TV Talk -

The Gospel according to Derren Brown

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Derren Brown is a psychological illusionist who appears on TV here in the UK. I’ve mentioned him a few times before, and I’ve also seen him getting off the plane I was about to board in Edinburgh, something I boast about frequently. His latest TV show, Trick or Treat, has really got me going on him again. He manages to get people to do whatever he wants through the powers of suggestions, without using actors or stooges. For example, he got a woman to forget her musical ability and play an entire 15 minute performance on stage last week. It was amazing to watch.
Here’s an example: Russian Scam, where he gets a person on the street to give him keys, mobile phones and other personal possessions. And here’s an explanation on how he does it. Another couple of videos – Part 1 and Part 2 – shows how he can get people to have religious beliefs instantly, a show which pulled a few religious feathers out of a several hats. And again, here’s how he did it. There are many other videos on Youtube featuring Derren – have a scoot through them.

He’s got a few books and CDs out – Trick Of The Mind being a very good one. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do what he does? The possibilities are endless…

Ruff Acting

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There’s no doubt that if there’s anything depressing, distressing or deeply disturbing, you can bet it’s happened in Eastenders. Compare that with the fluffy, happy-go-lucky antics of well-trained dogs at Crufts this year, also filmed by the BBC. A BBC website visitor, Ross (27), sums up my sentiments exactly on the BBC Website:

“Crufts was great as it is every year. I think we should have more dogs on TV, I for one would like to see dogs getting better TV roles. I ask you would it not brighten up the deeply depressing show Eastenders, if we were to see a dog on the show with a gripping story line e.g. Rover & The Missing Sausages. Surely it would break up the dullness we are usually treated to every day of the week.”

Derren Brown – The Gathering

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For the first time in a long while, I kicked back and watched a full programme last night – a programme called “Derren Brown – The Gathering“. The eager amongst you will notice I’ve talked about Derren before – in fact, this well-rounded post talks about a previous, well-publicised Derren show. That post caused all sorts of people to flock to and became the second most popular post on the site. So, why not talk about him again?
Derren, if you don’t know, markets himself as a psychological illusionist, manipulating his subjects to do what he wants. Last night’s audience was chock full of British celebrities, all carted off to the event in blacked-out coaches to hide their destination. A large, dimly-lit stage confronted them on their arrival and for the next one and a half hours Derren performed his psychological tricks. And, as ever, they were impressive. He guessed people’s answers with astonishing regularity, seemed to have memorised the entire London streetmap – even down to the grid reference and page numbers of roads.
Or did he? His mental feats seem so unbelievably impressive that he is always going to draw in the critics. As ever, DigitalSpy has a good discussion going on the pros and cons of the performance, but almost everyone agrees on one thing – whatever the suspicions about his mental trickery, Derren Brown is a damn good entertainer. And that is, after all, how he pays the bills.