As you do. First day of filming, and I shall be meeting our Liverpool medium a little later. We’ll be spending the week together and I’ll be looking at to what extent his quite serious claims really stand up. He’s made a small name for himself, and is typical of many mediums working in the UK. I, as ever, would love it to be true and am hoping he’ll show me things I can’t explain. But his involving himself in murder cases makes me uneasy. I imagine there’ll be some sequences with bereaved parents that I’ll find excruciating. Yet clearly they take much comfort from him. Much to learn, observe and discuss.
XDerren Brown on the Mersey Ferry


Here I am at 5am this morning in the foyer of Hamleys, after a 2 hour night’s sleep. The ‘247 years old’ sign behind me refers to how I feel. The crew had spent the entire night setting up the shoot, and had slept a little amongst the toys. I understand that nothing came alive, which is disappointing This was the last day of filming ‘VTs’ for the sort-of-series for this September. It’ll be four one-hours rather than six half-hours.

Now off for a weekend with Andy, my trusty sidekick, to come up with the stage show that you’ve all paid good money to come and see. From mid-Feb we begin writing and rehearsing it: the next couple of days is just to get our heads around it and find its themes. On Monday off to Liverpool to film for a week, so maybe see one or two of you around and about up there.

Going to have an afternoon sleep before heading off. I do hope the rest of you are a little more rested. X


Richard Wiseman – Blog

From Richard Wiseman – the fantastic owner of the Quirkology experiments – comes his fantastic new blog. He sent us all a message:

Thanks to everyone who has taken part in the New Scientist Face Experiment – we are now looking at the data and hope to have something out by the middle of February.

Also, I have just started a new blog about all things quirky at: richardwiseman.wordpress.com

At the moment there are posts on how to hypnotize various animals, outtakes of quirkology videos, new work on the classic Milgram shock experiments, an amazing ball trick, and lots more.

So, feel free to come and browse, and post a comment or two. As ever, thanks for your continued support and interest.

Best wishes


Today we’re filming with Daniel Kish, an extraordinary teacher of ‘echolocation’ for blind people. Completely blind himself, here he is riding a bike. He’s able to ‘see’ his environment by making tongue-clicks and then interpreting the return of the sound. I’ve just been walking around an estate with him, and listened to him describe the environment in detail, even buildings a hundred yards away. He plays laser-tag, rides bikes and skateboards, ice skates and plays basketball with his blind students. It’s an extraordinary ability. I can’t even get off a bike without falling over.
He is able to organize his world spatially, which is what he teaches: something the rest of us take for granted. But a lot of blind people organize temporally: objects are so many seconds away rather than spatially placed. Watching him trace the shape of a car with his hand, I was intrigued by the fact he had what sounded like a visual ‘space’ for the vehicle, but no visual representation to put in that space. His reply to this conundrum of how he populates his spatial world without visual objects was extraordinarily vivid. He drew a parallel with listening to a live orchestra, and that sense of a sound environment. The world, he explained, is a symphony of sound, but the objects in it do not make sound: they reflect it.
The world as a symphony of reflected sound. A beautiful and fascinating image for those of us who instinctively, wrongly presume that a blind person must be at a disadvantage.
Amazing morning.


The splendid Welles discusses Cold Reading with a young David Frost. It’s a gem of a clip… and years later of course, if we wish to, we can cut to Frost enthusiastically endorsing Uri Geller on Beyond Belief.

Splendid stuff.


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