Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday, Derren!

Derren Brown's birthday was two days ago (February 27). At cubicgarden you can see a picture of Derren celebrating with some birthday cake. He performed in London that night.

He will be performing in London quite a bit this year. It has just been announced (on Derren's site and on the Nimax Theatres site) that DB will do 32 performances of "An Evening of Wonders" at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End, May 2 through June 7 of 2008. Tickets go on sale February 29th.

Derren has repeatedly said he prefers stage shows to television, and he is certainly acting accordingly.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Super Memory" is Not One of Derek Acorah's Special Powers

Derek Acorah is a British television medium. He claims to be psychic, able to speak to spirits, and so forth. In an interview this past week, he commented on Derren Brown:

I think Derren Brown would like to think that he bothered me, but he really doesn't...I have been touring theatres for 15 years and during the time he's been around that's not affected the standard of my work or the amount of people who come to see me.
If he is having an effect on mediumship, it's certainly not affecting my life.
Derren has said a number of things about me on a personal level and I actually asked him about them when I bumped into him in a hotel in Cardiff once. He claimed he'd never said them, so we were fine.

Acorah might be able to speak to dead people, but he does not have a very good memory for facts. The Sun reported that the self-proclaimed psychic did more than "bump" into DB:

Psychic Derek, 56, tackled illusionist Derren, 35, for publicly blasting him.
An onlooker at the Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Swansea, said: “Derren came over to say hello but Derek looked peeved and asked, 'Why are you always slagging me off?’

But that encounter was not in Cardiff. Maybe they've met in hotels on two separate occasions? At any rate, it does not sound like DB and Acorah are "fine" with each other.

I'm beginning to suspect that Mr. Acorah might not be an entirely truthful person.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Derren Brown Meets the Lying Ape

You might have heard of Brian King's book, "The Lying Ape" (released in 2006), but did you know it features a cameo by Derren Brown?

The book discuss various aspects of lying. It is an easy read and only moderately inciteful until page 177, where the how-to-tell-when-someone-is-lying section begins.

The author interviews DB for guidance in detecting lies. Derren offers the following:

My approach is to look for the truth pattern and look for how it is broken. So, for example, if I ask what you had for dinner last night, as you think about it, your natural response will be for your eyes to move somehwere; more often than not it is up and to the left if you are trying to remember something. our eye movement correlates to the part of the brain you are using.

But if I ask what you want for breakfast tomorrow, or how would you like to decorate your house - where the thing hasn't happened and you have to construct information - you have to use a different part of the brain and your eyes will, correspondingly, move to a different place.

Derren goes on to explain that the eye positions that correlate to different modes of thought differ person-to-person. So, for example, it would be incorrect to say that everyone looks up and to the left when trying to remember something -- though that is certainly the case for many people.

The lesson here is one that Derren repeats in his book, Tricks of the Mind: If you want to understand people, you have to pay attention to them. Watch for patterns in people's behavior and you will soon be able to receive more information than they intend to give away.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

And Now For Derren's Next Trick...

With all the hype over "The System," Derren's upcoming series and dvd release have almost escaped notice.

For those who missed The System, Naquada has an excellent summary (as well as an impressive recap of the first 3 seasons of Lost). As expected, some critics liked the System, and some did not.

But now we move onto Derren's next project -- another season of Trick or Treat. It is scheduled to begin on Channel 4 April 13, 2008. As we know from experience, such dates are subject to change.

Also, Derren's official site announced today that his stage show, "Something Wicked This Way Comes" will be released on DVD April 21, 2008. It will include segments of the show not included in the original TV broadcast, as well as the usual DVD interviews and other features.

The DVD is already available for pre-order at, and DB's site includes the enticing tagline:

"Go and buy, you need this in your life!"

I suspect that sentence is loaded with subliminal messages. If you find yourself unconsciously ordering the DVD at Amazon, you'll know why.

Friday, February 1, 2008

NOW Who's the Mind Reader?

Derren Brown's the System aired today and my prediction was correct. I have already gloated to people off-line, so no need to repeat that here.

Honestly, I am a little disappointed that DB did not surprise us. I was looking forward to giving free copies of my forthcoming biography of Derren to the 70+ people who participated in my prediction challenge.

Keep watching this blog, though. Between now and the book's projected publication date (March 25), I will likely provide another opportunity to win a copy.

7 Hours to Go Until Derren Brown's System is Revealed

With Derren Brown's "The System" only hours away, about 70 people have taken me up on my challenge.

Several new articles about the upcoming show have appeared since my last post. For the most part, they reiterate facts already reported. A piece in the Mirror, however, reveals the following new facts:

In the special, Khadisha, a single mother, wins five consecutive horse races based on Derren Brown's anonymous tips. He then reveals his identity to her and gives her a final tip. She bets several thousand pounds. Then he explains how the System works, and we all tensely watch to see whether her horse wins.

If my prediction is correct, then for five horse races to be correctly predicted by DB, with six horses in each race (which appears to be the average), DB would have to initially involve 7,776 people (each receiving anonymous tips in round one).

In comments to my prior posts, people have complained that he could not possibly film thousands of separate participants. But there would be no need for him to do so. In fact, the two actual participants who commented on my prediction page make it clear that they were not followed by camera crews (although they did do initial on-camera interviews).

DB has a production budget of several million pounds for each of his shows. He could certainly pull off the System in the way I have predicted.

One of the comments left on my blog purports to be from Sara Kandasamy, a producer of DB's shows, stating that my prediction is wrong. I contacted Ms. Kandasamy by e-mail to confirm whether the comment was really hers, but she did not respond. The comment could easily be a hoax because Ms. Kandasamy's name was identified in a blog I linked to.

In the Mirror article, DB states: "Unfortunately it would be disastrous if a few people know how [the System] works before everyone else does."

Here at aboutderrenbrown, we don't "know" how the System works, but we have our suspicions. I am as excited as anyone to find out the answer tonight. Enjoy the show!