Auditioning and performing on Britain’s Got Talent is nerve-racking for everyone, whether you’re a talented singer or the owner of a dog that decides to wee on David Walliams.
However, last year’s winner Richard Jones says that magicians like him have it particularly tough when performing on BGT.
“You only get about two and a half minutes which is such an issue with magic,” Jones explained to RadioTimes.com. “Because really you like to tell a story, build it up and then perform something at the end of it. But two and a half minutes is no time at all.”
When it comes to performing on BGT’s live shows, Jones – who is also a Lance Corporal in the British Army – says it’s a “really big challenge” for magicians.
“Obviously you’ve got so many variables that you’ve got to try and keep in line,” he explained. “As a magician, you’ll never be under more pressure than performing live in front of millions of people on live TV.
“And the fact that it’s a competition, there’s so much pressure on it. But I love the pressure, I think it’s great. I think it’s probably part of me being in the army. I love the adrenaline rush of being under pressure and out of my comfort zone.”
With advances in TV technology, these days magicians have to contend with people at home pausing, rewinding and screen-grabbing in the hope of discovering just how a trick is done.
“It pushes you as a magician to make sure that you’re on top of your game and you’ve thought of everything,” said the 26-year-old. “So it makes you as a magician a lot better if you can really work with those issues in mind and I think that’s why it’s probably been so hard for a magician to win [Britain’s Got Talent].”
Since winning the show last year, Jones says he has received many messages of encouragement. However, there are those who aren’t big fans of magic…
“Some people just really hate magic,” he said. “There are some other people that call me a demon and think I’ve sold my soul to the devil. I get a lot of those emails too. I think the very fact that people want to message you is a good sign. Whether it’s positive or not, the fact is they’re interested in what you’re doing.”
Jones is starring in his own one-off special for ITV called Operation Magic – a show he says he has been “putting together for quite some time”.
This follow-up will show what Richard has been doing since he won the talent show last year as well as see him performing magic for deserving people in the army.
It will also feature special appearances from Katherine Jenkins and Britain’s Got Talent judges Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon.
Would he want to do more TV work outside of performing magic, now he’s had a taster? “It would be great if I did. I want to do as much TV as possible.”
Operation Magic airs on Saturday 15th April at 6pm on ITV and his UK Power Of Imagination Tour runs from April until May 2017. For more info click here