleight of hand magic tricks. I did that through university, and then I wanted to be an actor.
“Once I’d trained there was then an opportunity to send an audition tape to a TV production company who were looking for magicians to make a show and I got the gig and moved to London.”
Peter has appeared on numerous magic shows, including programmes on Channel 4, Five and Sky 1.
He was the presenter of game shows on CBBC, including Stake Out and Wait for It, and also made a name for himself on the BBC One show, The Magicians. He also won Celebrity Mastermind.
He is happy to switch between sleight of hand work and grand illusions.
“I think it depends on what sort of room you’re in. I think personally, if I’m working in a comedy club then it should just be what is in my pockets, something that is organic to the environment rather than wheeling in a massive sparkly box.
“With bigger events, such as the Edinburgh Festival or a Theatre Tour, I have more room and it’s more theatrical so I can do larger and more elaborate tricks.”
Pete’s comedy heroes including Paul Daniels, because he was the only one performing magic on TV when Pete was growing up.
He’s also a fan of Penn and Teller, as well as Barry and Stuart.
The comedy-magician was born in Middlesborough and twice won the school talent show at Acklam Grange Secondary School.
He studied at Middlesborough College and the School of Arts and New Media at the University of Hull, in Scarborough. He performed his first magic in pubs.
“Anywhere I could get paid for doing tricks, basically.
“I figured I wanted somewhere a bit more regular to work, and I saw the comedy circuit as something I could explore.
“Because I’d always tried to make the magic I was doing funny and light-hearted, and I never took myself too seriously.”
Pete’s tour also includes dates in Wolverhampton (February 15) , Bromsgrove (February 21) and Shrewsbury (April 26).