Face to face with Roy Davenport

In her latest Face to Face interview, KAREN BETHELL talks to North Walsham-based performer Roy Davenport, who comes from 4 generations of magicians. Roy, whose family boasts 10 members of the inner Magic Circle, performed his first trick in public on a Saturday morning TV show at the age of 8.

In her latest Face to Face interview, KAREN BETHELL talks to North Walsham-based performer Roy Davenport, who comes from 4 generations of magicians. Roy, whose family boasts 10 members of the inner Magic Circle, performed his first trick in public on a Saturday morning TV show at the age of 8. By 15, he had bagged the title of youngest ever winner of the British Magic Championships, also performing with TV magicians Ali Bongo and Paul Daniels, popping up on chat show Wogan, and making 3 appearances on children's show Blue Peter. After leaving drama school - where he met future wife Anne - he went on to dazzle audiences in countries including Finland, Russia, Italy and the US. In recent years, Roy, who specialises in sleight of hand magic, has concentrated on performing in the UK, also giving talks on his family history. He will be appearing at Sheringham Little Theatre with singer Richard Winch and comedian Peter John on Sunday (March 29) at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are available from the box office on 01263 822347. For more information, visit www.roydavenport.co.uk

What is the best thing about your job?

The fact that no two jobs are the same - I never know where I'm going to go or who I going to meet and I also get to see some fantastic old theatres.


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And the worst?

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I never think like that - I'm an annoyingly positive person.

Where do you go to unwind?

If I'm in north Norfolk, I go running around our beautiful countryside, but, in London, I'm a member of a bohemian gentlemen's club called the Savage Club. Our motto is "the pursuit of happiness" and those who join are all extroverted, extraordinarily funny, happy people.

What is the one possession you would save if your house was on fire?

A collection of press cuttings, letters and documents sent by Harry Houdini to Will Golston, who ran the Magician's Club. My grandfather bought his shop and they were discovered after we moved premises.

What is your favourite Norfolk building?

Cromer pier - for the theatre on the end of it! I did the summer season there and just imagine walking to work along the beach in your bare feet - it is absolutely idyllic.

What is the one thing you would change about North Norfolk?

I love the idea of the orbital rail link, and if that could happen it would be great.

What makes you angry?

Singers who mime during "live" performances.

What is your greatest achievement?

Apart from my children James and Sophie, winning a prize in my category at the World Magic Championships in Dresden in 1997. I was the first Brit since 1951 to win.

Have you ever done anything outrageous?

Dressing up as Baby Spice for Cromer's Seaside Special was quite outrageous - although I do think I have the legs for it!

What is the one thing you would change about yourself?

I might grow my hair back, although even that's good for telling jokes about myself.

Who or what is the love of your life?

My wife Anne because I have lots of crazy ideas and she makes sense of my madness.

Whom do you most admire?

My great grandfather Lewis Davenport because if it hadn't been for him, I would never have been a magician.

Favourite book, film and TV programme?

Book: The 39 Steps, film: Moulin Rouge, and TV programme: The Apprentice.

How would you like to be remembered?

Ali Bongo has just passed away; he was a family friend and he has left a huge gap - both as a person and as a magician - and if I could make half as much of an impression as him, then I be very happy.

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