Thursday, December 31, 2015

Derren Brown as Doctor Who

A while back, Derren joked about being the next Doctor Who. A tumblr blog took the next logical step and created a fan fiction magazine cover of Derren as the Doctor.

See it at: Doctor Derren

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What is Derren Brown's new Thorpe Park ride?

For weeks now, Derren Brown has been teasing us with hints about his new attraction at Thorpe Park. It will undoubtedly be creepy (as evidenced by the creepy Victorian dolls that are promoting it) -- but what will the ride actually be?

Here's what we know so far, thanks in part to an interview with the BBC:

1. It is not a rollercoaster. (but is instead an "experience")
2. It lasts 13 minutes.
3. It is expensive and elaborate.

Derren explains that: "The sheer budget involved is huge. If it does everything that it should do, it will be phenomenal."

Ride designer Paul Moreton explains to that: “We have created something which, if you're open to it, will challenge your view of what is real and what isn't. We will immerse people in a world where even the most hardened will question what's perception and what's reality. Is seeing really believing?”

I can't help picturing one of those old amusement park fun houses with distorted mirrors, rolling floors, and so forth. Or, perhaps a Victorian freak show with bottled heads, etc.

Derren will probably surprise us again. It will definitely be worth a visit. The ride opens March 2016.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Derren Brown meets Arsenal stars

After a performance of his stage show, Miracle, in November, Derren met several Arsenal stars who were in attendance, including Santi Cazorla, Hector Bellerin, Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal, Kieran Gibbs and Joel Campbell.

The Sport Review discusses the meeting and shares a photo Derren snapped and posted to Twitter.

But the article does not answer the question on all of our minds: Did Derren use hypnosis to give Arsenal players an advantage in future matches? How could a player sit through Miracle, and not at least ask?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Creepy Dolls promote Derren Brown Theme Park Ride

Earlier this month, commuters encountered a creepy pair of life-size (and apparently alive) Victorian dolls riding London's subway system. The stunt was a promotion for Derren's upcoming amusement park ride.

The disturbing visitors succeeded at attracting media attention, including a short piece with a video of the dolls at Video: Offbeat - Magician Derren Brown give commuters a shock

Sunday, December 27, 2015

VIDEO FLASHBACK: Learn the Piano in One Week (Trick or Treat)

Remember the time when Derren Brown taught a woman to be concert pianist in one week?

Relive it with this video clip:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Does Public Reaction affect Derren's Stage Performances?

You have to wonder how the public's reaction to a stage show affects a performer's performance on subsequent nights. In a January 2014 interview, Derren Brown told the Nottingham Post that it doesn't:

Infamous has been well received by critics and the general public alike. Does that affect you when you're performing?

It doesn't. The only advice I really listen to is my director in the first instance, my producer, and occasionally my manager or the guys that come on tour with me make a point that I think is worth taking on board. ... [A]side from the relief that no one's complaining about it, I don't think it has any effect on the show.

Read the rest of the short interview at: Nottingham Post

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Derren Brown's version of Re-Gifting

With the holidays approaching, you might be thinking about what to give your friends and family. You might even be thinking about re-gifting presents you have received in the past.

In a February 27, 2014 tweet, Derren Brown told us about his re-gifting plans:

Have received lots of birthday/valentine gifts. I'm going to pass them on to worthwhile charities, I hope that's ok - thank you all so much.

Good at mind reading, and generous, too.

Friday, December 4, 2015

"Kindness at Christmas is as transparent as a dodgy magician."

The post title is a statement by Derren Brown in his Christmas message included in the book "The Atheist's Guide to Christmas" and excerpted/abridged at: The GuardianAside from the atheist message, Derren means to remind us that we should be kind all year long.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Derren Brown's Kung Fu Ghost Punch

Remember when Derren punched a Kung Fu student in the stomach without really touching him? Relive the moment with a YouTube clip:

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Preview of Derren Brown's book on happiness?

