Posted in Derren Brown News

Posted by Derren Brown News June 1, 2009 at 11:26 am

Published today in The Times:

Derren Brown: mind over magic

“I’m always slightly beset by embarrassment about being a magician,” whispers Derren Brown, the most successful magician we’ve had since Paul Daniels fever gripped the nation three decades ago. Right now, another kind of fever is gripping Brown: in a dim dressing-room in Oxford, where his latest stage show has stopped off en route to the West End, he is surrounded by vials of bubbling potions and healing magic powders. Well, OK, bottles of Benylin and sachets of Lemsip. He’s lost his voice. He’s looking pale. Can the show go on?

A couple of hours later, Brown sounds a tiny bit croaky but looks anything but embarrassed as he performs the hell out of his latest mix of “magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship”. As with his three previous live shows, he reads audience member’s minds and even attempts to put us all into a trance. He ends, as ever, with a feat that makes you realise that even the most casual look and comment has been there for a reason. It’s so satisfyingly mind-melting that you come out of the theatre longing to shout about it — and then remember that you’ve all been sworn to secrecy. Well, fair enough. Take the surprises out of magic and what is left of it?

Hence, perhaps, Brown’s moments of self-doubt. He is, at 38, a magician so ingenious that he’s even persuaded us that he’s not a magician. He performs “psychological illusions” that emphasise the strange machinations of the human mind, not the nimbleness of his sleight-of-hand. He shows us the ways in which we get befuddled and duped, even as he befuddles and dupes us. It’s quite a trick. But is that all it is?

“One of the problems with magic,” Brown says a few days later, his voice medicated back to its normal easy clarity, “is that it’s such a fascinating thing to do, but all the things that are genuinely interesting about it are things you can’t really talk about. You have to hold so much back. So because people know they’re being fooled and it’s just a game, after a while the act begins to grate. Which is why most magicians are loved for a while and then become figures of fun.”

In person, Brown is self-deprecating, straighforward and courteous, giving every impression of being a long way from buying into his own myth. Or any myths, come to that. He has devoted his television specials to highlighting the ways in which we are fooled, taking rationalist pot shots at psychics (The Seance), religion (Messiah) and, best of all, his own self-professed ability to devise an infallible gambling system (The System). If you’ve read his book, Tricks of the Mind, you’ll know that this former fundamentalist Christian no longer has time for mumbo-jumbo of any kind. For the overtly fake, however, such as the stuffed animals that fill his London flat, he has rather more time.

What’s their appeal? “It’s all about verisimilitude. I’m fascinated by things that look real and aren’t. You start out with a couple of things because you like the look of them, and then your standard for what’s normal slowly changes.” How does his boyfriend Mark, a designer, like sharing a home with these creatures? “Oh, he loves it,” Brown says. “He appreciates that side of me, the gothic sensibility. He’s even got a skunk in his studio.”

Brown has been fascinated by questions of what’s false and what’s real since he was a child in Croydon. The elder of two brothers — his sibling, nine years younger, works in marketing — he attended Whitgift, a private boys’ school in Croydon, where his father was the swimming coach. “A gorgeous school,” he says, “though I had a bit of a hard time.” He fell in with a nerdish set — “we were known as the music-school gang, or less charitably referred to as the poof pack” — but drew away from them in the sixth form, when he started drawing caricatures of the teachers. “I imagine I liked being the centre of attention,” he says. “I wasn’t musical, I was quite bright but not staggeringly so. I must have been grating enough because I was picked on a bit by the sportier, nastier kids. But I don’t know anyone from school any more so I don’t really know what they thought of me.”

After getting three As in his A levels — better than he expected — he went to Bristol to study law and German. “University is where I became unbearable,” he chuckles. “I was able to start again and show off.” He got interested in hypnotism, then magic. Soon he was putting on shows — and walking around in a cape. “I was quite self-consciously eccentric. I was desperate for attention. But performing validated that need. So gradually I got less determinedly strange.”

