Now we think there are plenty of magical things about Plymouth...and they include an extraordinarily talented young man whose jaw-dropping illusions have wowed even hardened Hollywood audiences.Party magician Alex Hansford

As a 16-year-old school boy Alex Hansford was named Best Card Magician in the UK at the International Brotherhood of Magicians Close-up Championships. The title made him the youngest winner in the competition’s 75-year history. The year was 2010 and Alex, then studying for his GCSEs at Devonport High School for Boys, scooped both the coveted Rovi Trophy – awarded to the best card magician - and the top prize for the best close-up magician.

He went on to take third place in the International Magic Close-Up Championships where he was the youngest competitor by 11 years, pitting his magic skills against some of the best in the business from the UK, USA, France, Korea, Denmark, Iraq, Spain, Poland and Austria. A year later he was the UK’s only representative in the card trick category of the European World Championships of Magic (organised by the International Federation of Magic Societies). In 2012 his awesome card tricks earned him the Rovi Trophy for a second time.

Still just 19, Alex is right up there with the world’s greatest close-up entertainers and has been showered with accolades from fellow magicians and awe-inspired audiences alike. When he demonstrated some of his card tricks on BBC Television, the two presenters were clearly flabbergasted and described his wizardry as “astounding”.

Watch his mind-blowing performance on the BBC here

His artistry has been recognised by the Magic Circle which has invited him to lecture and perform at its world-renowned London HQ on many occasions. Hollywood’s Magic Castle – the showplace for some of the greatest magicians from across the globe – has hired him to perform in more than 30 shows. He’s one of the youngest entertainers to have performed there since it opened 50 years ago. Closer to home, Alex has astounded audiences at Illusions in Bristol – the UK’s only magic bar which attracts some of the finest acts from all over the world.

At Go Plymouth, we can vouch for his talent. It doesn’t matter how close you are to him when he’s performing his magic, it’s simply impossible to understand how he does it. He’s so good at what he does that he’s even been asked to teach some of his tricks to fellow magicians in Las Vegas – not bad going for a young man who’s only just finished his A Levels!

Alex told us how his truly magical journey started. “I was given a magic set for Christmas by my grandparents when I was 11 years old, then at a New Year’s Eve party that year I was introduced to a family friend who’d heard how interested I was in this new set. He taught me one trick with a deck of cards which I spent an hour learning and practising, then I set about performing it to friends and family members at the party.

“This was my first time performing magic properly. For me, it was amazing to see that I could invoke such a rare emotion – astonishment! – among my spectators with something I had only learnt an hour earlier. After that I was hooked.  I wanted to learn more so I bought lots of books and withdrew all the books I could find on the subject from my local library in Plymouth. Having learnt what I could from them, I moved on and bought some other less readily available books from magic shops and on the Internet.”

Alex is a natural born entertainer. If you’re planning a private party, wedding or corporate event, why not invite him along to provide some table entertainment guaranteed to add some special magic to your big occasion? We can promise you his ‘up close and personal’ illusions will leave your guests amazed, awestruck…and talking about your event for a very long time afterwards!

Contact us to find out how you can bring a touch of magic to your life.

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