Brown, Blaine take share of U.K. ratings

September 14th, 2009 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under David Blaine
Photo courtesy The Guardian

Photo courtesy The Guardian

Plenty of British magic fans flocked to their TVs over the weekend to catch a master mentalist and a street magic legend.

The Guardian reports that the first episode of Derren Brown’s “The Events,” which included an explanation of a lottery prediction, claimed a 20 percent share with 4.4 million viewers. The amount of viewers dominated other networks at that time slot. A show providing the explanation also

Channel 4, which aired the Brown special, also showed David Blaine’s “What is Magic?” and snared a 10 percent share for its time slot with 1.7 million viewers. Blaine’s show came in second place to BBC2’s “QI,” a rerun that snagged 11 percent, or about 2 million viewers. “What is Magic?” is basically “Dive of Death” without the Dive of Death — the finale was that sweet bullet catch.

Back to Brown: An explanation of the lottery effect didn’t go over very well with fans, apparently. The Guardian’s live blog got fairly cantankerous, actually.


  1. New blog post: Brown, Blaine take share of U.K. ratings

  2. I watched them both, It’s all I watched TV for on that day. Derren Brown fascinates me and David Blaine just makes my jaw fall to the floor…

  3. As a UK Derren Brown fan, one of the biggest issues myself and many others had was his use of camera trickery. He has excelled at mentalism and claimed that none of his work uses stooges or camera tricks for years. No one has been able to come close to what he has been consistently doing with audiences’ minds n the UK. Then came the Lottery Stunt… He had an hour long special as a follow-up to explain how he did it and basically mis-directed (actually – lied) to everyone when he used a split-screen. Many of UK magicians that I have spoken with agree that this has put him on a par with Criss Angel and David Blaine, both of whom have been widely-documented as using video editing or cuts to achieve some of their routines.

    Still, he did redeem himself last night with some pretty impressive covert hypnosis.