Saturday, August 27, 2016

Derren's "Miracle" is not Anti-Christian

Today (Aug. 27) and next week (Sept. 3), Premier Christian Radio is airing an interview with Derren Brown, which focuses on his Miracle stage show and his reasons for leaving Christianity.

Derren explains that fraudulent faith healing " is a scam that's carried out against the Church and exploits those with sincerely held faith." He adds that his own show is "not in any way against the Church or religion, or even the idea of healing."

We do know, of course, that Derren is a former Christian (now atheist) who does not believe in faith healing. You can read more about the interview at

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's Trip to Marrakech

Remember the time when Derren made a man fall asleep in London, flew him to Marrakech, and then woke him up as if no time had passed at all?

Relive it now:

Friday, July 15, 2016

Derren Brown in Blackpool

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Blackpool this weekend (July 15-16), performing at the Opera House.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown plays Chess

Remember the time when Derren played 9 chess masters at once, and won?

Relive it in this video clip:

Monday, July 11, 2016

Derren Brown in Salford Quays (again!)

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are back in Salford Quays again this week (July 11-13), performing at The Lowry.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown and Simon Pegg

Remember when Derren Brown gave Simon Pegg the BMX bike he had always wanted (but not really)? Here it is again:

Monday, July 4, 2016

Derren Brown in Glasgow

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Glasgow this week (July 4-9), performing at the Kings Theatre.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's car wreck

Remember when Derren made a Trick-or-Treat victim think she had died in a car accident?

Relive it now:

Monday, June 27, 2016

Derren Brown in Nottingham

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Nottingham this week (June 27 - July 2), performing at the Theatre Royal.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Video flashback: Zombie Nightmare

Remember the time Derren made a video game player fall asleep and then wake up in a real-life zombie shooting nightmare? Watch it again:

Monday, June 20, 2016

Derren Brown in Newcastle

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Newcastle this week (June 20-25), performing at the Theatre Royal.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's Phantom Limb segment

Remember the TV episode where Derren used hypnotism to examine the "phantom limb" effect? Here it is:

Monday, June 13, 2016

Video Flashback: Drinking Vinegar

Remember when Derren Brown hypnotized a woman so she would drink a glass of vinegar? Relive it now:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown and Robbie Williams

Remember when Derren crucified Robbie Williams on TV? Here it is again:

Monday, June 6, 2016

Derren Brown in Salford Quays

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Salford Quays this week (June 6-11), performing at The Lowry.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's sheep-filled dream

Remember the time when Derren woke up a volunteer during the night, and let him wander into a strange (but real) dream world that included sheep? Here it is again:

Monday, May 30, 2016

Derren Brown in Leeds

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Leeds this week (May 30 - June 4), performing at the Grand Theatre.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's Taxidermy

Remember the time when Derren took us inside his home to show off his taxidermy collection? Relive it now:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Derren Brown in Dublin

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Dublin this week (May 23-28), performing at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren sees an exorcism

Remember when Derren Brown visited an exorcism (of a house)? Watch it now:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Derren Brown in Belfast

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Belfast this week (May 16-21), performing at the Grand Opera House.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren trains petty thieves

Remember when Derren taught his elderly subjects to commit petty thefts (in The Great Art Robbery)? Here it is again:

Monday, May 9, 2016

Derren Brown in Bristol

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Bristol this week (May 9-14), performing at the Hippodrome.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's Apocalypse Explosions

Remember the crazy pyrotechnics Derren used to make Apocalypse seem real? Recall them with the help of this video clip:

Monday, May 2, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren's Rubik's Cube

Remember when Derren showed off his amazing Rubik's Cube skills? See it again now:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's Apocalypse Reveal

Remember the ending of Apocalypse, where Derren finally reveals the truth to his subject, Steven? Here it is:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Derren Brown in Woking

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Woking this week (April 25-30), performing at the New Victoria.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's Milgram Experiment

Remember the time when Derren recreated the famous Milgram Experiment, as part of his special, The Heist? Relive it now:

