Derren Brown: Biography highlights

Derren Brown is an English mentalist, illusionist, and author. Since his television debut with Derren Brown: Mind Control in 2000, Brown has produced several other shows for the stage and television in both series and specials.

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Full biography of Derren Brown

Derren Brown’s Background

His 2006 stage show Something Wicked This Way Comes and his 2012 show Svengali won him two Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Entertainment. He has also written books for magicians as well as the general public.

Brown does not claim to possess any supernatural powers and his acts are often designed to expose the methods of those who do assert such claims, such as faith healers and mediums. In his performances, he often says that his effects are achieved through “magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection, and showmanship”.

  • Made a brief cameo in Crooked House.
  • Appeared as himself in the Sherlock episode “The Empty Hearse”, as part of a theory regarding how the title character faked his own death.
  • Appeared in a skit at the beginning of the 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Deal or No Deal special (a cross between 8 Out of 10 Cats and Deal or No Deal).

An interview with Brown was featured in Richard Dawkins’ two-part documentary series The Enemies of Reason. Brown explained various psychological techniques used by purported psychics and spiritual mediums to manipulate their audiences. The most notable was cold reading, a technique which Brown discusses extensively in his book Tricks of the Mind. Some video footage was also used from Brown’s TV special Messiah.

As part of Channel 4’s 3D season, Brown presented Derren Brown’s 3D Magic Spectacular. The show was not a new special from Brown, rather he was the presenter for a number of other magicians and clips that were shown. However, he did include one extract in which he found an object that had been hidden in the streets of Venice by a volunteer.

In January 2011, to celebrate ten years since his first television appearance, Channel 4 held a special Derren Brown Night. As well as re-showing The Heist (which won a recent poll of favourite specials) and one of his Enigma Live shows. The channel screened a special documentary; Derren Brown: Behind The Mischief, a personal and candid film about Brown. The documentary included the story of how he met his co-writer (who was featured in Seance), his mother’s feelings about his involvement in Russian Roulette, and an emotional visit back to his old school, university and the Bristol bars where he first began his close-up magic. Celebrity contributors included Matt Lucas, Jo Whiley, Stephen Merchant, and Simon Pegg.

In January 2013, Brown was featured in a Channel 4 Deal or No Deal special, where he appeared to have predicted all the correct boxes, to win the big jackpot of £250,000. This was filmed as part of the Channel 4 Mashup.


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1/3 videos
Derren Brown Blows James Corden's Mind Again
Derren Brown Blows James Corden's Mind Again
Derren Brown Has James Eat Glass
Derren Brown Has James Eat Glass
Derren Brown on whether he could change Trump - The Russell Howard Hour
Derren Brown on whether he could change Trump - The Russell Howard Hour

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