Derren was born in 1971 in Croydon. It was a difficult birth: his mother was in Devon at the time. A precocious and puzzling only child for some years, he liked to paint, foster obsessive habits, and once set fire to a neighbour\'s boat by accident. Later, after his brother was born, Derren went to study Law and German at Bristol University and fell in love with the city. This was still at the time when marriages between man and city were frowned upon, so rather than risk public derision, Derren decided to just live there after graduating and vowed never to leave. During this time he didn\'t have two pennies to rub together, which was a shame as it was his only way of keeping warm. He began to perform magic in bars and restaurants, and gave occasional hypnosis shows. Meanwhile he continued to paint unflattering portraits of the rich and famous. In 1999 he was asked by what was then Channel 4 to put a mind-reading programme together for people\'s televisions. Their first choice, Cheryl from Bucks Fizz, had turned out to be shit at it. A year later, Easter 2000, at ten in the evening, Derren and his family gathered round a fuzzy grey picture on the corner of their living room. It was of the once popular actress Nerys Hughes, and this had become something of a festive tradition. Later in the year, at Christmas, \'Derren Brown: Mind Control, with Derren Brown\' quite literally aired. It was an immediate success, and gained Derren a cool, underground kudos which he described as \"not enough\". Mind Controls 2 and 3 followed, then a series, then a brief spell in prison, and then in October 2003 Derren caused an international furore with \'Derren Brown Plays Russian Roulette Live\'. This secured his notoriety with the public and his big apartment in London. \"Bristol can shove itself\", he said. The Seance followed soon after, which was Derren\'s first look at the area of spiritualism and paranormal phenomena, and the first show where his intelligent scepticism could be expressed. Derren says of the show, \"By now I was properly famous and could pretty much buy whatever I wanted\". Further specials have followed, including \'Messiah\', which took him undercover to the US to see if leaders in paranormal belief systems would wrongly endorse him as the real thing. Since then he gets several letters of complaint a week from psychics and Christians. He is sensitive to everyone\'s objections, but knows that at least the latter group will forgive him. His workload keeps him exhausted and irritable 52 weeks a year, and he continues to live in London with a large collection of taxidermy and two rather fatalistic parrots, where he spends any free weekends painting.
What are Candy Mentalists? They\'re delicious all-edible confections made of sugar-paste, which is a kind of British marzipan-like fondant icing you roll out and cover cakes with or make decorations with like these. It tastes just like the marshmallow charms in Lucky Charms breakfast cereal! It dries hard but it still smells yummy even after two years. Yes, you could eat any of these boys, if you didn\'t mind just the tiniest bit of paint or toothpick or metal accessory getting into your system. Mostly they\'re colored with food coloring, kneaded in or painted on, and they stand about 2 1/2 to 3 inches tall, weigh about 3 1/2 ounces, and I estimate they\'re about 400 calories apiece. Here are a couple of pictures to give you a sense of scale. One for those of you who think in inches...
Derren Brown is being talked about as a unique performer in the world of magic entertainment. A psychological illusionist who possesses an audacious confidence and a rare intuition which enable him to predict, suggest and control human behaviour. Born in Croydon in 1971, Derren traces his interest in psychological techniques to childhood. “I was a very good liar and a revoltingly charming child”, he says. Like a lot of solitary children he developed an interest in magic but it was only later at Bristol University, where he studied Law and German that he started to take it seriously. “I found myself developing an analytical mind-set, able to spot the loopholes in anyone\'s argument very quickly”. After graduating, Derren abandoned a career in Law and concentrated on developing his skills at psychological magic. He was able to pay the bills by combining performing in Cafés and bars with a sideline in portraiture. His big break came in 1999 when he was asked by Channel 4 to put a TV show together. The result, DERREN BROWN: MIND CONTROL, was shown in December 2000, proving an immediate success. The repeat showing rated in Channel 4\'s top ten. This was followed in August 2001 by another special DERREN BROWN: MIND CONTROL 2, further establishing him as a hit with viewers and critics alike. “Derren Brown has taken the cheese and sleaze out of showbiz magic and restored a sense on wonder…unbelievable stuff” (Time Out), “Astonishing…utterly convincing” (Observer), “Fascinating”… (Sunday Times), Derren returned to Channel 4 on New Year’s Day 2002 with DERREN BROWN: MIND CONTROL 3 - a one-hour special that pushed the boundaries of psychological magic to new heights, prompting the Daily Star to say: “This guy’s powers could seriously freak you out” and the Guardian to speculate: “Clearly the greatest dinner party guest in history…or the scariest man in Britain”. Bizarre Magazine said: “A hundred years ago they would have burnt him at the stake”. Derren returned to our TV screens in Nov 2002 with a Derren Brown night on E4, which premiered his new series. This series went on to become one of Channel 4’s most watched entertainment shows when it was shown on C4 on Friday nights from March 2003. He followed this with a sell-out nationwide tour. Derren, always one to push forward the boundaries of showmanship and magic entertainment, caused an international furore when he played Russian roulette on National TV. DERREN BROWN PLAYS RUSSIAN ROULETTE LIVE was watched by over 3.3 million people when it went out on Channel 4 on Sun 5 October 2003. Ten million people watched him perform on the National TV Awards the following month. Oct 2003 also saw the release of DERREN BROWN: INSIDE YOUR MIND - his first video/DVD through Channel 4. In his spare time he paints portraits of famous icons and an exhibition of his work is being planned. In addition, Derren has penned two books, PURE EFFECT and ABSOLUTE MAGIC, both of which gathered much attention from the magical community worldwide
A radical and new thinker in the world of close-up magic and mentalism. Derren performs forty-five minutes of hardcore mind-reading and close-up hypnosis. Volunteers are slammed into trance-states, achieving bizarre mental connections with each other in some mind blowing routines that are now earning Derren a dynamic reputation. The following effects are performed: LIFT: A spectator\'s arm is immobilised. Then controlled remotely, by the will of another volunteer. PLEROPHORIA: A deck of cards is thoroughly shuffled by a spectator yet Derren, while facing away, names each card in order. SMOKE: An incredible routine, where a card that has been merely thought of by a spectator, is first named by Derren then disappears from an untouched deck only to impossibly appear...well, wait and see. COIN READING AND BENDING: The date and denomination of a volunteer\'s coin, unseen and untouched by Derren, is identified. Then slowly bent at the will of another volunteer. REMINISCENCE: A hypnotised spectator merely thinks of a memory, a number and a picture. All are then perfectly described in immense detail by both Derren and audience members. This mind-blowing routine is Derren at his very best. The performance is followed by an explanation of Plerophoria and a demonstration of mentally forcing an imaginary card, plus some extremely valuable discussions on presentation and Derren\'s philosophy of \'Invisible Compromise\'. An immensely useful video for both the budding and established mentalist.
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