Judges spellbound by Jimmy

Award-winning magician Jimmy James with his daughter, and helper, Bronya
Award-winning magician Jimmy James with his daughter, and helper, Bronya

A magician from Harborough put the judges under a spell when he scooped three prizes in a competition hosted by the Northamptonshire Magicians’ Club.

Despite performing magic for 30 years, Jimmy James, who lives in Farndon Road, said the event was the first magic competition he had ever entered.

Jimmy won the award for ‘Ingenuity in Magic’, a shield naming him the best children’s entertainer of the year and the club’s Richard Stupple trophy, which is awarded to the magician who builds up the largest number of points in competitions over the course of the year.

He said: “For the children’s entertainer award, I had to perform in front of an audience of children and judges.

“It was great because the children also had a say in who the winner would be.”

Jimmy has been performing magic for more than 30 years and said he was first inspired by the British magician David Nixon, who had his own television show.

He added: “I used to watch him on a little black and white 12 inch television and soon after that I got my own magic set.

“I’ve always loved puzzles, ever since I was a kid, and I think what drew me to magic was the puzzle of wanting to know how something was done.”

Jimmy said he was also an admirer of Paul Daniels, who died last week.

He added: “When you watch a lot of magicians, you can see things they could improve on – but I never saw that with Paul, he was brilliant at what he did.”

Jimmy said he only joined the Northamptonshire Magicians’ Club a few years ago.

The group meets every two weeks and members give lectures to other magicians, share ideas, raise money for charity and socialise.

Jimmy added: “It’s really useful for keeping up to date on what is happening in the magic world, especially because there are electronic tricks now and that type of thing.”

Jimmy added that he still loves the challenge of performing magic, particularly to children, but said the internet has presented magicians with a new challenge because many people reveal the secrets of the tricks online.