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Derren Brown – The side you didn’t know

Looking back at my teenage years and even perhaps until now I have always found myself astonished at what certain people can do with their skills and knowledge. I mean we all have certain skills or abilities that lead us to being different from each other. We have athletes breaking records each time they enter a competition, new singers coming up with exceptional voices or dancers who create new incredible dance moves and twist their bodies to a point that you think it will snap at any time. These talents amongst many others have always led me to ponder at what we can achieve as individuals.

However, among these perhaps the one that I have always been intrigued and an enthusiast of is magic and illusion. Growing up watching the likes of Luis de Matos one of the most notorious and notable Portuguese magicians of all times it certainly nourished my interest for magic, nevertheless the one I enjoy watching the most these days is the British illusionist, mentalist, trickster, hypnotist Derren Brown.

Derren Brown is a British Magician most known for his early television show ‘Russian Roulette’ in 2003, as well as ‘Trick of the Mind’ and so on. Although he lives a life of fame, performing in glamorous places such as Royal Albert Hall, Palace Theatre London etc. there are some facts that perhaps most of us do not know about him.

Just like most successful people, there is always someone who helps these get on their way to achieve their dreams. In this case the name you may wonder who helped Derren Brown (in case you did not know Derren Brown had someone to help him break-through) is Jerry Sadowitz. They met one day in a magic shop in London where they exchanged a few tricks and became friends, leading Derren to get his first lecture gigs for magicians and even being recommended to production companies.

Known for his illusion and mind tricks, Derren Brown has professed to be an atheist who simply does not believe in paranormal or religious stuff although he spent all his teenage years in the Evangelical faith. This Evangelical belief faded away as he attended Bristol University where he formally studied German and Law, and also picked up hypnotism for kicks. He was not the most known student in class, though. He says “I was no stranger to purple and green boots and a floral shirt, bowtie and braces, oblivious to how objectionable I must have been."

After being asked for years, “Do you use your skills to pick up the girls?” Derren broke a million female hearts (and set the same number of men's aflutter) when he came out in 2007. “People generally aren't as bothered by your intimate secrets as you are. It took me being in a relationship with a guy for a month before I told anyone I was thus inclined,” he stated. “If anything, I was disappointed to learn it wasn't much of a surprise. Possibly my penchant for interior decor had given the game away.”

When he's not messing with our heads, Derren messes with the faces of celebrities. A skilled painter, his speciality is acrylic celebrity caricatures, with his self-portrait, Madonna and Woody Allen being among the best. If you're too lazy to get to a gallery, you can buy prints of his work or his Portraits book, which collects the lot with some commentary from the man himself.

After accidentally being dragged into a press-manufactured sparring match with Derek Acorah, Brown once found himself accidentally in the same Swansea hotel lobby as the 'medium' and his Ghost Towns co-host Myleene Klass. The ex-Hear'Say star said that there could only be “one winner” in the supposed contest and urged Brown to diffuse the row by telling the press that “Derek does his thing and I do mine”. He declined.

Derren’s most devastating childhood memory was when he set his neighbour’s boat on fire when he was nine years of age. He was playing with matches with the neighbour’s son when he accidently set a trampoline on fire which was covering the boat. He says he went home after and prayed to God to make it didn’t happen.