This film is part of Free

Son of the Man from South Bank

Now that’s magic! A young Paul Daniels performs with a flourish at the Middlesbrough Circle of Magicians.

Amateur film 1964 3 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


Watch closely now as a star is born! Teesside’s most famous magician Paul Daniels puts on a sparkly show at Middlesbrough’s Magic Circle with sleight of hand tricks and a floating ball illusion. He is assisted by his first wife Jackie, who was no mean magician herself. Unlike the London circle, Middlesbrough always opened its doors to women. At the time, Paul and Jackie had a stage act as the exotic-sounding Eldanis, performing on the northern club circuit.

The magical illusion of film was an early influence on Daniels as his father was a cinema projectionist at the South Bank Hippodrome, Middlesbrough, from the war through to its closure in 1956. His son joined him as a paid assistant at the tender age of nine. Born Newton Edward Daniels in April 1938, he fell in love with magic, aged eleven, on a wet holiday in North Yorkshire when he picked up a children’s book of party tricks. His obsession took him all the way to international stardom and a TV audience of 20 million at his peak. The great Tommy Cooper was an admirer when Daniels first burst on to the television scene in the 70s: ‘Paul Daniels is to magic what Muhammad Ali is to boxing.”