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?