Monday, April 18, 2016

Derren Brown in Southampton

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Southampton this week (April 18-23), performing at the Mayflower.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown Paints

Do you remember the part of Behind the Mischief (televised biopic segment about Derren) where it shows DB's painting hobby? Here it is:

Monday, April 11, 2016

Derren Brown in Wolverhampton

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Wolverhampton this week (April 11-16), performing at the Grand.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren guesses embarrassing memories

Remember the segment in Svengali where Derren Brown guesses people's most embarrassing memories? Relive it now (in 2 parts):

Monday, April 4, 2016

Derren Brown in Cardiff

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Cardiff this week (April 4-9), performing at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Video Flashback: Shooting Stephen Fry

Remember when Derren convinced a guy to shoot Stephen Fry? Check it out:

Monday, March 28, 2016

Derren Brown in Llandudno

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Llandudno this week (March 28 - April 2), performing at the Venue Cymru.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's ice water

Remember the time Derren Brown had a show participant sit in freezing cold water? Here it is again:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's Remote Control

Remember Derren Brown's manipulative game show, Remote Control? Here is a clip from the beginning of the episode:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Derren Brown's Suffocation Controversy

Last December, the Watch channel rebroadcast Derren Brown's TV special, Something Wicked this Way Comes, at 9 AM -- and some people are not amused.

As reported in the Guardian, airing a show that features Derren suffocating himself with a plastic bag over his head violated Ofcom's broadcast rules. The show should not, allegedly, have been shown before 9 pm.

UKTV, which owns the Watch channel, says the program was aired accidentally. So far, I have not seen any reports of children suffocating themselves with bags after watching the show. I should also note that this is not the first time Derren has received Ofcom complaints (recall Russian Roulette, Seance, the railroad stunt, etc, etc).

Monday, March 14, 2016

Derren Brown in Southend

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Southend this week (March 14-19), performing at the Cliffs Pavilion.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown in trouble with the police

Remember the part in Miracles for Sale where Derren is hassled by the police? Relive it now:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Is Derren Brown coming to a country near you?

In a recent interview about Miracle, Derren Brown revealed that he "may do something overseas for a change". The comment is admittedly a bit cryptic. So what does he have in mind?

There are plenty of opportunities for him to take his stage show on the road outside of the UK -- any country where his television shows have succeeded would potentially work. He has visited Las Vegas to see Penn & Teller perform; would he make the trip again and get up on stage to perform alongside them?

Derren Brown's Voice Coach

Who taught Derren Brown how to enunciate clearly in his stage show? The National Theatre's Jeannette Nelson, apparently.

A recent article in the Daily Mail profiles Ms. Nelson and cites Derren as one of her pupils. Read it hear: Jeannette Nelson bio.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Derren Brown in Swansea

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Swansea this week (March 7-12), performing at the Grand Theatre.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown and Automatic Writing

Remember the time when Derren did a creepy automatic writing trick? Relive it now:

Monday, February 29, 2016

Derren Brown in High Wycombe

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in High Wycombe this week (Feb. 29 - March 5), performing at the Swan Theatre.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's broken glass

Remember the part in Something Wicked This Way Comes when Derren walks on broken glass, and then has his faced mashed into it? No? Well check it out:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Derren Brown in Brighton

Derren Brown and his Miracle show are in Brighton this week (Feb. 23-27), performing at the Theatre Royal.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Video Flashback: Introducing the Automaton

Remember the part of Svengali where Derren introduces his creepy automaton? Here it is:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Thorpe Park's Derren Brown Packages

If you are planning to visit Thorpe Park for Derren Brown's Ghost Train, you now have a couple more options to think about:

1. Victorian Ride and Dine package. For £125 you a Victorian dinner, and then special access to three of the park's attractions, including the Ghost Train.

2. Creating a Fearless Workplace package. This package is designed for corporate customers, and includes lunch and a seminar.

