So why do we all just lap up magic and magicians?
Just as you’d hope and expect, Paul Daniels has got an instant answer.
“It is because magic is the defiance of all those stupid laws that bind us on this planet, though fortunately times are changing,” Paul muses.
“According to your physics teacher, you can’t produce matter. It cannot be created. But magicians are doing it all the time, and now we have got 3D printers.”
Paul’s point is that magicians have long been technically ahead of the game.
He’ll be illustrating how when he plays the Martlets Hall, Burgess Hill, on October 11, the Concorde Club, Eastleigh on October 25 and the Hippodrome, Eastbourne on November 9.
As he says, there are even sensors you can now strap to your head which will interpret how you want to fly a helicopter. Sci-fi is coming true... but as always with Paul, the laughs are never far away.
“The show is very, very strong on comedy. I am not tall enough to be elegant. You have just got to look at yourself and be yourself.”
Paul has done it all in his time. He was a junior clerk in a treasurer’s office, he was an internal auditor, he was a soldier, he even had his own general grocery store for a while.
“My first job was showing movies in my dad’s cinema as a nine year old, and I would still like to be in a movie. I would have to chase the job, I suppose. These things never happen by accident. But if I did that, what would I want to do after that? You have always got to have ambitions.
“When I was doing game shows on TV, they sent me forms out about the contestants, and we had one couple on. They were an elderly couple, and the form said something like ‘What are your ambitions?’ They just wrote ‘None left’. I just thought ‘Oh my God! We are not going to have a lot of fun here!’”
Paul certainly won’t have that problem himself. As he says, there are always new tricks out there to discover: “We are designing new stuff all the time.”
And you can expect it to be served up with glamour: “I like glamour in my entertainment. I know my life. I don’t want to see kitchen-sink drama. I want the excitement of my youth, the excitement that Errol Flynn used to bring us. I want the swashbuckling. I don’t want sordid things in my living room!”
And to give it the edge, the show has got to be live: “Any kind of show is better live. Just take sport. If you go to see live tennis, live professional tennis, you won’t believe just how fast and fit and agile the players are and the speed of their reactions.
“If you watch Strictly Come Dancing on TV, it’s good, but if you get to go and see the Strictly Come Dancing dancers live, it is just awesome. It is incredibly different. You have got the feel, the ambience, the excitement, the everything.”
And the same applies to magic.
On TV, you play magic to an imagined family of four in their sitting room; if you play to a live audience, you are playing to hundreds.
And no, that doesn’t make it easier to deceive them. Quite the opposite in fact, Paul insists.
“Close-up magic is so much easier than theatre magic because with close-up magic they are only looking at your hands. If you go into a big theatre, they are seeing your total body length, everything... and it is a lot more difficult to present professionally.”