He began to see his religious belief as self-delusion. “I used to go out and proselytise for Christianity; I’d go out with my set of arguments and lay them down, bam bam bam. And then when I was a hypnotist I began to see circular belief at work and began to think: ‘Well, that’s what I must be doing with my faith.’ I’m now annoyingly rational, rather annoyingly pedantic sometimes.” Indeed, no claim is too small for him to question its veracity. Intrigued by the boasts of a (shall we say) leading battery-powered four-blade razor, he’s recently been shaving one half of his face with the powered version, the other half with the unpowered. He’s found no difference. But, he adds, “I didn’t keep it up for long enough to make it a proper test, just a week.”

After university, he stayed in Bristol, signing on for a couple of years while looking for work as a magician. He began working in a party show and a Lazerquest at weekends, demonstrating tricks, then eventually got a regular gig at a restaurant. “It was a tremendously useful time,” he says. “I found myself as a performer.”

In Portraits, his new book of celebrity caricatures — painted, from photographs, in the spare room of his flat — he suggests that he was as happy then, pottering around with little money, as he is now being rich and famous. “I went from having not very much to do to a point now where I’m so busy that I missed it. I’ve possibly romanticised that time a little.”

Did he have boyfriends during that time? “No, I was a lone wolf. If I was going to, say, a play, an opera, a film, something that I felt was going to affect me, I’d always want to go on my own. I’d think that going with another person would in some way dilute the experience. I’ve softened now. I’ve got more friends, a partner.”

He got the television show when he was in his late twenties, after the magician and comedian Jerry Sadowitz recommended him to his manager Michael Vine (now Brown’s manager). But before he made it to the screen, he was asked to dye his brown locks black to make him look more imposing. “I had what I called my purple rinse, a frock suit, it was all more stylised. The Russian Roulette show was the first time I wore just an ordinary suit.”

And it was after the death-defying live Russian Roulette stunt in 2003 — devised deliberately to get him noticed — that Brown became seriously successful. Tours. West End shows. More ambitious specials that extended his scope even farther away from capes and cards into perception, psychology, debunking. But, he insists, it’s a mistake to try to make each trick more outrageous than the last. “From day one,” he says, “I was being called scary. It’s just unavoidable. But what I do, rather than trying always to go one bigger, is to do what interests me. If you just go bigger and bigger, like David Blaine — he started with card tricks in the street then moved on to those endurance tests — well, that’s one choice. But my approach seems a better exercise in longevity. And I wouldn’t be comfortable being more famous than I am.”

It was at about the time of The Seance, in 2006, that he stopped taking the Tube. Then again, if people recognise him, they’re not always sure if he’s Blaine, or Uri Geller, or Paul McKenna. And, even though he’s got celebrity fans-cum-friends such as Stephen Fry and Ian McKellen, he admits being as interested as anyone else in what some celebrity is really like. So he knows people will wonder the same of him. “When I’m in a shop, not making a big effort to be nice, I always have a gut-wrenching feeling if the person behind the counter says something that suggests that they know who I am. Then I find myself making an extra big attempt to be nice.” He smiles, shrugs. “It’s difficult.”

He is amazed, he says, when his friends accuse him of being a workaholic — in his mind he’s still the slacker he was in his twenties. (Mind you, when Brown was “slacking” he still managed to get two books on magic published.) Is he making hay while the sun shines? Yes, he says. He knows what he’s doing up to Christmas 2010. But he also says that he does only work that he likes. The live shows are fun, and lucrative. He’s writing another book — about what, he won’t say. He’s doing four television specials in September, which, he admits guiltily, are a temporary return to what he calls “the look-at-me-aren’t-I-clever? approach”. And he has just filmed his first documentary, in which he appears as a kind of quack-buster of the paranormal. “It was amazing. My own shows take eight months of every year and this took a week. A week! Maybe I could do a bit more of that in the future.”

First, though, his book of portraits is published this week. More appearance and reality. His earlier works are effective, but crude compared with more recent paintings of the likes of David Tennant (long neck, eyebrows) and a bulbous John Malkovich. They’re a striking mix of the grotesque and the almost photorealistic. “That’s what I’m aiming for,” he says. “It’s a bit like with the magic. You grow out of the desire to impress, but as you reach your mid-thirties, you wonder if it’s any good. Pictures of celebrities seem a bit childish, but out of that has come a more painterly approach, something a bit more grown-up.”

