1956 Magic Trick Sent BBC Viewers Into a Panic

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John Tudor
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1956 Magic Trick Sent BBC Viewers Into a Panic

Postby John Tudor » March 5th, 2017, 11:15 am

http://mentalfloss.com/article/92685/19 ... D=ref_fark

As Sorcar’s saw seemed to be passing through Dey’s spine, host Richard Dimbleby stepped in front of the camera and abruptly announced that the show had come to an end. Millions of BBC viewers were left to wonder whether Sorcar, an exotic-looking man clad in a turban, had just killed a woman on live television...
"Ars longa, vita brevis." (Life is short, the art so long to learn) -Hippocrates

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Max Maven
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Re: 1956 Magic Trick Sent BBC Viewers Into a Panic

Postby Max Maven » March 5th, 2017, 6:35 pm

The writer's research was insufficient.

He references the news-making fire walk by Ahmed Hussain in 1937, but that was done in the wake of the first modern fire walk done in England two years earlier, by Kuda Bux.

He states that in the wake of the sawing on the live broadcast being unresolved, the later TV newscast "set aside a moment to assure viewers that [the woman] had not been dismembered. It might be the first and only time a news program was forced to report a magic trick had gone exactly as planned."

Very possibly the first, but not the only. In 1987, Paul Daniels did a live Halloween special that concluded with an attempted escape involving a door studded with spikes that would slam shut onto the magician if he didn't escape in time. He didn't, so the show ended, wordlessly, with the camera lingering on the shut door.

The BBC switchboard lit up, and Paul was obliged to make an appearance on the subsequent newscast to make it clear that he was alive.

The biggest difference was that the Sorcar sawing was left unfinished not because that was planned, but rather because the live broadcast was running late, hence the decision for the host to jump in and say goodbye prematurely. The Daniels piece was intentional, and timed out perfectly.

John Tudor
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Re: 1956 Magic Trick Sent BBC Viewers Into a Panic

Postby John Tudor » March 7th, 2017, 9:35 am

Interesting! Thanks, Max.
"Ars longa, vita brevis." (Life is short, the art so long to learn) -Hippocrates



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Re: 1956 Magic Trick Sent BBC Viewers Into a Panic

Postby performer » March 7th, 2017, 10:32 am

My favourite was the time Chan Canasta turned everyone's television off by the power of his mind! And the time he got arrested by Scotland Yard for trying to make a thief return a stolen Goya painting from an art gallery wasn't bad either!

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Christopher1979
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Re: 1956 Magic Trick Sent BBC Viewers Into a Panic

Postby Christopher1979 » March 7th, 2017, 11:35 am

there was a very similar response to a Paul Daniels illusion i think in the 80's on the Paul Daniels Magic Show Halloween Special. People were ringing in as they thought Paul was actually killed doing the illusion so the BBC had to air a quick reply from Paul saying he was ok and it was just an illusion. I remember watching it as a kid!


I got into magic because of Paul, i remember buying one of his magic sets when i was about 7 years old. I had the honor of talking to him a few times also. R.I.P. Paul you will be greatly missed.


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