This year has been great for magicians on Britain’s Got Talent. We’ve had Issy Simpson, Josephine Lee, DNA and now Matt Edwards. Wasn’t he great?! I met Matt when we did panto together in Christmas 2016. He’s a lovely guy and it’s good to see him doing really well.
Going onto Britain’s Got Talent is always a risky thing for magicians because it doesn’t give you a massive amount of time to showcase magic and your personality at the same time. You have just a few minutes, which is why I think magicians have always struggled on the show. But when someone like Matt comes along and he gets a comedy routine and a magic trick across in just a few minutes, that’s a really powerful thing.
You could see on the faces of the judges they weren’t sure whether they were going to like it or not until about 30 seconds into it, but I’m pleased they gave him a chance. Quite often when they’re not sure at the beginning, they buzz and they give up on it too soon. But luckily they gave him time, they really enjoyed it and then Ant and Dec gave him their Golden Buzzer.
What was nice about his performance is that it wasn’t about the magic, it was about him. He made it a whole performance about his comedy as opposed to the magic trick, which is something that went down really well. Ant described him as the Lee Evans of magic. Not only does he look like him, but his persona is very similar, so I’d have to agree with him there!
But I wasn’t so keen on Tyrone and Mina. In all honesty, I’ve never been too happy about guys throwing knives at women. It’s not something I enjoy watching because it is very dangerous. They sell it as skill, but really Mina should take all the credit for that act. She’s the one in the most danger there. The final knife that he threw at her clipped one of the other knives and flicked off in a different direction. If that had flown the other way, it would have hit her right in the head.
I’ve seen acts like that go wrong in the past. Not necessarily knife-throwing acts, but when you’re on the stage in front of a huge audience, you always react slightly differently under pressure. In every act, things do go wrong occasionally and when you’re putting someone else in danger like that it’s a risky thing to be doing.
I did love Jamie Lee Harrison. He was very good, and probably my favourite act of the evening. Everyone was pleasantly surprised when they heard his voice. I think we were all hoping he was going to sound great so it was fantastic when he did! There was a lot of positive things about him going around on Twitter about him last night.
Meanwhile, I’ve had a busy week, too. I was on Good Morning Britain on Friday because I’ve just been announced as a patron of Scotty’s Little Soldiers. It’s a great charity for children whose parents have died in service so it made perfect sense for me to jump on board and represent them.
I then did a Buckingham Palace garden party yesterday for the charity, and there was about 280 children there. I went along and met them all at the Palace, which was nice. Most of the kids said they watched Britain’s Got Talent and they’d seen me on TV and stuff and they were really excited I was patron.
I’ve done a number of garden parties with the army in the past as a musician but this is the first time I’ve gone round and done magic and meeting people as a guest. The sun was out, Jess Glynne was there and Nina Conti was performing as well so it was a really good day.
When I did the Royal Variety Performance last year, I met Charles and Camilla. Yesterday it was Wills, Kate and Harry. I’ve met Harry a few times in the past because I’ve done a bit of work with the Invictus games. I didn’t get time yesterday, but when I’ve shown Harry some magic before he’s always been up for it!
Richard’s Power Of Imagination Tour has added new dates for August 2017. For more info click here.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news