For two years or so, Derren has been working on a forthcoming book about happiness. In a 2014 interview with The Press and Journal, he shared some thoughts that will no doubt end up in the book:

We are fed a very unrealistic and anxiety-inducing model of what happiness is. It says that if you set goals you will achieve them and be happy. And there are so many mistakes in that....

...there are things in your life which you are in control of, and those you’re not. You need to not care about those things which you’re not in control of. And when you come to really understand that, you can go from being really upset about something to that lovely feeling of being a kid where everything is okay.

Hopefully the book will come soon. Derren has posted on Facebook that he has been reading about ancient philosophers as part of his writing effort -- so this could be a pretty exhaustive treatment of happiness.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Russian Roulette is Deadly -- even if you're shooting blanks

Some viewers have criticized Derren Brown's Russian Roulette stunt, claiming that he was "only" using blanks in the performance. As Derren demonstrates, though, even blanks can be deadly:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Is it possible for Derren Brown to be bad at Poker?

Derren Brown is a gambler's dream come true. In his early days as a mentalist, he reportedly made some quick cash by beating casinos -- until they banned him. Then there was the time when he
taught a pensioner how to beat a casino. And the time when he got the racetrack to pay out on losing tickets. And the time when he showed us how he memorizes decks of cards.

So we would all naturally expect him to be a brilliant poker player, right? But we would be wrong according to DB:

People imagine I’ll be good at poker because of what I do, but I’m not. I’m hopeless. [Bristol Post]

How is that possible? Derren must be bored by poker, because he clearly has the skills to be amazing at it if he likes.

What do you think? Is his comment just false modesty?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Derren Killed his Parrot, Siegfried

We knew Derren liked parrots. A while back, though, he revealed that his first parrot died tragically:

Siegfried died young. The guy in the shop said he loved Twix, so I gave him chocolate every day. I might as well have fed him poison.

So the bird died of chocolate consumption. Not a bad way to go.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Derren Brown on Sherlock

Which episode of the hit show Sherlock features psychological illusionist Derren Brown?

It is episode 1 of series 3. Derren appears in the first "solution" to Sherlock's death, when he hypnotizes Watson.

According to RadioTimes, Derren's surprise appearance in the episode caused a huge surge in live tweets about the show.

This was not the first time Derren showed an interest in acting. Previously, he appeared in 2008's Crooked House.

10 Most Dramatic Derren Brown Moments

Are these the 10 most dramatic Derren Brown moments ever?

Derren thinks so, or at least his YouTube channel does:

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Derren Brown's Net Worth

I see that net-worth-net has Derren Brown's net worth listed at $7.5 million, which is not bad. How does that stack up against other entertainers, though? Let's see:

David Blaine is listed at $12 million, and that seems reasonable. Blaine is better know internationally than Derren, so it makes sense that he has had higher earnings.

But look at what Criss Angel is worth: $50 million! Derren Brown and David Blaine are two of the best illusionists in the world, but it looks like Criss Angel is a pretty good businessman.

Penn Jillette and Teller each have an estimated net worth of $175 million, which seems fair.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Derren Brown on the Big Fat Quiz of the Year

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year is a Channel 4 pub-quiz-style show. Given Derren Brown's history on Channel 4, it is no surprise that he has appeared on the quiz show. Derren has played the role of celebrity questioner (in recorded question segments), along with the likes of Bono, Cameron Diaz, Quentin Tarantino, Sarah Silverman, and many others.

Derren's segments appeard on the 2004 and 2005 editions, as well as the "Big Fat Anniversary Quiz" on November 2, 2007.

Friday, November 20, 2015

What do people who like Derren Brown search for?

When I did a simple "Derren Brown" search on Google today, it listed a set of other people I might be interested in searching. What does this sampling of similar people tell us about Derren?