Find out more at CITMagazine.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren's Seance

Remember when Derren held a televised Seance? It was controversial and spooky, but thoroughly debunked by DB:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Derren Brown in Milton Keynes

From Monday, Feb 15 through Saturday, Feb 20, Derren Brown's Miracle stage show will be performed at the Theater in Milton Keynes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's nail-in-the-nose trick

Remember when Derren hammered a nail into his nose? Here it is again:

Monday, February 8, 2016

Derren Brown in Canterbury

This week (Feb 8-13), Derren is taking his Miracle stage show to Canterbury, where he performs at the Marlowe Theater.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Video Flashback: Derren Brown's confused cabbie

Remember when Derren rendered a taxi driver incapable of finding the London Eye? Watch it again:

Friday, January 29, 2016

Video Flashback: Killing a Kitten

Remember when Derren Brown wanted a woman to kill a kitten by pushing a button?

Here it is again:

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Promo Video for Derren Brown's Ghost Train

Derren's new attraction at Thorpe Park is a Ghost Train. See for yourself:

Friday, January 22, 2016

Derren Brown's Pushed to the Edge -- the Reviews are in

For fans of Derren Brown, the recent Pushed to the Edge special was a welcome return to the type of show that made Derren famous -- shocking, provocative, and entertaining. But, like some of his past television stunts (e.g., Russian Roulette, Seance, and The Heist), it has resulted in some complaints.

The Daily Mail, for example, reports in a piece called "Viewers blast 'disgusting' Derren Brown stunt..." that Ofcom received 14 complaints and that a few random people on Twitter found the show manipulative and cruel. In a separate piece, the paper reports about the shocked reaction of participant Laura Wykes' family (Laura is one of the three who pushed the actor in the program), after watching the show; it seems, though, that Laura's sister-in-law was shocked but not opposed to the experiment.

The Guardian concludes that: "Brown’s shows are very well structured, every ad break is preceded by a whopping cliffhanger and he obviously knows how to toy with audience anticipation. But the need to top each stunt with an even more brazen set-up seems to have left him nowhere to go but high above the shark, albeit clicking his heels in mid-air as he goes."

As readers of Mind Stunts (see: free copy) already know, creating a spectacularly controversial stunt is par for the course in Derren Brown's career. He has once again exceeded our expectations.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Derren's Thorpe Park Ride is a VR Ghost Train (using Oculus Rift?)

For the past three months, we have been speculating about what Derren Brown's new attraction at Thorpe Park will be like. Now, it is being widely reported that the ride is a "ghost train" in which guests will wear VR headsets.

The ride itself takes place in an antique train car suspended in the air by chains. You can read more about it at the Telegraph and elsewhere.

The fact that the ride uses VR headsets makes us wonder -- Will this be the first theme park ride to use the Oculus Rift headset? It would be surprising if Derren chose a lesser product. If so, then the theme park attraction will be notable not just for being Derren's first, but also for being the first VR ride of its kind.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Derren mourned passing of a TV volunteer

Have you ever wondered whether Derren Brown keeps in touch with former volunteers from his shows? Over the years, we have seen several indications that he does. One tragic case was the death of Wayne Stansfield.

Wayne was the butcher whose luck changed after touching the lucky dog in one of Derren's 2011 The Experiments episodes. Stansfield gambled his life's savings and won big.

Years later, in 2015, Stansfield died tragically, apparently due to the reckless driving of two young motorists. Derren contacted Stansfield's family, and also took to Twitter to express his sadness. You can read more about DB's touching response at

Friday, January 15, 2016

Does Derren Brown use NLP?

Over the years, we have debated whether Derren Brown uses NLP (neuro-lingusitic programming) in his act. One the one hand, he clearly has been trained in NLP (on YouTube you can find an old Paul McKenna NLP training video with a young Derren in the audience). On the other, he has vehemently condemned NLP as a cult-like pseudo-science (see Derren's book, Tricks of the Mind).

NLP practitioners insist that Derren's denials are a ruse, and that his act is reliant on NLP. Professional magicians roll their eyes, point out that most of these tricks can be accomplished with conventional magic tricks, and insist that the NLP is just a convenient (and misleading) story.

