Exclusive Interview: Martin Daniels – Magician's Take on the 2016 Royal Variety Performance
After last night’s broadcast of the 2016 Royal Variety Performance on ITV, we caught up with popular magician Martin Daniels. He shared his personal memories of performing with his late father, Paul Daniels, a veteran Royal Variety performer. Paul had an incredible impact on the entertainment industry and was described by many as a “brilliant showman”. Without a doubt, Martin is following in his footsteps.
Watch Martin in action, below:
Since losing many great stars of the stage and screen in 2016, the show is an essential celebration of Britain’s incredible variety talent. Last night offered a fitting tribute to Martin’s father, an icon of entertainment.
When we caught up with Martin, he shared how his father defined his magic career, with his unwavering support.
Q: So, did you watch the Royal Variety Performance last night?
“I wasn’t able to watch the show last night, but I’ve had lots of people message me on social media saying there had been a tribute to my Dad, and to all of the stars that we have lost this year.”
“The list of people who left us in 2016 is like a Who’s Who: variety stars, pop stars and TV legends like my Dad, Ronnie Corbett and Victoria Wood. It has been an extraordinary year in that respect.”
Q: What has been your experience as a Royal Variety performer?
“I have performed at the Royal Variety five times and the last one was with my Dad. For my first performance, I was very young, only 19, and was the up-and-coming talent that they have on every year.”
“I remember that, at the time, Dad said he wasn’t going to come to the theatre as he didn’t want to make me nervous. When first starting out and your parents are in the audience as you’re on the big stage, you are trying to please them, so he said he was going to stay away and told me to focus on what I had to do.”
“At the theatre in the afternoon ahead of the performance, I was thinking that this could be a once in a lifetime occasion and, if I had a son who was appearing in a show as big as this, I wouldn’t want to miss it.”
“I ran outside, rang Dad and asked him to come down. He went ‘I’m on the way’ and the phone went dead.”
Q: Was your first Royal Variety performance nerve-wracking?
“Not for me. My Dad was a nervous wreck though! As he was fussing over me, I had to tell him to relax and that I’d got everything under control.”
“I remember waiting in the wings and in between my name being called and me going onto the stage, I turned to my dad and said that I thought I’d be nervous. All he could do was usher me onto the stage. He was clearly far more nervous than me.”
Q: What did your father think of your first Royal Variety Performance?
“I went round to my Dad’s house to watch the show on TV and he sat in stony silence. He didn’t say a word whilst my bit was on and once the performance had finished, he simply said ‘That’s your money just gone up’.”
“There was no ‘well done’ or anything, but I think that was his way of keeping my feet on the ground and, in truth, he was right!”
Q: Do you think that magic is having a comeback?
“I think we what are seeing now is a legacy left by my Dad.”
“Some years ago we did Penn & Teller Fool Us as an end of season finale surprise and, when talking to the producers, they told us that before performing their tricks, all of the acts on the show had been asked certain questions, one of which was what had got them into magic.”
“The producers told us that every single one them said The Paul Daniels Magic Show.”
“All of these people are now between 25-35 years old and fall into the age range of those who my Dad on TV when they were five or six, which then sparked their interest in magic.”
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