Posted in Derren's Posts

Posted by Derren Brown September 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm

It has been a pleasant day. After a private, and unusually delightful, gig in Stockholm, I gave myself and my extensive team of Coops (PA) and Iain (writing partner) the day off and painted. I have been painting a friend, the free-runner and general embodiment of all that is astonishing Chase Armitage (yes, a par-court giant called Chase: living proof of the maxim that after years of primary-school teasing and slow-burn comfortable associations, people tend to be attracted to careers which suit their names.) Following that I visited an artist friend Patrick Hughes, and had my head cast in plaster in order for a reverse-sculpture of your apologetically infrequent blogger to be created. It’s a little difficult to describe, and I shall blog the results along with the pictures that were taken along the way, but imagine a portrait which, through a compelling trick of perspective, unfailingly shifts and turns to follow you around the room.

I thought I should also drop you a line about the new book, Confessions of a Conjuror which will soon be piled high and wide deep within those warehouses of Amazon, sometimes glimpsed on the way to Swansea, and prominently displayed in the erotic poetry section of Waterstones, whichever you prefer. As an ardent Amazon-hound and a loyalty-card-carrying lover of all things Waterstonian, I wouldn’t be able to decide. Every couple of years or so I seem to get a month or so put aside to concentrate exclusively on ‘breaking the back’ (or at least bending the spine) of a new book, and it’s quite the finest part of that particular two-year period. I can, without guilt, spend my afternoons in the cafe across the road, guzzling cappuccini (with or without a panino), forgetting the cares of the rest of my career and ruthlessly clicking any TV-related phone-calls to answer-phone where they are left to rot and die. It is an unmatched pleasure to live that life for a brief period, to wear clothes that are beyond squalid, to daily secure ones favourite table by the window and for there to be, for the time at least, no deadlines or pressure.

No pressure because one cannot write a book in a month, so the spread of the upcoming tour is always there to supply ample time to get within sight of the end and get ready for the far-off and very comfortable delivery-date. On tour it is again a delight: the show is up, running and well-received, so what could be nicer than spending ones days discovering further glorious cafes around the country or tucking oneself away in a hotel bar until the time comes to show up and show-off on stage? Bit by bit, the book is fleshed out in-between shows, and then, if a West-End run follows, frantically during the days at home or even – bliss upon bliss – lengthways upon the dressing room sofa, lemon and ginger and honey brew an arm’s reach away.

After the show is struck for the last time, and the mixture of sadness and relief has been shared and enjoyed by our little crew, I then have what time I can steak here and there to finish and polish and edit and tidy. The favourite month to release a book is October, as, I am told, you and yours get ready to think of Christmas gifts and start browsing the foyers of All Good Bookshops for that very special gift. Perhaps it also gives you time to read it yourself before buying for another, I’m not quite sure. I know the second favourite release month is April. The tasteful hospitality quarters of Soho hotels and private club function rooms, decked out with tiny makeshift stages just large enough for a publisher and then an author to stand upon, heave and swell during those twin months with celebrities, the buyers from Waterstones and Tesco (who sell the largest number of books in the country, so there) and other outlets, publishing staff, friends and family and new literary product being released to the market. I have never quite made my peace with these functions when they relate to my own scrawny output. After months of enjoying such a private pleasure as writing a book, it is quite another thing to hand it to the world, let alone the in-between world of book-people so ready to throw a party in your honour. One moment you are completing an entirely private enterprise which has become synonymous with a quite lovely way of life, and the next you are drinking champagne and helping yourself to dolly-food, mingling at what feels like someone else’s event and even stranger, meeting people who have actually, to your stuttering bewilderment, actually read the book. Until then it was only your editor and your friend Iain who had read it – and your Mum, because you wanted her to be happy with a few bits – and now here is the guy from Waterstones telling you that the book is like such-and-such, and you think Is it? Is that a good thing? and feel like the most laughable fake and wonder how you ended up amongst all these people. Somehow, I suppose, these evenings much achieve what the publishers intend: they have learnt (due to my uneasiness) to put on very modest ones for me, so I am unsure how they achieve the important ‘noise’ that is desired, but hey ho. I like book-people and they are always a very pleasant bunch.

After some backs-and-forths over stylistic queries, formatting points, cover design, and what should be written on the back cover to immodestly celebrate author and book, there is a quiet period while it all gets printed. This year, I went off to record an audio book of the whole thing. For two days I drank warm water, more honey and lemon and ginger and chatted to the nicest trio of professionals I’ve come across in my career. I might, if everything goes boobs-up, get a job in an audio-suite and record such things along with them. We did a chapter together, then broke for tea and chat and M&S sandwiches, and then did more. On one such break, Joseph (the editing member of the team) brought out his gramophone and we listened to a glorious 78 of Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots crackle away through a song which would have sorely disappointed had it appeared on a CD bought from a motorway service station, but which enthralled us played on his handsome 1930’s HMV, which bore the scars of the Blitz. My voice just about held out for the only two days which my schedule allowed, and minus a few footnotes which could not be made to slot in easily, a slightly abridged version of the book was read by the author and recorded for posterity. The less welcome result of this reading-aloud of ones own book is the spotting of errors and oversights which had been missed by both author and proof-readers. Hopefully the second printing will be all the finer for it.

Soon – and my heart leaps giddy with anticipation – a box will arrive with my designated dozen or so copies of the book itself. I will toy with it, flick through it and place it around the flat on coffee-tables and sofa-corners. I will smell it, put it on the shelf next to Tricks Of The Mind, see what it looks like without the cover, find a place to leave it almost out-of-the-way when guests come over. And I shall hand a few copies out to friends when invited to people’s houses. I shall not read it, at least not for now, because the fear of finding further mistakes saps any enjoyment from such an act. A copy may make it to my small lavatorial library and be leafed through during bottom-visits, but mostly I will not quite know what to do with it.

I shan’t read reviews – this I have learnt. I shall ask my publicity gentleman and editor what the response is to it, and if there are any lessons worth learning from it. But that is all. I have recently done an interview with the Times Literary Editor, a very nice lady called Erica, and I may break my rule and read her write-up (Oct 9th I think) because I liked her. But even this is dangerous ground: it is a cruel glitch in the human mind that compliments tend to be glossed over whereas any negative comments stick in the mind and can ruin a weekend in an instant. Even the nicest journalists tend to feel that it is part of their job to take a swipe at their interviewees, or even in those rare cases when this is lacking, have a habit of re-wording one’s verbiage – for perfectly understandable reasons of clarity and space-saving – into the smuggest, naffest awfulness that one would never dream of uttering. It’s all very uncomfortable. Possibly – though I very much doubt it – this becomes a little easier to deal with when one is a seasoned author, but despite four books already under my belt, I feel very new to this malarky and anyone’s criticisms have me wanting to go back and re-write the entire thing.

Worse, today, we have blogs and Twitter and whatever else to cause upset and confusion if one is looking for it. At least newspaper reviews are easy to avoid: the unthinking spite of those who anonymously express themselves online is impossible to miss. Who imagines, when casually slagging off some celebrity online, that the slaggee in question will actually read those words? They quite possibly do. And if you’ve ever overheard friends talking nastily about you, it’s like that but much worse, and it feels like loads of people. And at times coupled with a real, boiling anger on their part.

Sadly any performer, however successful, is likely to be a sensitive soul.  Witness the other week. Hero airs: by far the most ambitious and personally joyful of all my projects, and is very well received. We all tried to do something genuinely not-done-before on television, both technically and editorially, and on top of that to genuinely change someone’s life (and for real, not just for telly). I, my team, and Matt, our subject and now my friend, are all very excited when it transmits. The show is a success and the feedback is very positive. Some, of course, don’t like it, or think it a scam, and some of these people take to their computers. After the show, Matt, on a high and (perhaps for the first time) bursting with deep pride, reads the popular but joyless Guardian blog and its spiteful comments that make fun of him, his relationship and his clothes: things a person should never have to read about themselves. They angrily call him a fake, and his very real experience a worthless sham. It ruins his weekend and upsets him deeply, denying him the after-glow of the programme. His upset makes me very sad after all the work that we had put into giving Matt his experience. Meanwhile a popular magic forum wearily anticipates the programme with a thread called  ‘Here he goes again’ and, when my masochistic urge propels me to see what they made of the show, I read such comments as “It was pure and utter rubbish… cringe worthy car crash TV at its worst.” Bang, there goes my week. Simply miserable for days. As if I’d personally gone round and popped my cock in their drinks. Rather than, well, I don’t know, had a bash at something ambitious and fun and even tried to do a bit of good, if that’s alright to say. Now, I imagine this sounds like I am criticising others for criticising. I certainly don’t mean that at all – I’m sure the very mention of my beard or a glimpse of the corner of my face is enough to infuriate any number of perfectly intelligent people after ten long years appearing on their televisions, and there’s no reason (unless they happen to be kindly disposed) why they shouldn’t shout and swear about it wherever they like. It’s just that it’s unfortunate that nowadays if you’re a known performer with an internet connection it’s very hard to avoid coming across, and it always hurts. Pah, I know, I know.