Let's see -- here are the first 10:

1. Dynamo. Well, he's an English magician. We knew that about Derren already.
2. David Blaine. Another high-profile magician, American this time. Derren and David have a friendly professional relationship.
3. Benedict Cumberbatch. Interesting. Like Derren, Cumberbatch has won a Laurence Olivier Award. He also is the ideal person to play Derren in a biopic. Right?
4. Martin Freeman. The Bilbo Baggins actor is a possible runner-up to play Derren. The suggestion is probably due to the two appearing together in episode 1 of the 3rd series of Sherlock (where DB does a cameo as a hypnotist).
5. Nina Conti. A ventriloquist. [sigh] The magicians reading this blog will likely resent Google's analogizing between illusionists and ventriloquists.
6. Melanie Brown. Like Derren, Melanie Brown appeared on The Big Fat Quiz of the Year. Identical last name might have aided the recommendation, as well.
7. Alan Carr. Another The Big Fat Quiz of the Year participant.
8. Amanda Abbington. The Mr. Selfridge star is a British entertainer, which seems to be the connection.
9. Paul McKenna. At one point, Derren actually attended a McKenna NLP training session, but McKenna says the two are not friendly these days. Derren dislikes the over-enthusiastic NLP disciples of today.
10. James Randi. And here is a great match -- an illusionist who is skeptic to the core, much like Derren.

Any other thoughts on how these folks connect to our favorite psychological illusionist?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Snag a Free Derren Brown Biography

Four years after releasing the first, pamphlet-length edition of Mind Stunts: An Unauthorized Account of Derren Brown's Rise to Fame, I am pleased to announce that the 2nd, greatly expanded edition is now available on Amazon and Audible.

I have free Audible copies to give to readers of this blog. The codes only work at (not international versions of the site, sorry). To get a free copy, send me an e-mail at: authoraddress [at]

This expanded edition is several times the length of the first, and far more in-depth, with much more Derren Brown goodness included. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, please leave a review!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Miracle teases elements of Derren Brown's new Book on Happiness

In recent interviews, Derren has repeatedly stated that he is writing a book about happiness, but he has not offered many details.

Speaking to the Leicester Mercury recently, though, he noted that a lot of his research into happiness has made its way into the stage show. He also acknowledged that his stage shows tend to change a lot in their first couple of weeks, as he responds to audience feedback.

Read the full interview/article at: Leicester Mercury

Friday, July 10, 2015

Derren Brown's Aylesbury Miracle

Derren is in Aylesbury this week, performing his latest stage show, Miracle. He gave an interview to local radio station Mix 96. Although he would not give away details of the show, he did reveal that:

- he does _not_ get nervous before going on stage
- he prefers stage magic to television magic because it is unedited
- he is currently writing a book about happiness
- Penn & Teller and Mac King remain among his favorite currently performing magicians
- he plans to take a break after this tour (as he also revealed on Twitter)

You can hear the entire 11-minute interview on the Mix 96 website.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Derren Brown Biography -- Audible Codes to download

Here are eight more codes that will each enable one reader to download the Mind Stunts audiobook for free: 


Just navigate to
 this Audible page, where you can enter and redeem one of the codes. Note that this will work only on (not on Audible UK or any other country -- sorry).

After you redeem your free copy, please leave a comment below so others will know not to spend time trying out the code again.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Derren Brown April Interview 2015 -- Miracle

Ahead of his Miracle stage show, Derren Brown sat down for an interview. Check it out at the North Devon Journal website: DB Interview

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Free copies of Derren Brown biography -- From Audible UK

In response to demand, I have obtained 25 free download codes for the Audible UK version of Mind Stunts: An Unauthorized Account of Derren Brown's Rise to Fame.

If you are in the UK, would like a free copy, and are willing to leave an honest review on Audible UK after listening, send me an e-mail at: While supplies last, I will respond with a free download code for you.

You can also view the audiobook's product page by clicking on the image below:

Mind Stunts: An Unauthorized Account of Derren Brown's Rise to Fame | [William Tapscott]