The debate reages on, and here is a recent installment, in which an NLP practitioner argues that it really is NLP making Derren's act work: DerrenBrownNLP

Thursday, January 14, 2016

VIDEO FLASHBACK: Derren Brown turns an ordinary man into a Pub Quiz Champ

Remember the time when Derren used hypnosis and mind tools to teach an ordinary man to become a Pub Quiz winner overnight?

Relive it now, thanks to DB's YouTube Channel:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Lessons from Derren Brown's Miracle

After attending Derren Brown's Miracle stage show, one fan took to her blog and wrote up 10 life lessons she derived from the show. Check it out at: AngelIntheNorth

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

LAST REMINDER: Watch Pushed to the Edge on Channel 4 at 9 pm

OK, this is the last reminder. Derren Brown's Pushed to the Edge premiers tonight on Channel 4, 9 pm. Here's the trailer:

REMEMBER to watch Derren Brown's "Pushed to the Edge" TONIGHT

The day has finally arrived, and Derren Brown's new TV special, "Pushed to the Edge," will air tonight. Tune in at 9 pm on Channel 4, to see Derren try to convince someone ordinary to commit a horrible act.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Derren Brown's Miracle Dentistry

We have heard all along that Derren Brown's stage show, Miracle, includes "healing" effects. Here is one concrete example you can read about.

Zoe Aldcroft says her dental problem was cured by Derren: "I had horrific pain in my wisdom teeth before and then when I opened my eyes it had gone."

Read the whole story at: Derren Brown cured my toothache!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

How is Pushed to the Edge different from Derren Brown's The Heist?

We are all looking forward to Tuesday night's "Pushed to the Edge," in which Derren Brown will attempt to influence an ordinary person to push a another human to his/her death. But how will this special differ from Derren's previous work?

The concept sounds a lot like Derren's 2006 special, The Heist. In that program, we saw Derren testing whether he could influence people to rob an armored truck using various hypnotic suggestion techniques (he could).

Pushed to the Edge sounds the same, but I am hoping Derren will put a twist on the concept. Here are some possible twists:

1. The person may decide not to comply (anti-climactic, but fresh),
2. Derren may use a new, even tricker form of persuasion to achieve his result, or
3. It could be a repeat of The Heist, but with better, more dramatic execution.

To that last point, the new special does remind me of a particular movie -- the Michael Douglas film, The Game -- except that Derren is trying to get the person to push someone off a building (as opposed to getting Michael Douglas to jump off a building). Critics complained that The Game was implausible, and I'm guessing they'll feel the same about Pushed to the Edge. But I, for one, plan to enjoy it.

What do you think? How will Pushed to the Edge differ from The Heist? Leave your theories in the comments below -

Saturday, January 9, 2016

VIDEO FLASHBACK: Derren Brown makes a man more Confident

Remember the time someone pulled the good card on Trick-or-Treat, so Derren helped him be more confident?

Relive it now, thanks to DB's YouTube channel:

Friday, January 8, 2016

Derren Brown "Pushed to the Edge" - Summary

The promotion for Derren Brown's upcoming special, "Pushed to the Edge," has begun, ahead of the show's January 12, 2016 air date (9 pm on Channel 4). So what is it all about?

In Channel 4's press materials, Derren summarizes it thusly:

What the show asks is whether the mechanics of social compliance can be manipulated to push someone off a building to their death. Could it be taken that far? The plan to get there is through slowly turning up the heat. Here’s a person that finds themselves in a situation, not realising that it’s all an enormous fabrication for their benefit, and that every person they meet is an actor.... And it was a genuine experiment, in that sense – there was no guaranteed ending for us at all.

And here is the trailer:

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Mirror notes Derren Brown's Lottery Prediction Prowess

Today the Mirror is running an article about the National Lottery hitting a record level of £60 million, and -- fortunately for  Derren Brown fans -- they focused the article on discussion of Derren's famous lottery prediction.

It is hard to believe that the prediction was way back in 2009, but it was. Read all about it at: The Mirror.

What is Derren Brown's Miracle Stage Show really about?