And those comments are so easy to make. Days earlier I had jokingly scorned Shutter Island on Twitter. I’m pretty sure Scorsese doesn’t read my tweets, but most likely someone involved with the film at some level will have read it in some form and it will probably have annoyed or upset them. And it’s the last thing I meant to do. I do apologise very much if that’s the case.

So I shall neither delve into my @replies on Twittelator nor seek out reviews. I’ll get the low-down, for what it’s worth, in a more arm’s-length kind of way, from the publishers and the sales figures, and then, once the book has disappeared into my library or propped up on my cistern, and my few copies signed and given as thank you presents for dinner invitations, start thinking about the next one.

Ah, now, I haven’t really said anything about what the book is. That’s a tricky one. I believe I have previously called it a ‘semi-autobiographical whimsy’ and that still seems to suit it best. I didn’t feel iconic or fascinating enough to write an autobiography, but this is perhaps a step towards one, but coming from my conviction that it’s the little, surface things that allow us to tell the most about a person. So it’s whimsical. And semi-autobiographical. The man from Waterstones thought it was a bit self-helpy. I didn’t think so. Well, Iain likes it and I hope very much that you do too. And if you really don’t, I’ll try not to find out.

September 21, 2010 at 12:54 am
Tom says:

Yay, booktime! Hope you haven’t lost your goatee but intrigued by the use of plaster casts. Moving to the third dimension with the art thing perhaps? Also, Already very excited for next tour! Tickets already bought of course(same seats as last time!) 🙂

September 21, 2010 at 12:55 am
cubehouse says:

That was…. a rather lovely read… was going to go to bed, but that was much more worthy of my time.

You write wonderfully, the internet is full of throw-away statements. You just have to remember everything is amplified when it’s only text. Everything needs to be exaggerated or it’s pretty boring compared to actually physically saying something.

The recent show was wonderful, I felt it was a little fudged with the live segments, not sure if they really fitted in too well… but the actual content was really moving and genuinely eye-openingly inspiring.

September 21, 2010 at 12:59 am
Dan says:

Good luck Derren with your book launch, I greatly look forward to enjoying it and hope there are more to come.
Be assured that for every degrading, frankly idiotic review of your work, there are at least 3 outstandingly favourable ones! (and that’s a scientific fact!)

September 21, 2010 at 1:03 am
Fin says:

I just read this blog post and it really amazed me.

I myself am a working magician, and for as long as I can remember I’ve looked up to you Derren. I always tell people who ask me about you or your methods that “he is the greatest performer that has ever lived, we may never see another as good as him”.

You’ve always been in this untouchable realm to me in terms of thinking and elegant performance style, what amazed me is that now I also you that your work means so much to you that you are vulnerable about it. If I had an ounce of your talent I wouldn’t let the hacks or internet psychos get to me. I now know that it is your vulnerability about your work that pushes you to create even more brilliant performances.

Embrace that vulnerability because it has made you a living legend, thanks!

September 21, 2010 at 1:05 am
kopflog says:

i wrote a biography of (and with) a german hip hop producer and taichi master ones. there was a some criticism on the internet. i was kind of angry at the people who obviously did not read the whole thing.

he (the producer) never read those comments. “This is my book. this is my story. like it or don’t. this is my story.”

September 21, 2010 at 1:08 am
Kelly S says:

You can’t please all of the people all of the time Derren and nor should you try as that really would be ‘cringe worthy tv’. I personally really enjoyed Hero and I cannot wait to read your book (however I was a little worried when I read the title as I wasn’t sure what you’d be confessing!). Don’t let the negative people get you down as I’m sure there are more of us who like you and would quite happily bop them on the nose (not really, I don;t condone any form of violence).

September 21, 2010 at 1:08 am

What a lovely, if rather sad, post. What a shame that others’ negative comments got you, Matt and the team so down, it was s sterling piece of wotk.

You’re right when you say performers are sensitive. As a musician I recieved a knock-back several years ago that really shook my confidence. It’s hard believing whole heartedly jn what you do when some others are not convinced.

You have convinced me Dezza, and if your mum likes your stuff then you’re alright.

Emma 🙂

September 21, 2010 at 1:11 am
Carol Bradshaw says:

I’m sorry Derren, but what’s not to like? I have always believed that what you do is truly unique and requires conscientiousness, dedication and an open cleverness of mind. That’s why I and many others who follow you “follow” you. Also, you have great integrity, which can be a rare quality to find these days. The only other person I can think of in “showbiz” is Stephen Fry, who is a wonderful individual, too.

As they say, don’t let the barstewards get you down. I think it may be a case of either jealousy or not being able to cope with something they don’t understand. So you and Matt, pleeeaaase ignore them. Matt’s a rare gem too; he seems a very gentle, loving guy, and I hope all his dreams come true for him and his gorgeous lady.

All the best & take care, C xx

September 21, 2010 at 1:13 am
Louise says:

I honestly have no idea if you will read this but i’d like to say, no matter what the critics may say, you always have your pride. Being proud of yourself & people whom your involved with. So just don’t let it ‘ruin’ your week or whatever amount of time it has ‘ruined’.
If everyone allowed peoples judgements & comments affect them, where in todays moderb society would we be! 🙂

Yupppp, im clearly a ‘fan’, otherwise i woul have jusy wasted a pretty lengthy time reading you ramblings but just, allow them their time & you’ll have yours! x

September 21, 2010 at 1:34 am
cg says:

That’s a very interesting moment when the plaster begins to tighten and you’re breathing through those tubes, isn’t it? 😉

But nothing for a master of mind control…

September 21, 2010 at 1:39 am
ReliegiousMarie says:

Lovely, lovely written…

And good for you, tell it like it is! …But next time tell yourself off if you feel miserable for-too-long’ about some Truly, Clearly and Utterly Truly-Unworthy negative comments….pah, them! 😉

In the meantime i’m sure everyone is anticipating the Book Release and new-series on channel-4 and the New Tour – I know i do – Bliss, Live is good 🙂


September 21, 2010 at 1:39 am
james says:

Fascinating read. Cannot wait to read this new book.

September 21, 2010 at 1:39 am
Gillian says:

I eagerly await your new book! As with everything you do, I’m sure it will be great. I also would absolutely love an autobiography from you! You are definitely iconic and more than interesting enough to write one.
See you at Svengali !

September 21, 2010 at 1:41 am
Robert Spratt says:

I just wrote and tried to post a comment but was told that ‘CAPTCHA’ wasn’t working so my response disappeared! Grrr!

Msg from Abeo: Apologies, happens ever now and then, email me if it happens again (

September 21, 2010 at 1:41 am
Nadia says:

I’m really looking forward to the book. I know one isn’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I really do like the “look” of it. I for one will be placing it on a shelf in my study, rather than in the loo 🙂

September 21, 2010 at 1:47 am
cg says:

BTW, kudos on Hero–I managed to view it after the fact in the States and one of the things I specifically liked about it (along with a few others along a similar vein you’ve done) was the aspect of positive life change.

It’s a shame the folks that are the recipients can’t be flown to a desert island for three days immediately following their experiences. That way they could ‘gel’ and the media could blow over without tainting things.

But as unfortunate as it is, it is an interesting example of what can happen when skepticism is taken too far. Just because something is a bit implausible, unusual or unlikely, or challenges one’s conception of how things work in the world doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes occur.

Looking forward to reading your new book…

September 21, 2010 at 1:49 am
Rob says:

pre-ordered mine, can’t wait 🙂

September 21, 2010 at 1:56 am
Nadia says:

Regarding the negative feedback issue, regardless of how small it may be, it’s always hurtful to receive any, no matter how strong we may perceive ourselves to be. Whether we may admit it or not, we are creatures who seek approval, & the smallest amount of negativity is more than enough to plunge us into despair, & overshadow success.

I was discussing with someone the other day that we now live in an era where the Internet propels information upon us at an overwhelming rate. It bewilders me why people write hurtful comments about others with @replies – if they had to give opinions face-to-face, they would probably keep schtum. It’s such a shame that Matt has to put up with this sort of behaviour, considering that he isn’t a public figure. Hope that this hasn’t hindered his future plans 🙁

September 21, 2010 at 2:04 am
Rob M says:

This was very touching to read, I hope you know what you did with Matt was fantastic.

September 21, 2010 at 2:23 am
Robert Spratt says:

Thanks for the honest posting. No one likes criticism but most of us don’t have to endure a public flogging like a celeb might have to. It’s unfortunate that it’s part and parcel of what you do and it can’t be nice if you are sensitive to it. I don’t care two hoots what other people think about you and I, like most I’m sure, watch your tv shows, read your books, see you live, enjoy your art, and basically spend time and money on you as I choose, regardless of what others say. At the end of the day, there’s a hell of a lot more positive about you out there than there is negative and that’s why you are the huge success that you are today. Just feel lucky that you’re not Jedward because they really do take some stick!