Brown talks quite a lot about being grown-up. He’s done as much as anyone to redefine what magic can do, to extend its reach beyond “abracadabra!” into the real world. Yet still there’s a tiny doubt: is what I’m doing still, maybe, just a bit naff? Am I, finally, more fake than real?

“There’s a definite shift that men go through in their thirties: is what I’m doing worthwhile? Am I destined for bigger things? I don’t mean that in an aggrandising way. But the things I do are all based on interests I developed when I was an attention-seeking student. Well, what I’ve realised is that, actually, if you’re good at something, that’s fine. It’s fine just to do something that you do well — it doesn’t have to be hard. But if the people you admire are people who’ve worked incredibly hard to be different, there is a pressure to follow their example.

“I don’t think magic is an art. It’s a craft, although it can be taken to the level of art. Magic of any sort, there is a dishonesty to it. But if you feel that what you do has to be personal and fresh, that is a constant challenge. And that’s a good thing, to feel like that. It makes sure it’s not just tricks. If all you do is magic, and you take it very, very seriously — as magicians do — you can’t help but lose sight of the bigger picture. But if you can have one foot in magic and one foot outside, if you are interested in other things and bring those things in, that’s good. But you still wonder if it’s good enough.”

Maybe magic isn’t an art. But doesn’t something like The System — which managed to be royally entertaining and genuinely enlightening — offer just the kind of reminder of our own blinkered thinking that art aims to provide?

“I was talking to a guy yesterday,” Brown says, “who told me that his mother, on the basis of the TV shows, had stopped going to psychics. And she was questioning her Pentecostal religious beliefs as well. Which was lovely to hear — I don’t mean that in a destructive way, I hope. But it does balance that worry that it’s all a bit silly and childish. If people are taking something away from it that applies to their lives then it makes it all worthwhile.”

There’s a pause, then Brown erupts into a cheerful, self-mocking laugh. “That sounds like the last line of the interview, doesn’t it? ‘Derren Brown is appearing at the Adelphi Theatre, London . . .’ ” Damn it. Outwitted again.

Derren Brown: Enigma is at the Adelphi, London WC2 (0844 5790090), from June 15 to July 18.

June 1, 2009 at 11:49 am

Really brilliant interview. Incredibly intelligent and insightful. Thank you!

June 1, 2009 at 11:53 am
Berber Anna says:

Lovely interview. And for what it’s worth, I do believe some of the TV shows (particularly Trick or Treat) are genuinely helpful to a lot of people, as they show fallacies in the way we think and remedies for those fallacies. I know that the kitten episode helped me get through a rather bad period in my life (I made a motivational poster of it to help me remember that, even… it has a pic of a kitten, and ‘DO NOT KILL THE KITTEN (NO REALLY, DON’T)’ written on it in red and black marker :P).
I like the style of this article, too — not the q&a that a lot of interviews default to, but a nicely coherent story. Cool.

June 1, 2009 at 12:06 pm
Ben says:

Excellent interview.

June 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm
Hannah says:

Thanks for posting that interview! It just proves how hard Derren has worked to get where he has! He deserves it! x

June 1, 2009 at 12:36 pm
Andy says:

A very interesting and indepth interview!

Looking forward to hearing what the new book is about. Going on current blog topics I’m going to guess it’ll be atheism related rather than magic or mind reading, only time will tell!

June 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm
Flapjack says:

Berber Anna – Ashamed to admit I never actually saw the kitten stunt, and I’m starting to feel I missed out on something big as it keeps cropping up here. Can you explain or link to it?

June 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm
Tash says:

great interview – and by the way you did an amazing show in oxford derren, despite your really sore throat.xxxx

June 1, 2009 at 12:53 pm
Rob says:

BUt is Bristol a REAL Uni? I thought it was founded by a rich daddy who’s son failed every other uni?


