Paul Daniels’s culi­nary wiz­ardry in Book­ing the Cooks,

Oisín Davis stirs with the stars

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Front Page - rock­cook­book.com

Those of you of a cer­tain age will re­call that ma­gi­cians who wanted to en­ter­tain the masses didn’t have to be sus­pended for days on end from glass cubes or en­force a hunger strike on them­selves in blocks of ice.

In the not-so-dis­tant past, all that was re­quired of them was a sharp wit, a charm­ing (usu­ally fe­male) as­sis­tant and of course, the abil­ity to per­form the odd il­lu­sion or two. Paul Daniels was one such trick­ster. Not only did he tick all of those boxes, but he had some damn fine catch­phrases, too. And if you thought that this more old-school ap­proach to show­man­ship wasn’t draw­ing crowds any more, then think again. Daniels is still packing them in and even af­ter many decades in show busi­ness, con­tin­ues to win praise from his peers and public.

In­deed, when granted an op­por­tu­nity with some­one who has such a re­spected legacy un­der their belt, there was no way I couldn’t not ask him about the wildest trick he’s ever seen.

“The pro­duc­tion of a don­key and an elephant on an open stage by the late great Harry Black­stone. No trap doors, no cover, and there they were. Quite won­der­ful!”

And who was the great­est ma­gi­cian that ever lived?

“Mer­lin – if he ever ac­tu­ally lived – be­cause peo­ple are still talk­ing about him af­ter hun­dreds of years.”

That’s all very epic, but when it comes to food, Paul’s tastes are def­i­nitely more grounded. He may be a house­hold name who has en­ter­tained mil­lions, but serve him up some hum­ble egg ‘n’ chips and as he has says him­self, “I am in heaven”. Sit­ting along­side Harry and Mer­lin per­haps?

You’re go­ing to like this . . . Paul Daniels in his hey­day

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