September 21, 2010 at 2:39 am
Del says:

Derren’ I thoroughly enjoyed reading Tricks of the mind partaking in a no shoes, no news approach so as to savour every turn of leaf, similarly your TV specials are a delight for me, so I cannot understand the petty sniping that goes on when ever anyone dares to broker something new or raise the bar with such productions, in this age of mass –multi- media don’t let such jealousy twist your mission to bedazzle!

September 21, 2010 at 2:50 am
Dylan says:

I agree with you about the comments people have been making about Hero… Take some comfort in the fact that the vast majority of them are completely ridiculous and unfounded! It would be more troublesome if they had picked out an existent flaw.

If you see many unfounded spiteful comments, that means you found spiteful people. Hero would have had a larger audience. If you get the general public, you get a larger chunk of the nastier side of humanity. I didn’t see many comments that were negative and made by reasonable people.

Matt has a lot to be proud of, and I hope he can still see that 🙂

September 21, 2010 at 2:51 am
QueenLoretta says:

Did you mean “stake” or “sneak”?


September 21, 2010 at 3:09 am
Erin says:

Aw Derren, this made me feel really, very sad. I think looking up to you for half my life (not to mke you feel old or anything :P), I always imagined you had thicker skin but you are human of course. I know you probably won’t read this now 😛 but I’m a huge fan, everyone in my circle of friends is fascinated with your work, and LOTS of people were very emotionally moved by Hero.

P.s.. I got tickets to see you at Cheltenham on the 9th, really looking forwrd to it and hoping you are feeling a bit more optimistic about your reviews by then x

September 21, 2010 at 3:24 am

Thanks very much indeed for the phrase “As if I’d personally gone round and popped my cock in their drinks”, which cheered me up no end at 3:15am on a night when I really should have been in bed at midnight. For the record, I quite enjoyed the show with Matt, not least because I live 5 mins from LBA – wish I’d known. The rest of the article was OK too….! 🙂


September 21, 2010 at 3:25 am
Nick says:

Please no!
If anyone can ignore the haters it should be you. With your Jedi mind tricks, you can surely ignore the trolls & the hateful comments. Many of us want to reach out with love & appreciation for what you’re doing & if you ignore *all* the comments on your work, you’ll miss that. Can’t wait for the new book. Hope you do keep listening, despite the noise – although it’s understandable if you don’t.

September 21, 2010 at 3:40 am
Ben says:

I pre-ordered my copy a month ago and am sure I won’t be disappointed. I’ve read all three of your previous books and enjoyed each one immensely. And might I add what a pleasure it was to read such an insightful summation of the harshness of internet critiques from the other side, it should remind us all to think twice before we say something on the internet. URL’s have feelings too.

September 21, 2010 at 5:10 am
Marlon says:

Derren Brown, i just watched “Hero At 30000 feet” and i still have tears in my eyes. What a beautiful and joyful experience! I wish i could say more but I’m still emotional. Its makes me sad to hear that people were calling Matt a fake. I guess the old saying is still valid “People tend to criticize what they don’t understand”.

Thank again for your beautiful work, hope I can see one of your live shows in my lifetime!

Feel hugged mate!

September 21, 2010 at 6:40 am
Rose says:

This book sounds great. I’ll but it straight away. Remember, the one million followers on Twitter love you, so do not be disheartened by others who dislike you. Your programme Hero very much changed my perspective on life. I think that matt and you should realise that people around you really have been changed by the episode, for the better, and that’s great.
Take care,

September 21, 2010 at 6:47 am

No matter how popular you are (and believe me, you really are) there’s always people wanting to put you down, often for their own perverse self-satisfied smugness. You mustn’t let that get to yourself. You’re amazingly talented, have a well trimmed beard and terrify the large number of us, that we’re under your control. Long story short you’re mine and many others’ idol. Just put it down to jealousy, grin at the fact that so many of us adore you and get utterly train-wrecked in celebration.



September 21, 2010 at 7:28 am

Firstly, magnificent blog posting as always Derren. Incisive, insightful & an utter joy to read. Thank you for the time you took in doing it.
I very much look forward to reading your book. Can’t wait to get my paws on it & soak up every word. You have such an expressive & articulate way of saying things that I’m sure it’ll be a delight from start to finish.

September 21, 2010 at 7:30 am
Surzy says:

Dear Derren.
I personally cannot wait to see you on the 9th and give you a wee cuddle if permitted! I don’t know if it will help, but it sounds like you could do with a few cuddles!!

A lovely heartfelt post.

A teacher at school once told me..

“Be who you are and say what you feel, for those that mind don’t matter, and those that matter don’t mind”

As a bullied child, that always served me well.

x x

September 21, 2010 at 7:43 am

I cannot wait to buy this book – im sure you will sell a few million copies 😉

All your fans from twitter love you derren x

September 21, 2010 at 7:53 am
Peter says:

*GASP*. Only the other day was I thinking of the possibility of a new Derren Brown book being made. Definite proof of psychic abilities, I think you’ll agree.

September 21, 2010 at 8:09 am
Len says:

Well Derren, I can tell you I’m looking forward to reading your new book. Will have to beg my boss-man to use his credit card so I can buy it from! It will be ages before it reaches book shops in South Africa.

And bugger the crits of Hero. It was great and it had quite a strange, and quietly positive effect on me – been almost completely off the booze for more than a week (almost 2), riding my bike to work for exercise, and working towards bettering my creative skills. It must’ve been that counter you pressed at the end of the show!

Keep up the good work!

September 21, 2010 at 8:24 am

Forget about the nasty comments about your latest programme. Whatever you do, there will always be people who have too much time on their hands, a rather unpleasant jealous streak and fingers that just itch to get on the Internet and start typing whatever pops into their head. The sort of people who don’t understand the meaning of ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’.

What matters is that you enjoy what you do and that we, the audience enjoy what you do.

All that remains now is to wait for my ‘Your order has been dispatched’ email from Amazon.

Keep smiling. X

September 21, 2010 at 8:29 am
Codifier says:

Don’t despair Derren – so humble, self deprecating and such a perfectionist. I suspect you’ve already set such high standards that others are judging you against them, even though they could not meet them.

Please don’t let the mean comments dissuade you from your work that we all enjoy enormously.

September 21, 2010 at 8:32 am
Doug says:

I not-so-literally love you.

September 21, 2010 at 9:09 am
Foss says:

Tricks Of The Mind is by far my favourite non-fiction book. As long as the writing style is similar (which I’m sure it will be, having the same author and all) I’ll love your new book just as much. I’ll be pre-ordering it as soon as I get paid!

There will always be people that don’t enjoy your work and, hiding behind the anonymity provided by “teh intarwebs”, will feel it necessary to make their opinion known. And that’s fair enough; everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But if they want to push that opinion onto others, or scream it from the rooftops, hurting the feelings of the artist in the process… Well, fuck them. They’re basically another form of extremist, and to my mind that makes their opinion invalid.

Best of luck with the new book, Derren 🙂


September 21, 2010 at 9:09 am
Dave Rooney says:

I’m late for work after reading this! but fully enjoyed every word. can’t wait for the book.

September 21, 2010 at 9:12 am
Jenny says:

Can’t say what I’ll think of it yet but this text made me weep. I know just what you mean. You are very brave, so is Matt.

September 21, 2010 at 9:17 am
Olivia says:

Now feeling bad for every vaguely negative thing I may or may not have ever said. I loved Hero, and so did most people from what I gather. Can’t wait to read your book and keep my opinion of it to myself!

September 21, 2010 at 9:22 am

Hero really brightened up my day, which then made me go out and brighten up someone else’s day (actually their month apparently.) Many parts were unbelievable, but I still trust you enough, plus it was the story that was more interesting during those parts. Everything you do is so deep and layered, which does however upset me when I try to think of doing my own stage show! Good luck staying away from the reviews (negative ones at the very least) and please continue to make “cringe worthy car crash tv” because I find it absolutely fascinating

September 21, 2010 at 9:52 am
Paul says:

I sometimes wonder myself what sort of impact interweb based discussions about shared experiences have on the individuals taking part or reading those comments. Could their own experience of an event be ‘trashed’ by others negativity? Have the good old days of simply being entertained and being happy with that experience gone now that every single show is dissected by interweb based discussions? Do people now watch TV as cynics in the hope they’ll spot something to ‘expose’ in said discussions?

The internet is the best thing since sliced bread don’t get me wrong but it has it’s pit falls too. I for one will be avoiding any discussions about the wonderful 2011 tour both before.. and importantly, after, I see it. I want my experience to remain my own.

September 21, 2010 at 10:08 am
joejo6969 says:

Wow! I now know why you are so successful. You are very hard on yourself, a perfectionist to say the least. I wonder if you should even be in the entertainment industry being such a ‘sensitive soul’, but have kind of got caught up in it all to the point that even if you wanted to stop you couldn’t.
I really don’t understand why people have to be so venomous with their comments, be it twitter, blog or newspaper article, but thats life.
If you had confidence in everything you do these comments would bouce off you, like the proverbial water off a ducks back. In the instance of any time, where the water does not flow but saturates leaving you cold, can I tell you now how beautiful your words are in any given time and in any given context….

