A Magician Is The New Blue Peter Presenter
This is why Joel M landing the role of presenter number 41 on the longest running children's show is such good news for magic.
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Blue Peter is a British children’s telly show. It’s the world's longest-running children’s telly show. It first aired in 1958, which means my parents grew up with it, and so did I. Some of the most famous live TV moments have come from the show, like this beautiful moment with a rather naughty elephant:
Almost everyone in the UK, no matter their age, will likely drop what they’re doing for the chance to win an infamous Blue Peter badge—first introduced in 1963. Children (and adults) who go on the show or achieve something notable get awarded the coveted badge. The Blue Peter badge allows holders free entry into several visitor attractions in the UK.
I watched Blue Peter and a few other shows when I was a kid. One of the other telly programmes was Dick & Dom’s In Da Bungalow — a chaotic live broadcast that gave birth to the infamous game of ‘bogies.’
In this public prank game, you and your friends take turns saying the word ‘bogies’ louder and louder until someone throws in the towel or you’re kicked out of the school/museum/library.
I met Dick & Dom briefly a few years back at their agent’s office. It wasn’t until I met Dom and listened to him talking about magic (he was about to be interviewed on The Magicians Podcast the next day) that I realised how much he had shaped my interest in magic.
Dom is a magician, and on his children’s TV show, he would occasionally perform and sometimes teach magic tricks to the viewers at home. I distinctly remember him teaching me via the telly how to chop up a banana with my mind. The secret was to use a needle to pierce the skin of an unpeeled banana and wiggle it in several places.
Dom was awarded the Young Magician Of The Year award by The Magic Circle in 1995, long before his stint as a TV presenter. But it was as a children’s TV host, occasionally teaching open-domain tricks to enthusiastic young viewers like myself, that he would upset the same Magic Circle. In fact, teaching tricks to children led The Magic Circle to expel him from the club.
I seem to remember Dom teaching magic, maybe even on top of a double-decker bus in the city of Bath, on a VHS tape someone gave me for my Birthday. I don’t remember much, likely because I was five, but I remember enough to know he was one of the early dominos that led me to what I do now.
It’s odd — I put my early interest in magic down to the David Copperfield VHS at my grandparents’ and the box of tricks stored in their attic. But it’s people like Dom, a children’s presenter with a passion for magic, who was truly responsible for encouraging and shaping my passion for this weird little art form of ours.
Joel M is an Irish Magician and TikTok content creator. He was one of the first TikTokers to popularise trends such as ‘rate the trick.’ He began performing magic at six years old and has aged since. Several years ago, Joel had his own television magic show on the Irish BBC channel. The show was pretty great and produced with the help of the magician and bearded friend Beau Cremer.
Joel’s also produced a magic book and launched a new podcast.
I first met Joel several years back and can confirm he happens to be the loveliest of guys — and he has perfect skin. And now he also has a fancy Blue Peter badge and his fabulous new gig.
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