June 1, 2009 at 12:55 pm
Rob says:

and by the way… whos ABEO? seems like a new admin in Brown Towers.


June 1, 2009 at 1:10 pm
Abeo says:

Moi? 🙂

From the ‘POST’ page:
“Our full time comment moderator Abeo will gladly slap your wrists and block your IP should you post anything unsavoury or any comment that might act as a spoiler.” 😉

June 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm
Berber Anna says:

Flapjack: Try a search of ‘Trick or treat series 2 episode 2’ on Youtube or Google Video, that should find it 😉

June 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

“From day one,” he says, “I was being called scary. It’s just unavoidable.”
Poor Derren Brown. He’s all “Well, I’m scary as all get-out, why fight it? I’m gonna go creep up on and abduct people, then do horrible things to them like stage their own deaths and knock them off tightropes.”
And that’s how Trick or Treat came to be.

June 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm
ReliegiousMarie says:

Great read Deárren…and i cannot even begin to explain the many kinds of insights i´ve taken from all your art…as that´s what it all really is in my eyes…tata x

here are some links to the kitten episodes

June 1, 2009 at 2:52 pm
Flapjack says:

Berber Anna/ Religiousmarie – thanks for the intended links but I’m guessing that youtube has an anti-kitten annihilation policy as it either informs me that the video contravenes the user agreement or tells me this video isn’t available in this country.
What do I have to do to see kittens get annihilated round here? I’m going to call Dr. Schrodinger, and see if he’s reached any useful conclusions yet 😉

June 1, 2009 at 2:54 pm
teevee says:

I have enjoyed Derren’s humor and illusions for years. Getting a peek at his true personality was a treat. Thank you.

June 1, 2009 at 3:03 pm
Lady Claire says:

A wonderfully insightful interview. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Claire x

June 1, 2009 at 3:05 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Flapjack, what country are you in?? I saw Marie’s link just fine.
Anyway, it’s all very terrible and terrifying and someone cries at the end and all that, but the best part is the YouTube comments. YouTube comments on Derren Brown clips are pure comedy gold. Highlights:

“to make someone unconcious you can over whelm the mind with quick random events (shake hand, while adding 12 million and 45.343 times 32 for example) so if he used a bright light that flashed verry quickly and a loud noise of some sort, you could thereiticly make some one unciouncious ”

Sweet. I’m going to start performing calculations while shaking hands and see if anyone passes out.

“how does he kill that guy by looking at him”

Channel 4 is really pushing the boundaries of “legal” these days, apparently.

“dude you dont know how mutch i love you for uploading this but dont hurt kittens there cute 😀 and lovely and snugly fluffy and muffy
oke i will stop now 😀 ”


June 1, 2009 at 3:18 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:


June 1, 2009 at 3:43 pm
Hayley says:

To Berber Anna:

Thank you so much for your post – you’ve made me feel slightly less ridiculous!!!

I did the same thing years ago after seeing Derren perform a trick with a voodoo doll in Epping forest. I spent weeks raucously screeching “I can move my feet! I give myself permission! I CAN MOVE MY FEET!!”. I was lucky not to get sectioned… Dramatic and ludicrous as it sounds, that insight changed my life. Everything changed from there and I’ve literally never been happier.

Please continue to not kill the kitten, and all the best. x : )

Ps Loved the the Derren interview as much as everyone else seemed to – always happy to hear him sounding all human and everything ; )

June 1, 2009 at 4:01 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Now I feel kind of dumb because my usual reaction to watching this stuff is to go “wait, what just happened” and have another drink, and instead of improving myself afterwards I just attempt to do impressions of what I saw by hiding behind corners then jumping out on people yelling “I’M DERREN F*CKING BROWN, SURPRISE!”
I think I might be defective and missing the point of everything he does, but at least I am happy, right?

June 1, 2009 at 4:34 pm
Berber Anna says:

Flapjack: Strange, I can see it here just fine, and I’m not in the UK — maybe it’s limited to Europe? Anyway, without giving too much away, it’s about negative thought patterns and how to avoid getting lost in them.