September 21, 2010 at 10:17 am
joejo6969 says:

…. Oh and ‘ As if I’d personally gone round and popped my cock in their drinks.’ Those meaningful words I shall never forget. Got very good visuals with that one.
Please don’t give up on us all, you inspire and interest so many people. You brought me and my twin sister together after years of being distant. We can both mind meld again. 😉
Looking forward to reading your book and holding other people to ransom until they read it,
I have to go, I have a life to get on with,
Warmest wishes Jo. x

September 21, 2010 at 10:47 am
@philstephens says:

“I didn’t feel iconic or fascinating enough to write an autobiography”

Wander down to your favourite Waterstones and take a look through the current selection of autobiographical output battling for window space. “Iconic” and/or “Fascinating” are far from evident; further still from a pre-requisite to publishing.

Comparatively and actually, I’m sure what you’ve got to share with us will be utterly enjoyable and tremendously worthwhile. Thank you; hugely looking forward to the couple of days I’ll gladly allow the new book to steal from my life.

September 21, 2010 at 10:52 am
LairyT says:

What a very frank and personal blog. Thanks for sharing so much. I, for one, am very looking forward to reading your book and can’t wait to hear you speak at Cheltenham and am very excited about the new tour. xx

September 21, 2010 at 11:32 am
Chris says:

First rule of internet publishing, never read the comments. Oh wai…

September 21, 2010 at 11:32 am
Ben Rusholme says:

I look forward to reading it, thanks for telling us all about the writing process.

September 21, 2010 at 11:34 am
Jasper Mathews says:

Sounds good. I thought all the little whimsical asides in Tricks of the Mind really made the book great.
A whole book of little things! Lovely. I hope it’s delightfully unstructured and rambling. And cheap 🙂

September 21, 2010 at 11:38 am
ThisisDebra says:

Derren, you have a hell of a lot more lovers than haters on twitter and its such a shame that the bad mouthers have made you feel so down after Hero…it was an awesome show, we all loved it, some inc. me had to watch it more than once to ‘get’ it all…most of us understand what you do & having been in the same room as Matt, i know he was real. I can understand how some ppl would think it “fake” but thats editing! im sure they would still complain if they got to see the entire lengthy process too.
Sometimes theres just no pleasing some people.

Its sad you wont be dipping into your @replies anymore, there are nearly 540,000 people sending you lots of love and rejoice in all you do….it is very much appreciated.

Cant wait to read the new book. See you on the 9th 🙂

September 21, 2010 at 11:45 am
Maddy says:

Im no one to give advice on this, as it would upset me hugely reading negative things about myself, but i have to say that for every hater, there are more people who love what you do. The people who say the horrible things barely care, they are filling a few dull minutes with some words they wont remember in a few hours. The people who loved the show and loved the things you do wont forget it in a hurry. They are the ones who care and i hope their respect for you keeps you doing the stuff you do long into the future. x

September 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm
Hazel says:

I’m really looking forward to the next book, read your last and it really changed my life. Not in a ‘you’re really doing good but could do better’ way but more a ‘you’re responsible for your own life, don’t rely on God or Hocus pocus to sort it’ way. I try not to take life for granted and enjoy it more. Told a friend who’s never watched you before to see the show and she was blown away by it. We both agreed that Matt was delightful and we were so pleased for him. Having three lads myself I really felt for him. As for nasty comments I do eBay part time and have over 5,000 positive feedbacks, I got one negative and it was like my life had fallen apart. I guess its part of being human, glad to hear your human too.

September 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm
Rob says:

‘Panino’. Love it.
A pedant after my own heart.
Anyhoo, I must agree that the criticism of Matt was uncalled for, unwarranted, unnecessary, unethical and it missed the point entirely. At what stage did his dress sense become a valid discussion point?
You, on the other hand, are a valid target for criticism. That is the nature of the entertainment business.
It must be easy to dismiss the ramblings of a fan as biased – I hope you know that us fans also pass a critical eye over your work, but we just happen to really like it. Hero had flaws, IMHO, but that is really just MHO, honest.
My sister said ‘pretending to stage an armed robbery could have led to PTSD.’
I said ‘They wouldn’t have done it without extensive planning and assessment.’
Then I worried a bit… CONT…

September 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm
Rob says:

… then I worried some more.
Had I glossed over the faults because of my own personal opinions about DVB?
Was it okay to pretend to point a gun at someone who believes it to be real?
Probably not.
However, Matt definitely benefited from the whole process.
It is less acceptable to criticise someone’s dress sense and personality based on a 1 hour show when that person is merely a participant and his dress sense has no bearing on anything.
He would probably be more traumatised by public humiliation than by a well planned stunt.
Still, really looking forward to your book. Thank you for being so unfailingly entertaining.

September 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm
D says:

Ooooh out so soon… I can’t wait to read it (and I like the sound of that ‘thinking about the next one’ bit). Also liking your policy on reading reviews – having done a lot of private secret writing I know it’d be more than a bit crushing to read such thoughtless things and I have almost no doubt I probably wouldn’t bother again. (I’m working on that.) People can be wonderful things; it’s best to try to keep out of their way when they’re not. ‘Hero’ definitely did some good, you can say it as much as you like, and not only for Matt. I wish you’d pop round and help me transform too, but you’ve convinced me it’s worth having a go myself. So thank you.

September 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm
Rob says:

My sister, on the other hand, did not like Hero one bit. I think it is her default position for ‘things that Rob likes’.
She could not accept the night-time scenes – she thought it had to be staged.
I tried your line – ‘if they used actors, how much would we have to pay their families etc to be quiet? What would the legal team say?’.
I asserted ‘He had already induced a trance in Matt several times so that mind-state was easy to slip into. Have you never got up in the night and forgotten it the next morning? Memory is a subjective process that Derren can manipulate by using suggestion’.
She said ‘you have to believe in hypnosis, then’
I said ‘it is more complicated than that’.
Well, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make my sister agree with anything I say ever.

September 21, 2010 at 12:53 pm

well I have already pre ordered my copy derren, and look forward emensely to reading it! I also loved Hero and thought it was an excellent piece of work, that showed that there are numerous levels to your ability as an entertainer. I am tired of the same people doing the same things. Each of your projects have been different andhave complimented each other perfectly. I am a magician myself and I strive to have a body of work than comes within a hundred miles of yours. I will keep trying and in the mean time, I wish to thank you for the inspiration you give me personally and millions of others. you are very much loved and appreciated! Thank you

September 21, 2010 at 1:21 pm
Nick says:

“As if I’d personally gone round and popped my cock in their drinks.”


You have such a way with words 😀

Dont let the bastards grind you down ! It was an excellent if not your best Tv show ever, truly uplifting & gave many watching like me that feeling that anything is possible. Looking forward to whatever is 30 days on from hero, which noone has mentioned.

Back on topic , hope the books a good one, enjoyed Tricks of the mind & look forward to finding this one in my stocking at xmas

September 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm
Lotty Brand says:

Can I just say, I haven’t even finished reading this blog entry yet, but I am just SO excited by all of this you will not BELIEVE! This is such an amazing day,
firstly I booked my tickets to your BRAND NEW TOUR in April, and rang all my friends to do the same, so far 6 of us are coming on the same evening, SO EXCITED. This is because everytime I leave one of your shows, I just desperately wish so-and-so had seen it, so I’ve forced just about everyone I know and respect in my close circle of friends to come, and put it up on facebook, and warned that it will be the biggest mistake of their lives if they don’t come.
And also, this blog entry is just delightful.

September 21, 2010 at 1:48 pm
Peter says:

Ah, this was the old new book. This Chase .. pretty impressive! If you keep close up while watching you sort of can feel yourself fly with him … feels amazing and he’s doing the hard work …

September 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm
Mark says:

Interesting thoughts Derren. You’re like me in the way you think or maybe it’s I’m like you. Looking forward to the release of the book. I just wanted to add that the other day when you were away in Sweden. Around 3.20pm that day I got a vision that just said “I’m in London”. It was in black and white writing and flashed across my vision. I was very bemused by this but then found you had tweeted at 3.20 that you had arrived in London. Just a weird experience I’m sharing. Weirdest part is that it actually happened. You weren’t – by any chance – transmitting any radio waves that made me see that? lol7

September 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm
Lotty Brand says:

oh… okay… I’ve just got to the depressing part of the blog… my heart is truly aching, when I come to see your tour in April, Derren, I am going to hug you if it’s the last thing I do…
keep smiling, you’re my favourite human beeeaaannn 🙂

September 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm
Ebony says:

There’s a lot more people who think your awesome and a genius then people who believe you aren’t. Newspaper don’t know what they’re on about anyway..we love you! That’s what matters 🙂
Can’t wait for the book x

September 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Hello Derren and Team!

