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BGT Ultimate Magician Review

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

BGT Ultimate Magician was broadcast on Sunday the 18-Dec on ITV1. Now available to stream on ITVX here.

This review does contain some spoilers, so don't read any further if you do not wish to know about the show until viewing!!!

The show was presented by Stephen Mulhern, an ideal choice to have a presenter who is also a magician.

The judging panel was also boosted by guest judge Penn Jillette from Penn & Teller fame.

In total, ten acts performed. Artists who had previously appeared on BGT, AGT and other versions of the show. The hunt was on to find the "Ultimate Magician" with performances by Richard Jones, Magical Bones, Mandy Muden, Eric Chien and many others.

This special recognised the fact that magic is now a very popular part of the BGT and AGT shows. I had certainly been looking forward to this show as I had tried to get tickets unsuccessfully to see the show being recorded. A one off special.

Mentalism, close up, stage magic/illusions and comedy were all well represented during this two hour show. Something for everyone.

The show opening was Kevin Cloud with his mentalism performance which started the show on an impressive footing. All the acts that followed were excellent with a variety of styles ranging from tense and serious performances, comedy and even scary.

Standout performances for me were without doubt Eric Chien and his close up card act and Magical Bones who performed a version of his signature card routine along with an impressive escape routine.

Other highlights included a comedic performance from Mandy Muden, mentalism/playing card routine from Richard Jones and The Witch who closed the show in a memorable manner.

Some acts attempted to vary their performances, The Clairvoyants being a good example whereby part of the act was when Amelie was submerged in water. Marc Spelmann also combined and shared the stage with "X".

ITV generally did a good job of capturing the magic of the event. No easy task with magic when angles are all of course very important. The close up card magic of Richard Jones and Eric Chien was captured well which made it easy to follow and enhanced their performances.

One act that I would personally love to see live as in my opinion, TV may not have done justice is the act billed as "Tony" aka Tony and Jordan. I suspect that to fully appreciate this act and the complexity of its fast pace nature, it is best live and close up in a theatre. Best described as the digital magicians.

It would have also been good to see more female magicians on the show with just Mandy Muden leading the way on her own. And of course Amelie as part of The Clairvoyant's. Other female magicians have featured so more of a balance would have been good.

Kevin James also appeared short changed. Perhaps I just enjoyed his performance too much but it felt very quick and was over too soon.

I viewed the show with my wife Nadine and we both correctly guessed two of the top 3 being Eric Chien (who won) and Magical Bones who came in second. Both definitely deserved their high placings.

Overall, a very enjoyable show. And if you haven't watched already, you can stream on ITVX.


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