Hayley: I know the trick you mean, I thought it was pretty cool (especially the little sleight with the ring). Belief is everything, huh? 😉

SGC: Maybe you just don’t need improving… we could be the defective ones, needing to be fixed, while you just need to be entertained 😉
Oh, and I still do not understand WHY everyone seems to find Derren so scary. He’s one of the least scary people I’ve ever met… he can do some scary tricks, sure, but he doesn’t seem like the kind of person that would ever willingly harm someone. To me, that signifies trustworthy, i.e. not scary…

June 1, 2009 at 4:46 pm
figaro the parrott says:

What a great interview Derren always comes across well in interviews what a charming and articulate man he is. Mark is a very lucky man.All the best for everything in the future Derren hope you continue to amaze and inspire us all XxX

June 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm
Rachael says:

I’m not sure how universal it is, or in fact what country you’re in, but you can watch the whole kitten episode on ‘4od’ –

I would like to think that curiosity would only get the better of me in that situation because in the back of my mind, i simply wouldn’t believe anyone who said that you could legally do that on tv… (or maybe not even legally (i have no idea how legal or otherwise it is actually, i presume it’s not very legal…) – but without risking having animal rights protesters picketing your front door… hmmm… maybe we should try it… ::)

June 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Berber Anna: people think he’s scary because sometimes he throws them into lakes and sets fake zombies on them and leaves them cowering on the floor convinced they are trapped in boxes. But sometimes he just gives them a bike or beats them at poker instead, so I guess it balances out. Kind of. Sort of. A bit. Not at all.

June 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm
Hayley says:

To Berber Anna,

Thanks for your reply, I don’t think Derren’s scary either, he’s a sweetheart. I loved Trick or Treat and think the theatrical dressing (i.e. ickle beardie demon in glowing red light) was a great bit of misdirection from giving consenting people the exciting learning experience of a lifetime. He’s getting to be quite the softy nowadays and I love it! x

June 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm
Mr Woolf says:

Enjoyed reading this interview. Thanks for posting it 🙂

Is good to know that it is actually possible to evolve from being a ‘lone wolf’ to being more popular, confident in yourself and have a stronger belief in your own goals 😉

June 1, 2009 at 6:05 pm
ReliegiousMarie says:

@Flap…you could try to use that way you can actually see it…

June 1, 2009 at 6:29 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Berber Anna and Hayley: I think you guys are confusing the man with the kitten!

June 1, 2009 at 7:40 pm
JJ says:

@Flapjack you can watch every episode Derren has ever done for free on 4OD

June 1, 2009 at 7:59 pm
KatM says:

I go with Berber Anna & Hayley. Can think of very few people in the public eye that I would put complete trust in and Derren is one of them.

June 1, 2009 at 9:06 pm
Gaz says:

Nothing much to say in response, so therefore a pointless post. However, a good readable interview.

June 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm
Ms G says:

AHA! Mark it is then, and a designer. Designing what?
I heard the name Mark around this house already for years … serious … the crows here sounds as if they constantly call for Mark! Mark! … The past week I wondered why it made me think of the name Mark.
Earlier on it reminded me of another Mark, not someone I knew personally, but just the name Mark and then the sound of the crows .. Yes, I can’t hear them without hearing Mark! Mark! No, I did not get visions from your Mark I think .. hehehe … not at all.

So, describe Mark .. how tall … colour of eyes … hair .. shape of face … tone of voice .. Or even better .. vid!
Does not necessarily have to be porn … hehehe … or make that, should not be porn. Grumpy breakfast scenes are good .. Bath tub? Nah … too much risk on romantic stuff (?)

Flat … in Holland a flat is not really what you are living in.

Hm, following the example of those who have worked very hard. Don’t you mean that those might trigger something inside of yourself that was not awaken yet?
Or are you just being modest, or pretending your present status just fell into your lap?
What would you want to be if you were not what you are right now? What could you be other than your present self? The poet from once is using words for other purposes .. in your books I mean. And yes, you use them in many other ways as well.