Here is a link to a “Hollow Face” illusion that I think you are reffering to?

Looking forward to seeing your smug, balding head doing the same Mr B! It’s a great optical illusion.

See you from the second row of the Alex, Birmingham next year! 14th May seems so far away…

Take care,


September 21, 2010 at 2:39 pm
Emma says:

Hi Derren

I think you are right not to read internet reviews / criticism first hand, . Most people who comment certainly do not take the feelings of the artist into account. They tend to be easily disparaging, with little idea of the effort and work involved in writing a book or planning and making an innovative tv programme. The work involved in these enterprises must be considerable (I can only guess).

I really enjoy your work and am very much looking forward to reading your new book. That said, it is important that people are allowed to criticise and express opinions freely. If an author is happy to put work into the public domain they must accept that it can be subject to criticism. Would be nice though if people were fairer / more balanced in their comments though ! 🙂

September 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm
lizzie says:

Well read this! I love your books and just know I will love the new one! 😀 if you see a reply from @lizzie holley it will always be a good one! X

September 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm
Mark says:

Oops make that 3.20pm 2.20 pm 🙂

September 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm
T says:

I cant wait to read it.

September 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm
Jin says:

I’m not sure if you’ll read this, seeing your dreadful experiences to some of the responses people make and your words for it, and it need not matter, but let know at least a person behind this 11″ screen typing away at a stranger’s blog (and dare say a few more) is completely inspired by the recent project that you had taken to your hands. Well done.

September 21, 2010 at 6:00 pm
sophie says:

Matt, Derren and crew – for what it’s worth I and my friends really enjoyed Hero. I’m so sorry a few miserable, anonymous sh*theads wrecked it for you. As you say, the negative comments stick out even though they’re the minority. I am looking forward to the new book greatly 🙂

September 21, 2010 at 6:01 pm
Jon says:

Your writing style is amazing. You got me in a trance right there with you in the cafes writing your book without a care and idillically letting yourself get absorbed by the process- then bang here come the showbiz part of the publishing parties… Oh and I love the punch “as if I popped my cock in their drinks”… LOL that actually took me out of the trance swiftly

September 21, 2010 at 6:12 pm
Mark says:

I think LOTTY hit the nail on the head here. I’m still wondering about these mystic radio waves.

September 21, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I hope it’s not too “self-helpy”. People that buy self-help books should be shot.
I love reading about the process of writing, however, so this blog was interesting.

September 21, 2010 at 6:47 pm
Aimee P says:

(on the unlikely but hopeful chance you may read this)
Your TV work is always delightfully fanciful if not moving, but your writing is something that has had a real impact on my life. Tricks of the Mind was such a precious collection of magic, stories and advice. I’m not exaggerating when I say that, for the first time, it made me honestly take a look at the filters I use to view the world. I see things so much clearer now and best of all I’m now comfortable with questioning my beliefs.

No matter how many negative reviews or silly internet rants you may read, there are many more people who you have touched in beautiful, subtle ways. You manage to insert meaning into much of the work you do and I hope you don’t dwell on the negatives too much.

I eagerly await your new book!

September 21, 2010 at 6:54 pm
Jacqueline says:

With reference to your work, no worries with reference to your personality, even less so. As with ‘Hero’ if your aim was accomplished then all is well, even if none were to agree, the affect it had on matt, his family and loved ones is the only acknowledgement you will ever need, together with the affect it had on you. Yes people can be insensitive, but places such as Twitter & others engender this. People can remain quite detached from the flurry of words they produce, so if they can be detached from them, so can you Derren. The messages in Hero to me were the most poignant, we are all one in a million (That includes you my dear).

Very much looking forward to the new book. As with all your others, which were highly entertaining and engaging, therefore (Carried on…)

September 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm
Rhian says:

Awh Derren, your post makes me feel a little sad. It is strange how we only ever remember the negative things people say and forget the positives (regardless of how positive they are and who gave them). It takes 10 positives to cancel out one negative apparently, though sometimes I think that figure should be higher. Hope you consider my comment a positive one. I very much look forward to the book and then the new tour.


September 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm
Jess xxx says:

Well, I couldn’t put ‘Tricks of the Mind’ down for weeks…Guess what I’ll be ordering from Amazon soon? 🙂 Great to see Derren’s unique and hilarious writing style back on the blog.

P.s. Please give the awesome Matt a hug for me…Also, please bitch-slap all the people who said he was a joke for me. 😉

September 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm
Jacqueline says:

(Carried on) this will be no different because you enjoy what you do, and it shows. Can’t wait to see the Patrick Hughes piece, muchly admired artist. Chin up Derren, you should be proud of your work and achievements, just because some don’t get it doesn’t make it any less valid, worthwhile and bloody amazing. Toodle pips with chips and dips, and remember if any of us at any given time don’t get it or step above the line, you have permission to give them a firm smack on the bottie 😉 Best wishes & lots of luv & hugs xx

September 21, 2010 at 7:15 pm
Elise says:

I love reading your blogs. It’s extremely funny when you’re writing / talking beautifully and sounding very sophisticated and then out of nowhere there’s a rude word or sentence, HAHAHA! Wicked 😀 Screw the people who criticise you or say mean things about you. WE LOVE YOU! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Don’t let ’em getchya down.

() ()
( ” ” )0 Bunny! Well…..kind of
” ”

Much adoration,

Elise x

September 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm
Guido says:

“No pressure because one cannot write a book in a month”

I beg to differ:

Otherwise, a delightful blog post.

September 21, 2010 at 7:58 pm
Diane Brown says:

Hi Derren,
That was a lovely post to read.
“as if I popped my cock in their drinks” – So funny! I actually visualised that! What a vision! O_O.
The majority of people understand and appreciate what you do. For me, Hero was such an inspiration. I’m just at the ‘reflecting on life stage’ if that makes sense.
Anyway, see you on the 9th at Cheltenham. I’ll keep at a safe distance 🙂
Diane x

September 21, 2010 at 8:34 pm
Jade says:

awww bless you derren 🙂

you seem like such a lovely man and i think what you do and what you did on hero was incredable.
You have so many great fans, so you shouldnt feel down about a small minority.
i really enjoyed tricks of the mind, and im positive your new book will be even better
love Jade xx

September 21, 2010 at 9:03 pm
iain says:

dont get me wrong, i was very moved by Hero, and thought it was genuinely a wonderful thing…but what would have happened if it all went wrong? …as with lots of other things, magicians exposing psychics and warnings of dreadful tarot readers taking advantage of people and offering advice and help without any real qualification…i have a thought that with Hero, maybe some people may wonder what qualifies you to help someone? i’m not suggesting that you’re not capable, but – it has made me think that as someone who has been so vocal against readers and so forth – what exactly qualifies you to try and help? i think explaining that, may have helped with the ridiculous cries of “stooge”…

September 21, 2010 at 9:14 pm
Sarah says:

I honestly can’t believe there have been negative things said about you and Matt. You are both such inspirational people. I loved Hero and have rewatched it twice. It was all I could think about for over a week afterwards. I have NEVER watched a programme that affected me to the extent that yours did. The combination of me identifying with Matt and it documenting such a profoundly moving and important journey made it a fascinating piece of TV. I think one of the most interesting things about the programme was that there were two heroes in it: Matt and you. You rescued Matt. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true and you should be very proud of that.

I know your new book will be a sucess, everything you touch turns to gold. I’ll be buying it the minute it hits the shelves. x

September 21, 2010 at 10:11 pm
Tracey says:

Thank you so much for that Blog post read it through a few times. Some people can be very narrow minded and wont give anything a chance, they love the sound of there own whingey voices.
I and so many more absolutely love your shows TV and stage you leave me amazed every time I watch you. And meeting you was a real pleasure so let the critics put that in there pipes and smoke it 😉 So Derren dont dwell on the negatives there are to many positives for that. xx

September 21, 2010 at 10:18 pm
Sonja says:

I just googled and read some of “Here he goes again’” – I shouldn’t worry, they all sound like a bunch of mentalists to me, in the Alan Partridge sense of the word that is 🙂

September 21, 2010 at 10:18 pm
Andrew says:

Great to hear you’ve got another book coming out.

Turns out there’s another option to getting it since there’s a kindle edition. Much easier to carry around than a lump of wood (and a bit cheaper too).

September 21, 2010 at 10:28 pm
Michael says:

Derren, I tweeted the song someone saved my life tonight to you, because Hero was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I have recently learned that people can be horrible and cruel, but as you said ” being lovely gets you further in life than anything” carry on your doing a worderful job at it x

September 21, 2010 at 10:32 pm
Lea says:

I just wanted to leave a comment to say you’re amazing too! It’s a shame that bad feedback gets you and your team down but then I suppose you wouldn’t be human if it didn’t! You know you have a lot of fans (myself included!) who thoroughly enjoy, appreciate and ‘get’ what you do and who you are, and could see exactly what Hero was meant to be!

