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← AC Grayling: Derren Brown's Lotto stunt was a trick too far

Clairebear's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Clairebear

If I remember right from Penn Jilette's video blog, Teller is good friends with Derren Brown and corresponds with him regularly. The two of them (Penn and Teller) often say they have some issues with how magicians like David Blaine and Derren Brown come across when they're doing their tricks - for example, Derren Brown's pathetic 'walking on glass' that anyone can do, and David Blaine's 'above the below' glass box endurance stuff and so on. I like Derren Brown, some of the stuff he does is amazing and it baffles me how he does it. He really knows how to entertain, too, and I love these magicians who expose frauds. But then he just has to go and annoy everyone by adding on extras.

I'm surprised that all the news items reporting on the 'solution' to the lottery didn't even mention the claim of fixing the machine. It's like they didn't even watch the damn show. He pretty much states that that's what he did, but none of that found its way into the news which only posted the fake explanation. I'm sure there's a much simpler way of doing it than that, though.

What bugs me most about Derren Brown is his hypnosis. Is it real or not? If it were really that simple, surely it would be a well documented phenomenon by now, accepted by science? I believe him when he says he doesn't use actors, but when he claps his hands or something and someone sleeps for hours, or he makes them forget their whole career, I just think 'Yeah, right'. That wouldn't even work on a person who was very vulnerable to suggestion who wanted to be hypnotised. I have trouble reconciling my great fascination with his tricks - and liking him as an individual who seems very clever and creative - with my annoyance at this kind of thing.

EDIT: Wow, just read this back and it was a little bit more of a rant than I intended. I guess I was just miffed about the lottery thing. I really do like Derren Brown 80% of the time.

Tue, 15 Sep 2009 17:22:00 UTC | #397317