Well why not!
In 2010 I appeared on Take Me Out series 2 as a contestant… It was an amazing experience from start to finish and I thought I had better write a blog on the whole event even though it is quite some time since the whole experience.
Many people ask me how I appeared on the show and what on earth possessed me!
It was a combination of many things that made it all come together. Firstly a really great friend of mine was having a few drinks with someone quite high up in the production company for Take Me Out. I had told her that I applied but a little too late and she said to give her 10 minutes and she will call me back. Shortly after I received a call saying she could probably get me a last minute audition!
The next day I went to the Plaza Hotel in Manchester for an audition.. and a few card tricks later they said I would hear from them… and I guess I expected to (know I shouldn’t) to receive a call as everything went amazing.
Luckily I did receive that call, and before I knew it I was thinking about what I could perform on Take Me Out to entertain the girls and to make sure that I do not get a blackout (most important!). I wanted to prove to others that not all magicians are weird and lack social skills! (magicians will kill me for saying that but it can be true!) As my assistant Joy says… I am the first normal magician she ever met!
I can’t say I didn’t like the show either.. and I always enjoy the experience and publicity that is achieved from appearing on television. There are 3 reasons I wanted to go on the show.
- I was single and wanted to meet someone
- I knew it would be good for publicity and get me many shows booked in
- I wanted to come down the love lift and see all those girls looking my way!
I packed my suitcase and travelled to Kent where we were to start filming for the day. The suitcase was ready for travelling abroad just incase I don’t get a blackout and get a date! Upon arrival I met several of the runners as and then was introduced to the other 4 lads that were to appear on the same show as me. All in all they seemed a nice bunch of lads and we all got on reasonably well.
We were all a little nervous as we were being quizzed backstage in a roll playing manner as to what to replies to give to the girls under difference circumstances and comments given. Luckily I didn’t need many of these as it all went pretty smoothly and nobody threw me any really challenging comments or abuse thank goodness!
We were taken 1 at a time to rehearse on stage with Paddy and the crew which was an amazing experience and showed him a few card tricks. Once I got the lighting right for my particular piece of magic I was taught how to come down the love lift and where to stand and then taken backstage again.
Paddy is exactly how you would expect him to be… He was friendly and polite, and most importantly liked magic.
Backstage I noticed the crew telling the lads what they had to wear.. and if one person wore black then the next couldn’t etc… I wanted to make sure they do not tell me to change my outfit, as I wanted to look good! Standing my ground I just about managed to stay in the outfit I picked wearing my friend’s Vivienne Westwood harry hill collared shirt!
I had many months to prepare what I was going to perform on stage… At first I was going to perform a really large illusion called Bump In The Night.. performed and made famous by Hanz Klok. Then mostly to do with budget I decided to perform a classic of magic called the “Dancing Cane” with a lighted cane.
Although a very popular and in many ways over used magic trick amongst magicians, it went down really well.
The crew prepared my microphone and created a real buz before I heard Paddy say.. and our next lad to come down the lift…. By this time for some reason I wasn’t nervous, although my adrenaline was running strong.
The most important thing I said to myself before I came on stage was that I want to be “in the moment” and really aware of everything that is going on! You know sometimes you go through parts of your life on autopilot… like driving from A-B in a car and forgetting the journey. This is especially the case when doing something really important, so I wanted to make sure I was aware of every tiny detail.
I came down the lift to my chosen piece… “Love In An Elevator” by Aerosmith which I still wreckon to this day is the best choice for the show EVER!
All I remember is being completely overwhelmed by the girls and the atmosphere and also knowing that 2 great friends Simon and Lucy were in the audience! Although I couldn’t spot them I walked from one side of the stage to the other saying “Hi” to the girls while trying to see if there are any I would really like to go on a date with.
It was useless.. I couldn’t focus and just let myself go with the moment. I won’t go through every detail, but after my 2 videos and my performance I still had about 12 lights on which was AMAZING! NO BLACKOUT! 🙂
Luckily they didn’t secretly interview my father or friends otherwise I might have had a lot less.. but I did try to control this!
The next part… right well effectively I made a lapse in judgement at the very end. I had no idea how long the girls had been on the show for. For myself this is the first time we have ever met the girls and know nothing about them. At the end I was caught between 2 girls, one on either side. I was attracted to both and really liked the Irish accent! For some unknown reason, I thought Yvonne, was just after a date and not serious at the time and the girl on my right was nervous.. you could see it in her eyes. I picked Ellie.. the girl on the right.. not realising Yvonne had been on the show from the very 1st episode and never quite been picked!
To this day I know I would have had fun and a laugh with Yvonne and the good old Irish accent but hey.. what’s done is done.
After we disappeared together we spoke very briefly and then were split apart by the runners ready to see each other the next time on our date abroad.
The atmosphere and feelings were amazing and I loved every minute of being up on stage! I guess like seals live for fish, I live for stage and that feeling that you get.
After all four of the lads (who all got dates) were taken to a hotel where we had a few drinks and I ended up hypnotising “Matt” who turned out to be incredibly suggestible! I feel terrible.. I had him shouting, singing YMCA, sticking to chairs, seeing everyone naked amongst many of the usual hypnotic scenarios. Then I was asked by the producer to hypnotise him.. I couldn’t however and I think I must have offended him a little.. but this was because I don’t hypnotise unless they have either had no, or very little alcohol.
The next day at 8am we flew to Fernando’s! and arrived at 8pm… expecting to be able to enjoy our night a little with a start of about 9am the next day.. How wrong was I. 6am was the wakeup time! (the lad’s and the girls are in completely different hotels that are a secret!)
I am taken to a remote area and meet my date on camera. Although we could see each other in the distance we are made to go quite close, turn our backs and then it is made to look like a genuine (oh what a surprise seeing you here) moment!.
Our adventure for the day was Donutting on the back of a motorboat. It was great fun, although it was hard to get to know Ellie with the TV cameras on us all the time.
The best way to put it is, we did not get on that well!
Later that evening we had a meal and the television people throughout the day were saying to be honest and tell her if don’t like and all sorts. They were trying to incite me in a way to say things on camera which I would regret.. and I unfortunately did but nothing too bad! Inbetween the filming towards the end, I was unfortunately getting on better with one of the runner’s who I helped remove a fear of swimming in deep water through hypnosis.
Apparently the date just came across as very funny, but unfortunately there was no spark between us, especially after I learned she was only 19 (me being 29).
After 7pm in the evening we were finally released and allowed to have our own night out. It was really interesting hearing all the other lad’s stories… especially the one where one of them admits to having a girlfriend back at home and he has done it all just for publicity also! The weird thing is the girl he dated found out about this and was of course very annoyed… and yet they were holding hands on the plane on the way home before he got picked up by his real girlfriend.
The next morning we were in the queue for the flights… all the lads about 30 people back in a queue from the girls.. and nobody wanted to go over and say hello and vice versa!
After many awkward glances and 15 minutes one of the guys who actually got on well with his date went over to talk… Then the weirdest thing happened. we all got on the plane and shared seats right next to each other which was very very uncomfortable.
I couldn’t wait to get off the flight and go home.. unfortunately that was short lived.. We arrived into Heathrow where I specifically reminded the runner to bring my expensive magic equipment so I could go straight home. Unfortunately she forgot, so 3 hours later I begin my trip home after picking them up. A whole 14 hours later I arrive back at my house in Manchester… with memories that I would never… NEVER FORGET!