Can’t wait for the tour, see you in Sunderland, front row yayyy! =o)

Lea x

September 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm

My dearest friend…….

Through you, you have purely made my life complete…… as now my life has changed for the better. And this all thanks, heart-felt thanks to you.

You are truly the most perfect friend in the entire world.

All my love and best wishes, your friend, Elizabeth XXXXXXXXXXXX

September 21, 2010 at 10:36 pm
Laura says:

As many people have already said, it’s saddening that people can be so (un)intentionally cruel. Constructive feedback is one thing but unfounded and (sometimes) crude criticism is no better than playground bullies throwing punches, jealous of your achievements.

Asides that, many congratulations on the new book, looking forward to reading it. Flabbergasted that you can find the time to fit all these things in – I really must try and emulate a sliver of that productivity!

All the best for your new and current projects

edit: Also experiencing CAPTCHA errors

Msg from Abeo: i’ll look into CAPTCHA errors. Email me if it happens again.

September 21, 2010 at 11:03 pm
Charley says:

I absolutely adore you. xxx

September 21, 2010 at 11:26 pm
Rose says:

Derren, I love you and your work, I really do. But I must say, despite feeling a little sad to read your rather sad post, I do think you ought to snap out of it! Surely you must realise how amazing you and your achievements are. Of course self doubt is part of our human fragility, but if someone such as you does not have the confidence and belief to read a book review and embrace the criticism ( if any) with open arms, then what hope do we mere mortals have? Yes it is tough, it does hurt, but inevitably there are things in life that are unpleasant and we all must learn to deal with it and learn from it. I do apologised if I sound uncompassionate ( I do understand where u are coming from) but my message is chin up DB and believe in yourself! I m sure, and many would agree that the book and upcoming show will be fabulous. I for one am waiting with bated breath.

I realise there is another Rose who comments regularly, so pls don’t think she is the nasty and thoughtless one. Or perhaps think of me as ” keeping it real Rose”?

Anyway cheer up. If all else fails, have some icecream.

September 21, 2010 at 11:43 pm
Jennifer says:

So sorry to hear about the magic forum’s callous words. I enjoyed the show very much, rather redundantly tearing up at one point when two older actors playing a couple on the plane were comforting each other.

I’ve loved your work for years Derren, and respect you very much. As the old internet addage goes “haters gona hate”!

September 22, 2010 at 12:41 am

Looking forward to new book!
I think that often it is easy to dwell on negative comments – If I was so presumptuous as to offer advice to Matt (or your good self!) I think I would say that negative words will stay with you in a way that positive never will, human nature I suppose. people came to my blog and told me they liked a poem I wrote, I only remember the one idiot who sent a vitriolic email, I dwelled on that for days. The ruder, ad hominem twitter or newspaper attacks are really just idots yelling in the street and running away – cowards, not worth notice.
For what it is worth I think that I saw far, far more comments around twitter that were positive (even when questioning) – and while it may seem favourably selective to do so I’d say try to just enjoy those…

September 22, 2010 at 12:45 am

… oh, but if all else fails, do just find them all and actually DO pop your cock in their drinks. That’s what I’d do.. if I had one!

September 22, 2010 at 12:50 am
karen says:

first of all derren i want to say thank you so much for taking the time to post such a lovely blog for us all to read an enjoy, im so sorry that u feel upset because of all the bad comments you read about hero, and i hope you are now feeling better, u put alot of effort in to your shows to make them a sucess 🙂 when i was reading your post and realised you were upset by it all i actually got a tear in my eye and all i wanted to do was give you a big hug 🙁 so im sending you a virtual hug (((HUG))) i knowits not the same but i hope it helps

i cant wait for the book to be released ill be first in the que to buy a copy 🙂 and im looking forward to seeing you in edinburgh at svengali on the 28th and 29th, front row 🙂 make sure u give me a wave hehe

anyway take care xxxxx

September 22, 2010 at 1:55 am
CherryJ says:

The thing is, you are unique. And when certain narrow minded eeyore’s, come across things that they don’t instantly understand, they get angry with themselves and lash out in whatever way they can. Unfortunately, where once they would’ve chewed the ear off whoever was sitting next to them and pottered away to bed muttering to themselves, these days they grab their iphones or laptops and bash out a few bitter careless words on twitter or on forums, never thinking how they themselves would feel were the tables turned. It’s hard for them to understand that the person on their tellybox is just as vunerable as they are. But, whilst there are people like you bringing warmth and real human feeling to TV programmes, there is hope that some of that warmth may thaw them. x

September 22, 2010 at 1:59 am
CherryJ says:

Sod ’em basically. If you weren’t bloody brilliant you wouldn’t draw such unjust criticism. I read the twitter comments that night and the majority were moved and loved the programme.
Can’t wait for the new book! It’s looking very handsome there with the orange edged pages.
I’ve cleared a space on my erotica shelf ready. 😉

September 22, 2010 at 3:28 am
Sal says:

Fuck the haters DB, the shit you do in s triumph of the human mind. Just watching Hero inspired me to make some pretty huge steps in life, and I really appreciate that! People think you are a phony because what you do is utterly amazing…keep it coming man, please! And thanks

September 22, 2010 at 7:44 am
Pusher says:

Don’t pay too much attention to the individuals on that certain forum. I have read the exact thread about which you speak: They were too busy dissecting the methods to appreciate the effect. Too many magicians, not enough artists.

September 22, 2010 at 9:41 am
Bryn says:

What an amazing and insightful read Derren. I’m sure that I, like yourself have slammed film, tv shows and such before without even considering such elements. In fact I know I have. I once wrote a blog somewhere about an animated film and one of the animators from Dreamworks commented on it. Who’d have though?

All of that aside, I can’t wait for the book! I’ll be reading it on the bus to work and anywhere else I can find to have some time to myself.

I do hope that any negative comments that you have read about your work don’t sit with you for too long. Hero, by far is one of my favourites from you. It’s so positive and you genuinely helped someone, you don’t see that much in TV these days. It left me feeling all toasty inside.

Also I hope you’ll be taking your tour to Llandudno again!

September 22, 2010 at 9:49 am

Derren i love you, we all love you, you ARE the greatest showman of all time and one of the most inspiring human beings pretty much ever!

Seen you live twice before and scored a hug each time *high five* if you need another one next year i’ll happily dish one out :p

You have no idea how many lives you inspire, keep doing what you’re doing and be happy yes!

Marie-Claire xxxxx

p.s. caaaaaaaaan not wait for the book! 😀

September 22, 2010 at 10:27 am
Bletherskite says:

Derren, that was wonderfully written and makes me just want to give you a big hug and tell you to ignore them.

The amount of bile spewed out on the internet always amazes me and my overwhleming impression is that most of it comes from people who are jealous, under achieving and have no creative talent of their own. Not everyone has to think positively of every person or every thing but some comments out there on the old interweb just defy commonsense and common decency.

Personally, I think you have done a wonderful job in your career, come across as a genuine and lovely human being and the world is even more lovely for having you in it.

I hope Matt also realises the positive response far outweighs the negative and that it is his journey – no one elses.

New Book = Yay”

September 22, 2010 at 10:44 am

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with a previous poster, who said that you write beautifully. I like your writing style and will be happy to see the new book when it arrives.

I am left wondering again about the personality style of performers, and those in the creative arts – this is always a fascinating area for me. The things you’ve written here, in their honesty, got me thinking about the fragility of the creative performing ‘ego’ (and I include myself here too).

Don’t let the buggers get you down. I like what you do, I like how you do it.

September 22, 2010 at 10:45 am

I’ve recently discovered that what I hate more than criticism is silence.
Loved Hero, it was superb and we’ve been watching Derren reruns of old shows on tv; talented AND funny….when someone’s mobile phone goes off halfway through a show “don’t answer that, it’s going to be really bad news” cracked me up. Which is kind of sick really…….
Really looking forward to reading the book.

September 22, 2010 at 10:52 am
Hopey Hope says:

Did I write a wonderfull response .. don’t I forget the captcha code and when you press back your text is gone .. That was not the case before, too bad. I dont like doing the same once again, so wont type it again.

Lots of thoughts got triggered by this post, most def. should not be put here. Loved Chase .. .. must have amazing strength and control .. Body popping and hip hop and such show that too in some areas. Good camera work as well !

Now, Derren .. may we expect you to do a ‘duet’ with Chase in the nearby future? I always heard (from you) that you were not such a sporty type of person but apparently …. (*grinning*). He seems too young to have been with you in kindergarten .. he probably needed to outrun you all the time and nowadays he reuses that skill .. .

September 22, 2010 at 10:53 am
Gemma says:

I can’t wait to get this book x I would love to read a full auto biography of yourself. I find you so intresting!!! Can’t wait for the show in Sunderland next year! See you then! X x xx

September 22, 2010 at 10:54 am
Kevin Hewitt says:

They say there’s a book in everyone – so how come so many people wriggle out of it then? Unless that is, you are the one & only Mr Derren Brown!

