The Magicians

Popular hit magic show returns to BBC One

Interview with Latimer

How old were you when you first got bitten by the magic bug?

I was on cruise ship when I was nine and I saw a magician, Dan Birch, perform and was just inspired by what I saw. I got to be in the show just before his (a juggling group), so I was actually watching the magic from behind and I totally imagined what the audience was seeing and what I was seeing and I just got it. I just fell in love with that concept and I ran with it.

Who are your magic heroes?

That’s a tough question. I grew up in the magic community so heroes are not only childhood idols but friends. I love all magic and magicians for many different reasons however there was one magician who did stand out during my childhood. The late Billy McComb was possibly the most influential person in my study of magic. His advice and mentoring led to the fundamentals behind my illusion design. He was over six decades older than I was and probably had forgotten more about magic than some of us will ever learn about magic. He was a walking, talking, encyclopaedia for magic and illusion.

You’ve been doing magic from an early age, are you hoping to inspire some young Brits?

One of my mentors said ‘Be the best of one’ - which means if you’re the only person in the world that can do it then you have to be the best at it. My goal for magic is for people to look at magic and say it’s a lot more than rabbits out of hats and sawing women in half. I want people to think outside the box. This is the art form with no rules and no limits and we can bring the most far-fetched concept to life, because that’s what magic’s about.

Can you tell us about your style of magic and its background?

I love the classics of magic, I love the psychology of it all but my real passion is to create magic effects. New effects. It's not about rabbits out of hats in my magic, it's about how far does the rabbit hole go. I think my style is to attempt to offer an illusion unlike you ever seen before, in a way you have never experienced before. I have a background in Mathematics, Economics and Applied Physics. I started studying applied physics to be a better Magician. I think it's the magician's responsibility to offer something new in the art of magic and that includes having the education to take on that responsibility. A good craftsman is only as good as his tools so I made sure my tools could be the best they could be. The more you know the better a magician you can become.

How would you best describe your style of magic?

My magic is about having fun and seeing something new, because that’s what people want to see. A rabbit out of a hat is a pretty cool trick, there’s nothing wrong with the classics, but we’ve figured that one out already, let’s move on.

Are you looking forward to competing against Pete and Barry & Stuart?

It’s so awesome to be a part of this show, with the diversity across the board. I’m looking forward to seeing new magic. Barry and Stuart and Pete are really good at pushing the limits so it’s so flattering to be with this team of people. We are making history by doing a live magic show on television with some illusions which have never existed in the magic community until this point. The next generation of magic will be coming out January 7th and it’s pretty exciting!

What traits will your celebrity partner need to be a good assistant/magician?

From the celebrity’s point of view they’re walking into a situation where I have had a 20 year head start on them, however, if they’re excited to be on the show and motivated then that’s half the battle. If they get nervous then that will make me more nervous because I’m supposed to know what I’m doing! But I think they need to be comfortable and confident at the same time as having some courage. I’m excited for anyone who wants to do this; I just want to work with whoever is the most motivated.

If they’re excited to do it, then I’m excited to have them. I’m confident in the illusions we have planned. I think it’s just going to be great entertainment.

Are you nervous about the forfeits?

I would only be nervous if I knew what they were, but they won’t tell me! If you put me in front of something I have never seen before I’ll literally spend five minutes staring at it trying to figure it out - I’m not a big fan of going into situations that I’m not prepared for. So I would be nervous if I knew what they were. They’re rendering me speechless for now!

Are there any particular illusions that you are especially excited about in the show (don’t tell us too much though!)?

We are going to be putting a few more twists on the classics as well as offering something new for audiences and the magic community. I'm planning relay race escapes from handcuffs, chains, boxes, while on the other hand we are going to shape water. Like I said, something totally new. I’m going to do some of my well known acts of bending light, bringing items to life, and live bullet time levitations. Big stuff! I’m really excited; it’s going to be huge!