Britain’s Got Talent: The Ultimate Magician reflects that over the years draw-dropping illusions and mind-bending tricks from magicians have proved incredibly popular on ITV’s entertainment juggernaut Britain’s Got Talent.
Now, for one night only, the 10 best magic acts from ‘…Got Talent’ series from around the world, show off their skills on Britain’s Got Talent: The Ultimate Magician. Here's everything we know...
Britain’s Got Talent: The Ultimate Magician release date
The two-hour magical spectacular can be seen on Sunday December 18 at 8pm on ITV1.
Britain’s Got Talent: The Ultimate Magician: Who is the host?
Working his magic as a host for the special is none other than seasoned trickster and TV favourite, Stephen Mulhern, 45, drafted in after regular hosts Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly contracted COVID-19. And he reckons viewers should prepare to be spellbound…
"It’s got everything - speciality, variety, close-up trickery and big-scale illusions,' says Stephen. "There is a real appetite for magic acts on BGT; in the 2020 series alone, the audience voted six magicians through to the final. All our acts are incredible and they ALL want to be named The Ultimate Magician. It’s going to be a phenomenal show."
Who are the judges?
BGT's resident judges David Walliams, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon are back with Penn Jillette — better known as one half of world-renowned US magic duo Penn & Teller — sitting in for Simon Cowell, as the acts battle it out to be named ultimate magician and win £50,000.
"Penn & Teller have got the longest-running show in the history of Las Vegas; David, Amanda and Alesha were there to get involved with the tricks but Penn brought the authority to the panel because he knows magic inside out," explains Stephen. "The acts would have been nervous anyway but having Penn there added another element of danger for them."
Which BGT acts will be taking part?
A whole host of magnificent magicians from past series of BGT will be returning to the stage for this special show, as Stephen reveals...
"We’ve got Lance Corporal Richard Jones, the only magician to ever win Britain's Got Talent. He did an amazing illusion with Amanda that will take people's breath away,' he says. "Then there's Marc Spellman, who was Ant and Dec's Golden Buzzer in 2018 then appeared in 2019 as 'X'. The Witch also returns and is quite freaky. I can’t believe people once thought it was me!"
Britain’s Got Talent: The Ultimate Magician: Which global stars will feature?
The stakes are high as the show also boasts performances from some of the best magic acts from the various Got Talent shows around the world.
"There’s Kevin James from Las Vegas [America’s Got Talent, Season 2, 2007], he's a magician I was a fan of growing up. We also have Austrian husband and wife duo, The Clairvoyants [AGT, S11, 2016], known as 'the magician foolers' because nobody in the magic community really knows their methods," says Stephen. "There's Les French Twins [Finalists, France’s Got Talent: Battle of the Judges, 2020], multimedia magicians, who are young, current and up-to-date, and Eric Chien, winner of Asia’s Got Talent 2019, who’s like a real-life wizard!"
Why focus on just magic?
People just LOVE magic. During the 2020 series alone, six of the 10 acts voted through to the final were magicians. These men and women of mystery have even converted Simon, too!
"When you look back at early series of BGT, Simon wasn't a fan of magic but he realised he needed to get on the bandwagon," says Stephen. "It’s the intrigue and the fascination. Also, magic is a universal thing; you can take it to any country and perform anywhere. If I stopped presenting, I’d focus on what I originally did, which was magic. I recently had my own magic show in Butlin’s Skegness — or as I like to call it, SkegVegas!"
Britain’s Got Talent: The Ultimate Magician: Can we expect more specials?
"I've made no secret of the fact I've always wanted to have a magic show on TV and I think there's space for it. I reckon Britain's Got Talent: The Ultimate Singer or The Ultimate Dancer would make great specials. Tell you what, I'll host the specials and Ant and Dec can do the other stuff!"
Britain’s Got Talent: The Ultimate Magician airs on Sunday at 8pm on ITV1.
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With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!
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