September 22, 2010 at 10:59 am
Ross Coshell - Suffolk says:

Yep thats a pre-order from me. Well done! See you on tour next year. Great Work.

September 22, 2010 at 11:21 am
Richard says:

Dear God, thank you for getting ‘cappuccini’ and ‘panino’ right! Makes me want to scream when they get that wrong. I blame Starbucks.

September 22, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Everything I am about to write sounds like a cliche and most of it has already been written here by others.

Your vulnerability, honesty and creativity are part of what propels you forward, thank goodness for that, so that we can selfishly benefit from them!

What others write, says so much more about them than about you…so keep on being the man you are with all your strengths and weaknesses….and new books to your name!

Sadly cant afford to see you in Oxford next year for the new tour, so will have to hope I get the new book for xmas!

September 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm
Mark says:

@iain Qualifications?

Last time I checked friends who have the highest of qualifications can’t even get a job. My doctor is useless and he’s got qualifications. I’ve got qualifications and they didn’t get me anywhere and still haven’t (wrong subject choice) and that was probably down to getting ill advised by a qualified “careers advisor”.

It’s just that some people are made to do something while others get the qualification but aren’t made for the job. Derren was well suited to this project and to think he needs to be qualified means you have a clouded understanding of Derren.

September 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm
Chirag says:

Great a new book! Thank you so much Derren for working on this. Pre-ordered already 😉

I hope everything goes well getting it released and hope the reviewers don’t get to you too much!

September 22, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Dearest Lord Brown,

Those that criticize others are merely criticizing themselves of course!

I know that doesn’t stop negative comments putting a crimp in your day (it always does with me too!) but just feel pity for the gutless critics who would rather attack others instead of daring to look at themselves!

At the end of the day, you have done some amazing and life-changing things for a great many people.
How many critics can boast of doing that?
I rest my case.

And I bow my knee to Earth’s greatest Jedi… 😉

September 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm
Mike Foot says:

Can’t wait for this new boom after Tricks of the Mind was amazing!!!!!. I wouldn’t worry about reviews as most of the people who write them haven’t actually done anything with their lives and take it out on other people who are infinately more talented. As Ricky Gervais once put it critics are C**ts.
Can’t wait for this book


September 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm
Soph says:

Bloody hell, I just realised the person you were quoting was a ‘hypnotist’ called Ken Webster. I saw him in Blackpool once and he was shockingly bad. We left halfway through because he was so appalling, both as an entertainer and as a human being. Please don’t let this imbacile’s opinions affect you. You are a million times better than he can ever hope to be – both as an entertainer and as a human being!

Abeo, please march Derren to his computer on threat of pain and make him read all this so he can see how beloved he is 🙂

September 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm
iain says:

@mark – i agree…there are plenty of people out there without qualifications, that truly want to help others, and try their very best to do so – yet are painted in the same light, via a mighty broad brushstroke and lumped in together with a minority of vulture-like alternatives…

just as some therapists have been arrested for having sex with their patients, it doesnt mean ALL therapists do; and just because some tarot readers prey on people, doesnt mean ALL readers do…

i hope that the derrenites within the mentalism community who try to mimick him, and “do it like derren did it” rather than just take inspiration from him, do not now think that because they bought a dvd on hypnosis they can run around trying to make people “better”…

September 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm
Ged says:

Derren, next time you’re feeling the barbs of anonymous internet criticism, think of the scene from Jay And Silent Bob Strikes Back where they’re reading reviews of “Bluntman And Chronic” posted on the web. Should bring some levity to the situation ; )
…and perhaps substitute some of your own dialogue involving penis-stirred beverages!

September 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm
Siraph says:

I’ve never posted on any of your blogs, but, just so you know, I felt quite empowered myself after watching Hero. Granted, I live in America and had some trouble getting a chance to see it. But, afterwards, I can honestly say it was the most incredible thing I’ve seen you do (Aside from maybe the end of Something Wicked This Way Come… and maybe Messiah). And the train thing with Matt? Man, I was genuinely like, “I can’t believe you would actually do this.”

My point? If people don’t hate you, you must be doing something wrong. Unless, of course, everyone hates you. Then you’re probably doing something wrong. But, from all these other posts, it’s clear that not everyone does. And that, really, people are just jealous of how awesome Hero really was.

September 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm


“Hero” is your finest work yet, end of argument.

No doubt the Epsilon Semi-Morons who question its authenticity would honk like happy seals if you’d made white tigers drop through a trapdoor instead. Or lottery balls… 😉

Fuck ’em. You’re Derren Brown and they’re not. Without exception, the critics are either jealous, fools, or both. All are blissfully unqualified to pass judgement and their pointless rantings are thus of no consequence.

And as for Matt, he really was a hero and inspired every single one of my friends who watched his incredible journey.

Bravo, sir. Milton Erickson would be proud of you.

Kind regards,
Mark McA

September 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Amazing post. Thanks for info.

September 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm
Laura James says:

It would be lovely, if in my travels, I could be at your book signing. But alas, I won’t be anywhere but America and Canada as of late. Congrats.

September 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm
Alex says:

I’ll be pre-ordering it soon!

September 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm
Cathy says:

Well, I for one think you’re brilliant! I also thought your last book was great and am very much looking forward to this one. I’m a book-person (albeit unemployed by other rouge, nasty book-people) so am cheekily going to consider myself in your compliment of our group 🙂 I know how much hard work goes into getting a book out there, only for some snotty-nosed reader to point out an incorrect comma, or scoff that they didn’t enjoy it – screw them, you wrote a book, what did they ever do?! Cx

September 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm
Steve says:

Don’t worry Derren. We all love you. I reckon there are far more of us 😉

September 22, 2010 at 7:10 pm
Kyla says:

Your reverse sculpture potrait makes me think of the busts Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Sorry. I don’t know how you would feel about it being related to those.. but I’m pretty sure they were done in a way similar to what you descrbed. If it IS the same, I think that something like that of you will be fantastic.

Can’t wait for the book! I hope it ships to Canada.

September 22, 2010 at 8:21 pm
Paul Harrison says:

Do you think there may be a chance of a little snippet of the first few pages of the book to whet our appetites on the blog?
Can’t wait for this – it’s on my Christmas list……

September 22, 2010 at 8:43 pm
karen says:

i just wish all the people who say nasty things about you would stop even just for a second to think about what they r doing, they have to realise that you are a normal human being (well kind of, your a bit scary sometimes lol only joking ) and u have feelings too and u get upset when u read things like that, just because the career path that u chose to take puts u on tv and u are a celebrity (i dont like saying that but its true) doesnt mean u are immune to having feelings. they obv dont have a heart and love setting out to upset people

but derren there are loads of people out there who love you and love what u do (me for one) i just hope you read all these comments so that u can see just how loved you really are 🙂

September 22, 2010 at 8:47 pm
Swuava says:

After about 200 responses I feel this is obsolete and a waste of time but here it is.
Just to make the moderator’s work a bit more hard. HAH

Msg from Abeo: I live for comments! 😉 hah

September 22, 2010 at 9:43 pm
Eric says:

Here’s a cool reverse sculpture you can make yourself:

Looking forward to the book! Loved ‘Hero”

September 23, 2010 at 12:17 am
human says:

……their criticism says more about them than you…..i wish someone would help me unlock my potential….keep on astounding and confounding…

September 23, 2010 at 5:04 am
Mandi says:

Dearest……….. you can pop your cock in my drink anytime you like……… I wont be offended but I will probably put it on ebay!

September 23, 2010 at 8:29 am
Gareth says:

Hero was a wonderful TV moment and a million times more important than the crud that’s current ly pumped out of the idiot box. My wife and I were in tears at the end. Well done you! Looking forward to the new book and I hope you come to Ireland with the new tour.

September 23, 2010 at 9:58 am
CherryJ says:

*Nods* What Soph said ^
Please show Derren these comments. They might help balance out the thoughtless ones.

September 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm
cindy says:

Well, Derren I personally found Hero at… very enjoyable and was moved at the end of the programme.It was significant for me too as I lost my job on 8.9.10 so inspired me to get on with looking for new work.
I hope you and especially Matt weren’t too upset by the synics and critics.The media in this country is very critical of acts of kindness.Perhaps the journalists should stick to reporting facts and keep their opinions out of the papers!
Can’t wait to buy a copy of your new book.Good luck with the launch.

September 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm

2 tickets for DB at Times Cheltenham Literature Festival:

September 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm
Nicola says:

Derren, I hope you read these comments – what else can we do to show you how much we all appreciate your work? Looking forward to book and show!

September 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm
Meg says:

Derren, all you need to do is put a jack-in-the-box on the doorsteps of all the haters.
That’ll freak ’em out… and hopefully shut them up.

September 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm
A says:

Derren, just in case you read this… Stephen Fry once said something along the lines of, “On meeting Peter and Paul at the pearly gates, it will come time for the critic to state what he has done with his life, and he will be obliged to reply, ‘I looked at things other people had created and told them they weren’t good enough’.”

