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North magician's set to share the tricks of his trade.

Byline: KATIE COLLINGS Reporter katie.collings@ncjmedia.co.uk

ANEWCASTLE-BORN magician has designed a series of "Geordie magic tricks" in a bid to stop old-fashioned entertainment doing a disappearing act.

Chris Cross has released a book that teaches readers how to do a dozen North East-themed tricks referencing the Angel of the North, Greggs sausage rolls and Newcastle Brown Ale.

The book, which comes complete with an instructional DVD and a pack of trick cards, features illustrations by VIZ Comic artist Davey Jones and a foreword by Debbie McGee.

The DVD itself features a number of North East icons such as Benidorm's Tim Healy, Auf Wiedersehen Pet's Lesley Saint John and footballing legend Malcolm MacDonald. Chris, from Fenham, dug out all of the classic and simple tricks from old books he has collected over the years and put his own regional spin on them to create "timeless" content.

The tricks include ones named Burglars in the Baltic, Toon Toon Black and White Army and Eyes on the Angel.

"It's the first book I've written, I'm dead proud of it," Chris, 28, said. "It's my own project and I've selfpublished it."

The magician and escapologist captivated the region in 2016 after pulling off a deathdefying escape act 80ft above Newcastle Castle keep.

Inspired by his hero Harry Houdini, Chris had just 90 seconds to escape his straitjacket restraint while winched high into the air by his ankles suspended above the castle.

Chris learned his first magic trick aged just 10 and, at 13, he saw the legendary Paul Daniels at the Whitley Bay Playhouse.

He said: "That's when I knew it was what I wanted to do - when I was watching the master at work."

Through his work, Chris has become friends with Tim Healy and was invited to the set of Still Open All Hours where he caught Sir David Jason reading his book.

"He wanted me to teach him a few tricks between filming his scenes," he said. "It's Del Boy! It was absolutely incredible."

Chris says that his book is suitable for all ages and the tricks are easy to learn - unlike some popular magic nowadays.

He said: "I was lucky enough to grow up to catch the tail-end of the golden age of magic.

"People like Paul Daniels and David Copperfield were household names who inspired people across the globe.

"Nowadays magic is more popular than ever, but there is hardly anyone performing proper magic tricks that people can learn to do themselves.

"A lot of TV magicians now perform tricks that aren't really tricks - they are more like stunts that can only be performed behind a camera or with a huge budget. Dynamo is more like a Marvel Superhero than a magician.

"People like Paul Daniels did tricks that anyone can do with practice.

"That's why I wanted to do something to make sure the art of proper magic doesn't vanish. I want to inspire the next generation to get involved and start performing tricks."

Paul Daniels' widow and former assistant Debbie McGee said: "The book is not only a good read - it has some great magic and lovely bits of Geordie info along the way.

"I enjoyed it and I'm sure you will too!" Visit www.chriscross.co.uk to buy The Geordie Book & DVD of Magic Tricks or pop into WH Smiths, The Back Page, Upside Down Gifts, Handpicked Metrocentre or The Central Library.

CAPTION(S):

Chris Cross with Sir David Jason, and inset, Paul Gascoigne
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 4, 2018
Words:582
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