As usual, Derren Brown is asking his stage show audiences to keep the contents of the show a secret, so as to avoid ruining the show for future guests. I am always amazed at how thoroughly online commentators (even journalists) comply with this request. Surely some mind control must be involved?

You can read one of the more forthright accounts at The author explains that the show's second half involves faith-healing, which seems to be Derren imitating the techniques of bogus religious faith-healers. If that is what the show is about, it is a pretty good idea, and consistent with DB's prior work.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Derren Brown tells Miracle visitors to Dance

For a firsthand account (without spoilers) of what it is like to attend Miracle, check out this post on OctobersGirlBlog. She quotes Derren's introductory remarks as:

“We are so busy setting goals for ourselves that we forget that life is like a piece of music, and we are supposed to be dancing.”

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Colin Fry almost took Sally Morgan role in The Secret of Luck (Derren Brown's The Experiments)

In an episode of The Experiments, Derren Brown set up a fake "lucky dog" statue in an English village that was supposed to make the locals lucky. As you would expect, many of the local residents immediately began relying on the dog for luck (in gambling, etc.) -- even though it was all a ruse to show that luck is just a matter of belief.

Sally Morgan, a self-proclaimed psychic, came on the show and claimed to feel the energy of the dog. Now, we know, though, that Morgan was only the 2nd pick for the show. Originally, the psychic was supposed to be Colin Fry.

A post on Bad Psychics quotes Fry explaining that when asked about the lucky dog by Channel 4 personnel:

I burst out laughing and said if there was any luck it was only because people had convinced themselves their good fortune was down to the bronze dog and it was bullshit, but harmless if it gave them the feel good factor, the researcher said she was surprised and I had not given her the respounce she had expected. ... and if they wanted someone they should call Sally Morgan, which is what they did.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A break from the stage for Derren Brown?

You might have noticed that Derren took a break from his television work in 2015 -- a rare year in which he did not have a new televised special. Fortunately, that will end this month (Jan. 2016) with "The Push."

Derren has announced now, though, that he will take a break from his stage work after the 2016 run of Miracle. He says he is due a break after 14 years on stage. In the past, he has noted that stage work is his favorite, and audiences seem to prefer it as well -- so you might want to hurry to see Miracle before he takes an indefinite leave.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Derren Brown's Secret Underground Lair

If I ever build a house, I hope to include a secret passageway of some sort. Derren Brown is way ahead of me, because his home includes a secret chamber. As reported at

“Over there, pull that lamp…” [Derren] points to a wall-mounted light beside a big bookshelf. We do as we’re told and the bookshelf swings open to reveal a secret staircase to an underground lair. “That’s my steam room,” he says at the bottom of the stairs before turning along a short corridor, “and this is my cinema. Nice, isn’t it?” Its red velvet carpet, six large seats and 10ft screen speak for themselves.

The rest of the article is worth reading, too, but of course nothing is more impressive than a secret underground lair.

There's another famous Brown with a secret passageway -- Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown has built some secrets into his house, too, as have a few other notable people: Secret Passageways.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

VIDEO FLASHBACK: Creepy Episode where Derren Brown turns man into Puppet

Remember the creepy episode of Trick-or-Treat where Derren convinced a man that he was a puppet?

Relive it now, thanks to DB's YouTube channel:

Friday, January 1, 2016

What is Derren Brown's "The Push" (aka "Pushed to the Edge") about?

Derren Brown will be back on Channel 4 this month (January 2016) with a brand new special called "The Push" (later changed to "Pushed to the Edge").

The show is about how people comply with authority. The topic sounds like a tribute to Derren's fascination with the Milgram prison experiment. Given the title, I am speculating that volunteers are encouraged by authority figures to harm other humans by either (a) pushing those humans (e.g., onto railroad tracks) or (b) pushing a button that hurts those humans (a la the Milgram experiment). I am guessing the volunteers will comply.

But Derren always finds a way to surprise us. I can't wait to find out what The Push is all about!

Derren was quoted saying: “The world of social compliance is a deeply fascinating one and hopefully we will take the viewer on a journey that will be disturbing and entertaining in equal measure."