Despite the absence of literal pearly gates, I think we both – all, by the look of the number of comments on this blog – know you’d have a much more impressive CV.

I know that doesn’t stop it from hurting. But like it or not, you’re a pretty wonderful person. Much love x

September 23, 2010 at 11:30 pm
Scott Mackenzie says:

Derren, I have watched you on TV for all of those, too short 10 years. I read the book, watched youtube clips (never seen on TV) and earlier this year saw you live in the Edinburgh Playhouse. I watched you closely enough that I figured some of the wonders out. But you know what, every person I have spoken to about the show heard me say the same things ” you have to watch his Enigma show when it gets broadcast on Channel 4 at christmas” and “his performance is a truly, truly wonderful thing to see. He is immensely talented and is the absolute master of his craft”

All of your secrets have stayed …secret. You and your team should be roundly proud of your ability to entertain and astonish. Stay true to your vision and goals. And sod the arsehole critics.

September 24, 2010 at 10:05 am
Emma S-R says:

WOOHOO! Just pre-ordered mine!

September 24, 2010 at 5:10 pm
Cathy says:

Yaaaaay, books! 😀
Can’t wait till next month, Derren.

(plus the emotes are back 🙂 )

September 25, 2010 at 2:35 am
Ron L Hubbard says:

For what it’s worth, Hero managed to muster up a little man-tear for me along with a feeling of nice fuzzy warmness, loveliness and hope inside. It meant something. The last time that happened there was also a multi-million pound budget, a full orchestra and a cast of world class actors. You should be proud Mr B and Co.

September 30, 2010 at 7:56 pm
Shaun says:

I have never read a blog before. This one is my first and what a brilliant read it was. As so many have already said. You are something different Derren, something special.

I wish you all the best in the rest of your career and I will be following you as much as possible.

You inspire me.

Thank You

October 3, 2010 at 4:32 pm
Linda says:

Derren, DON’T listen to all those idiots who seem to have it in for you. After watching Hero I was in tears – in a happy way – for Matt.. In fact I was so inspired that although disabled I made up my mind to try and get to the Dr Who prom next year in London and if I make it, it will be thanks to you (and whoever I can get to drive me!). Having lived 5 doors away from you for years and then suddenly realising you were the same person I had been watching with shock and awe for some time, I am now one of the first on the phone every time you manage to make it to Bristol. Keep going, it might all be misdirection etc. but you’ve managed to inspire me at least.

October 4, 2010 at 5:06 am
Drake says:

Dear Derren,

In answer to those critics:

October 5, 2010 at 4:50 am
bobby says:

Dear Derren, I found ‘Hero’ to be one of your finest works and the equal of ‘Heist’ (the only qualms I had was ‘werther effect’ copycats with the train section). It actually had a profound effect on me for a variety of reasons. Don’t worry about the negativity of snobs, your programmes are one of the few things that I actually pay my TV dues for. That and the odd Attenborogh wild-life show and the occasional period drama. There’s very little to be proud of and I admire your integrity. Reminds of the great Randi and his £1,000,000 challenge to the fakes.

I’d also like to suggest two concepts for shows which would be up your street, one dark and one light. The first maybe as controversial as ‘Russian Roulette’ and ‘Heist’ was, so beware.

CONCEPT 1: The Manchurian ASSASSIN ’68?

October 5, 2010 at 5:16 am
bobby says:

If as all investigators into the RFK assassination believe (see films, ‘The Second Gun’, ‘RFK must Die’, C4’s 1988 one hour special which I have in my collection) that RFK was killed by a hypnotised assassin, who according to himself was triggered into a trance state by a woman asking him as question about coffee and the next thing he knew, he was being wrestled to the ground. Would it be possible to replicate the Hotel scenario, with patsy Sirhan firing blanks & with the real assassin shooting point blank three inches from behind Senator Kennedy? (Project MKULTRA). You obviously can’t use drugs, as has been claimed and safe gaurds would have to be placed, too. It would be quite fascinating. The person would have to actually like and admire the candidate, as Sirhan did RFK!

October 5, 2010 at 5:37 am
bobby says:

Anyway, thanks for some terrific programmes, and don’t worry about the naysayers.

hmmm, come to think about it, how about a show that shows us how to avoid the negativity and corporate brain-washing? Too side by side set of teams of twins…one with techniques, the other without 😉

October 20, 2010 at 7:41 pm
Maisie says:

teach me to paint pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeee xxxxxxxx

October 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm
tia wood says:

when can you come to halifax and do a show at the victoria theatre?

October 23, 2010 at 10:35 pm
Eve says:

Think your book was amazing, the thought patterens I could relate to made it interesting, as always the humour brilliant!
Love the cringsome stuff you are selfless enough to share, don’t know if I could ever be that honest!!
Great book, love your live show and TV work!!xxx

November 1, 2010 at 9:18 pm
Cina says:

Well, I know it is a long time since Hero at 30000 feet went to air but I was only just introduced to you and your work this weekend. My sister and her man described the show as the best piece of television they have seen in many years (though, if you asked them to recall the last piece of television that deserved such an accolade I’m not such that they could) and happily watched it a second time (third?) with me on 4oD (in fact they don’t even have a TV, that’s how picky they are about their viewing choices). My week-end in Brighton turned into what can only be described as a Derren-Brown-fest! Your TV work is fascinating, inspiring, entertaining and somewhat shocking. The Heist for instance, what to say? Stunned. Hero, of course, fantastic on so many levels.
Thank you Derren Brown.

November 11, 2010 at 9:34 pm


Hero at 30000 feet was a marvelous, sincere, moving piece of television.
I enjoyed it very much indeed….Bravo!
Do more like it…don’t listen to the naysayers.

November 18, 2010 at 2:38 am
red says:

You really do seduce peoples minds quite literally and connect with them on a very deep level, while you challenge their intellect you simultaneously challenge there emotions by loosely flinging your deepest thoughts and insecurities at them. I’ve just started your book, and its amazing 🙂 i shall think of you whenever i draw a portrait, and whenever my mind flicks back to the smell and feel of my primary school toilets. A truly beautiful mind you possess. A role model.

December 14, 2010 at 3:32 pm
Penny says:

Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your book. Was a pleasure to read from start to finish. Thank you for a good think!

December 14, 2010 at 8:27 pm
Rachel says:

My Mum won’t let me get the book 🙁 Aahh well, I could always ask my Dad or use a bit of violent bribery on my Sister 😉 love all your work and can’t wait to try and get your book (the fact that it has your pretty face on the front was a big selling point though 😉 )

January 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm
Tabitha says:

I think you and your work is amazing, i will be seeing your Svengali tour if it comes to Manchester (: xx

January 13, 2011 at 1:08 am
steven nixon says:

speechless. alot to say but i know what is meant, dont want to seem a tit.

January 15, 2011 at 10:05 am
zoe says:

sometimes u can be so hard on urself, derren.

jast wanna say, i love ur parrots! ther sooooooo cute!

January 15, 2011 at 10:08 am
zoe says:

ther may be awful comments from pepol but thts only rond about… 10%. the other 90% is wonderful comments!!!

January 16, 2011 at 1:32 am
Gareth says:

I want to take back my previous comments…if you choose page 14….daily mail (derren brown wants to perform at my wedding) I guess subliminal messages don’t work with text….(perfrom at my wedding for a very moderate price) very moderate

January 17, 2011 at 8:18 pm
michelle says:

hi derren,admired your latest novel well done.inspired me in many ways in day to day little things we do in life and kindness we should give each other.i adore in the work you create an expert, how you trick the mind and a fool becomes one. love to see you perform some time in ireland. indeed i must also say your very handsome.michelle.

March 30, 2011 at 7:17 pm
mad dog says:


May 30, 2011 at 11:10 pm
rob_nawa says:

Reassuring to read of the vulnerabilities, I have total sympathy with being sensitive and I have one of the ‘smallest’ lives of anyone I know, with little or no sticking my head above any kind of public parapet. Its nice to know that someone can overcome ones personal self projections and the ignorant negative projections of others(even if they still create a few mental eddys). Aspiring to honesty and respectfulness are our future as far as i see it, and in any times it can be quite a lonely road.
I just hope that someday i too might make steps towards what i may be positively capable of and consequentially benefit others also.
Bet Swishes for everyones understanding and becoming who they may need to be.

April 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm
Gillian N says:

I seem to be a slow starter in reading your book (a delightful present), but it was one of the best reads I have had in a long time. I fully appreciate your obvious intellect, your insight and your complete lack of arrogance, however, it was your humour that propelled me though the pages at daredevil speed. I unashamedly choked upon my sniggers in the doctor’s waiting room on Monday and in the confines of my living room, I laughed my unmatched socks off when you talked about the penultimate step in your ‘skipping the step out ‘ routine.

Its rare that my humour travels the short distance from my brain to my face, but your book was like pushing it down a well oiled chute. Thank you Derren!