An Orpington illusionist is looking for new members to join his motley crew of magicians as some of his star pupils head off to university.

Jack Delvin, 84, who was born in Downham and now lives in Orpington, first fell in love with magic at the tender age of five and did his first professional show at 15.

By the time he was 25 he was booking theatres for a full-evening illusion show with his four assistants and he managed to reach the heights of the industry by becoming the president of the Magic Circle.

Mr Delvin told News Shopper: “I’ve been doing magic on and off for 70 years.

“I started off as a children’s entertainer – and then I moved up.

“I’ve made Stonehenge disappear and I’ve even cut Philip Schofield’s head off.”

Now he focuses on passing on the magic to the next generation, coaching them in the basics of magic and right up until they take the entrance exam to the Magic Circle, a 100-year-old magicians’ institute.

Mr Delvin has also been an examiner himself, and says he made Bradford-born TV magician Dynamo a member of the Magic Circle.


But his current batch of pupils are about to move on and Mr Delvin is searching for a new lot of prospective magicians to teach the art of illusion, deception and sleight of hand.

“Some of my youngsters are going to university so we are down to about ten regulars.

“I’ve trained some great magicians – three presidents of the Bexley Magic Society have come from my school.”

And of course he has his own illustrious career to draw from, having performed in most of London’s leading hotels and appearing and advising on a number of television shows.

He says: “I’ve performed for the Sultan of Brunei and the Duchess of Kent.

“Not bad for a little boy from the Downham Estate – well, an old boy now.”

Jack Delvin’s magic school meets every Saturday morning from 10am to 12.30pm in Coronation Hall, Bridge Road, Orpington. Contact details are available at