Magicians and illusionists have occupied TV schedules for several decades now - Derren Brown and David Blaine perhaps the most extreme examples. It's all been a far cry from the gentle dextrous days of Paul Daniels, David Nixon and arguably one of our most comic illusionists, Tommy Cooper who made a living out of ruining his own tricks - just like that, in fact.
Recently, Saturday nights turned to magic for a much-needed ratings boost with the snappily-titled 'The Magicians', a show in which illusionists and magicians were teamed up with an 'unsuspecting' celebrity to perform a trick in front of a studio audience or members of the public. Even the most cynical of bystanders couldn't help to be amazed by the Grand Illusion, Street Magic or Location Grand Illusion.
The latter segment of the show involved getting out and about and perhaps one of the most memorable of these involved Strictly dance judge and choreographer, Craig Revel Horwood, gaffer tape and an exploding car. Our hero is dumped into the boot of a car, tied up naturally, the brake is slipped, the car rolls over the cliff but instead of the boot flying open and Horwood escaping, the car tumbles over a quarry edge, explodes and plummets into the lake below. The camera strafes left then pans upward to zoom in on a smiling Revel-Horwood sitting grinning in a helicopter. Ah well, you can't win 'em all.
The architects of the jaw-dropping 'sleb'-trickery were Barry and Stuart who, whilst blessing themselves with a relatively straightforward moniker, perform the most not-so-obvious illusions. The young Scots have boundless enthusiasm, some would say sadistic glints in their eyes, as they wheel another famous person into a 'dangerous' situation or generally make them look a wee bit chumpish. Ever wanted to know how they do it? You'll need to catch them on their current tour which follows up last year's sell-out Edinburgh Fringe show.
'Show and Tell' promises revelations and insights, as well as plenty of anarchic Barry and Stuart routines and tricks. If you want to catch this clever pair pull the man-made fibres over your eyes, head to Chesham (Thursday 24th May), Hayes, Southend, Folkestone, Derby, Salford, Birmingham, Bloomsbury and many more until Ilfracombe on 14th July. We have tickets for most of the shows, priced from £14. Please note that parental guidance is advised for under-12s.