The Magicians

Popular hit magic show returns to BBC One

Interview with Darren McMullen

Are you looking forward to presenting the Second Series of The Magicians?

I really am. The more and more I hear about the magic itself, the more excited I get.

I’ve heard about some of the tricks these guys are going to be doing and it’s going to be absolutely astounding – you are going to see things that have never been seen on TV before. It’s going to be fantastic. It’s going to be the highlight of my year!

This is your first BBC presenting job. How do you think Saturday night primetime in the UK will differ from your US and Australian presenting roles?

Well Saturday night is the night here. That’s not the case in the US or Australia, but it’s the coveted spot in UK TV and the fact that I’m presenting live in my first ever primetime massive network role is great.

If you weren’t presenting The Magicians do you think you would like to take part?

I would absolutely love to take part. I’ve always been a massive fan of magic growing up. I think the only down side to me taking part would be I wouldn’t really want to see the magic behind the magic, I don’t like to know how tricks are done. I think if I was the assistant I would be a little disappointed if I found out magic isn’t really magic! But maybe it is, I really don’t know, I guess I’ll find out in the show.

If a celebrity declines to do the forfeit there’s a chance you may have to step in; if you have to face a forfeit, what would be your worst nightmare?

Anything involving snakes or spiders. I just don’t trust snakes, they are so slippery and they look evil. I suppose anything involving creepy poisonous animals.

Were you into magic as a kid?

Yes, I was brought up in the Paul Daniels era of magic. I think for my seventh birthday I demanded that I got a magic kit, much to the annoyance of my family. At every Christmas and birthday gathering I would bring out my magic kit and I would make every one sit around and watch me perform tricks… horrendously. I was never much of magician but I think that’s because I am an absolute klutz. You have to have some panache to be a magician.

What type of magic do you enjoy?

Well, when I was a youngster David Copperfield exploded on to the scene and was making planes disappear and cars levitate, he took magic to the next level. So the big kind of illusions, I really admire that stuff, but I love the little sleight of hand stuff as well – like making cards go through bottles of beer on the table and making coins appear. I just love magic and I’m so glad that it’s having a renaissance now.

Are you looking forward to working alongside the Magicians themselves?

Yes, I can’t wait to see them work their magic! Barry and Stuart, I loved their stuff in the first show. Great boys! Latimer from the US who’s doing absolutely incredible stuff over there and I have heard a lot about his magic. And then Pete Firman who does that comedy style magic. I’m really looking forward to working with the guys.

What are you most looking forward to?

I think what I am most looking forward to is working back in the UK and working with Brits again!

On top of that I’m looking forward to getting through the series! It’s immense pressure when you are coming in to a country where you are unknown and taking on a primetime gig on BBC One, which everyone knows and loves and feels a part of. I think it’s going to be an amazing ride.