Life. 230 are no longer among us, I can only hope that they went fast, must have been terrible, up there. those 1 or 2 minutes or so before … It could have been any of all of us. Life and death … existing next to eachother .. we live on . others go … At times when I pass a car accident location I feel the same way … I’m driving there .. very alive .. and someone might be dying overthere .. the feeling that gives on the inside .. is surreal. It empties, they go .. we stay.

June 1, 2009 at 9:25 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Okay. I have made this helpful illustration to make sure you’re not confusing this guy with either his victims or a kitten. I hope this clarifies things. Diagram contains some cusswords, be aware.

June 1, 2009 at 9:41 pm
Cheryl says:

BRILLIANT interview, such a lovely, insightful read 🙂 I agree with what someone said above, a very charming and articulate man 🙂

‘I’d always want to go on my own. I’d think that going with another person would in some way dilute the experience.’ – That’s just expressed something I’ve been trying to find the words for! I prefer watching films by myself especially, I get annoyed when my little sister joins me, or at the cinema when friends continually make comments in my ear >.<

And with reference to the end of the interview, Derren has actually had a drastic change on some of my beliefs, mainly concerning the supernatural. I used to believe in all of it with such conviction, but now I have major doubts…I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad yet!

Again, absolutely brill interview =] x

June 1, 2009 at 9:47 pm
Rachael says:

@ScreamingGreenConure – i think that picture sums up the scene quite nicely!!

@MsG – that was a very um, full-length, yet completely surreal reply…

June 1, 2009 at 11:20 pm
Hayley says:


You make me smile : )

June 2, 2009 at 12:12 am
Berber Anna says:

SGC: Love the illustration, but I’m missing a bit of text… ‘will fuck you right up, then hand you 500 quid’ is a better description, methinks 😛

Seriously, though, some of the stunts are rather scary, but they do usually seem to end on a positive note, so I’m guessing the participants would not rate them as bad experiences. This as opposed to the stuff some TV hypnotists (like Peter Powers, who has a ‘prank your friends’ hypnosis show on Dutch TV) do, which basically just publicly humiliates people without there being any point to it. That’s why I’d trust Derren, but not people like Powers. Dunno… call me crazy, but it’s just a different kind of impression — Derren’s stuff never seems malicious to me.

June 2, 2009 at 12:23 am
unmevsworld says:

When I first saw Derren on SciFi in the US, I thought he was scary. This is so silly, but I was afraid of his website–the old one with the Flash. I wondered if I’d start going crazy or just clucking like a chicken if I stayed on the home page for even a few seconds. Once I read Corinda and Anneman, I had a more realistic perspective.

June 2, 2009 at 1:42 am
Sadun Kal says:

Derren should perform outside the UK too! I’m sure there’ll be enough people to fill the seats in all the big European cities, eg. Berlin.

June 2, 2009 at 3:08 am
Maura says:

Gay men have it made. The number of designers and architects available as partners makes my chick heart jealous.

June 2, 2009 at 5:29 am
no_patients says:

glad to hear someone else made the kitten poster too! lol at the diagram though (that may work as effectively!) Excellent interview, thanks for posting it, gave me the heads up to run to the hospital shop for a copy.

June 2, 2009 at 9:50 am
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Glad you guys liked it – every word on it is Gospel truth. I did leave out the $500 but let’s face it, it was probably blank paper anyway.

June 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm
Rachael says:

@Berber Anna
“Derren’s stuff never seems malicious to me”

I’m not sure about malicious, but, i must confess, i think no matter how many divers you have on hand, there’s something a little sadistic (or maybe ‘over-curious’ would be a more polite term) about kiddnapping someone, tying them up in a sack and pushing them in to a cold lake (basically just to see what happens…). I’d love to know whether derren tried that one himself first :p

Although, there is certainly something about that particular brand of sadism that makes excellent TV, i’ll definitely give them that!

June 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

They should really release a DVD boxed set entitled “Derren Brown: Being a Bit of a Dick to People” and subtitle it “it’s really funny though.” Then they can put Russian Roullette and whichever other ones caused controversy in another box, and title it “Derren Brown: Going a Bit Too Far” and subtitle that “I say, that’s not very responsible, is it?”
I’d buy both, just to clarify my stance on this.

June 2, 2009 at 1:55 pm
Rachael says:

@SGC – ^hehe… awesome… me too

Just to clarify, i don’t imagine that derren is actually scary or especially sadistic – by all accounts he seems to be a genuinely lovely person. I just think that, especially with reference to kittens etc., this should be qualified:

A genuinely lovely person
(who throws people in lakes…
(for the sake of entertaining others with clever tricks…
(but throws people in lakes and tortures people with kittens nonetheless… ;p)))

June 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm
Ms G says:

Berries …. The crow and Berries …. if that is the case … you were not all honest back then …

June 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm
Siobhan says:

I’m sure Derren is lovely and clever and all of that… but come on, he is just a bit scary… I think its the goatee that does it.

Oh yes, and all of the slightly dark trickery…

*picking my wording very carefully here for fear of the dreaded ‘list’*

June 2, 2009 at 6:45 pm
gary says:

This interview seems to be congruent with everything I already perceive of Derren. I especially like the part about his liking things that look real but aren’t. I hope to someday afford his book of drawings. Enjoyed the read.

June 2, 2009 at 7:35 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Siobhan: there probably is no list. Now stop worrying and enjoy your comments!

June 2, 2009 at 7:52 pm
Tammy X says:

Great interview!!

makes me laugh that some people in the world can’t buy the ‘portraits’ book until Thursday! Iv’e had it 2 weeks & it’s signed by the man himself!!

HAHAHAHAHA, Evil laugh!!!

June 2, 2009 at 7:58 pm
Julie says:

That is a great interview and very good photo. A really interesting piece well done to the journo who wrote it. I thought I might know who the partner was but then realised that the person I was thinking of was straight… Or is he? lol. I know it’s none of our business it’s none of our business but being DB fans we do like a mystery :-).

Stay happy lovelies x

June 2, 2009 at 7:59 pm
Julie says:

Oooh bit of deja vu in my last comment, bery stupid of me.


June 2, 2009 at 8:01 pm
Julie says:

Right, I demand an edit button! If only for those of us who are crap typists and a little over keen to submit comments without checking spelling first! (or just me 🙂 )

June 3, 2009 at 12:10 am
Magnus says:

This is a good article an does you credit.
I think you are worrying too much about being ‘nice’ to people
who may recognise you.
You can not be nice all the time, its not normal. Just be yourself and if
people don’t like it thats their hard luck.

June 3, 2009 at 1:15 am
christine says:


i, for one, am scared of things that look real but aren’t.
mind you, i was initially scared of my TT…


June 3, 2009 at 10:14 am
Siobhan says:

@ SGC 🙂 … you do make me laugh…

June 3, 2009 at 11:59 am
Hayley says:

To Siobhan:

What list?

I’ve not been using this forum long, is there something I ought to know? Or indeed, dread?

June 3, 2009 at 3:46 pm
Cherl says:

LMAO at SGC’s comment above! That would be hilarious! xD

June 4, 2009 at 7:11 am

A man as clever as Derren cannot help but wonder if he’s making the most of his time on earth– so let me just gush that his books, TV specials, and even blog, have all been immensely entertaining to me as a hobbyist magician, and just as a human being. The world is so much richer with Derren’s interesting mind at work within it.

Derren is so talented in the deceptive arts that I think he underestimates how difficult it really is to reach anything like his level of performance. I highly doubt I could ever achieve his skill with cards (the skill he seems least self impressed with), even if I practiced day and night for years (and my copy of the Royal Road would wear out first anyhow).

Thanks to Derren I can finally admit to an interest in magic and tell people, “Hey search for Derren Brown on YouTube if you want to see what magic can look like.” I love classical magic acts (Lance Burton is a force of nature on stage) but Derren’s work is something that makes an emotional stamp on the spectator. Thanks DB, your works is worthwhile on a grand scale indeed.

January 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm
zoe says:

OMG i didnt no he was gay.

p.s:i tried the swinging thing tht he done on evening of wonders and its sooooo freaky!!!