Me and my Big Mouth at the Edinburgh Fringe | Paul Daniels Magic World

Me and my Big Mouth at the Edinburgh Fringe

Well that should be a lesson to me. How many times have you noticed a commentator on TV say something like ‘He’s going to be here for a long time’ and the next ball puts ‘him’ out of the game.

My day started frenetically in that I had ordered a large indoor cage/hutch so the rabbits would be a lot more comfortable away from the green green grass of home. I knew it was coming via DHL but when I phoned the number shown on the internet it turned out to be a company called Yodel, but they pronounce it Yodelle. Weird. Apparently DHL sold them off some time back but the internet still showed the old number. My reference number was not a Yodel number, so they gave me a real number for DHL who told me the reference number was a Yodel number and nobody seemed to know who was doing what where when why. I know, we have all been there, and often BUT a lovely lady at DHL phoned me back to tell me that Yodel were going to deliver it at 11.30. Gulp. I had an interview at 12.00.
At 111.30 I was ripping boxes open, tearing plastic covers of a zillion pieces and trying to follow the language-less imagery that enables companies to sell internationally so that all over the world people can all be baffled. These guys should show this stuff to Penn and Teller and Fool ’em.
Using my powers of logic I had the beast erected enough to let Gill and Hopper be in there whilst Debbie and I ran (Yes, folks. Me. Jogging.) ran to the venue for a TV interview. Nice one and we were only about 10 minutes late. No sooner finished than we were off to face another TV camera and answer more questions. An easy walk across the plastic grass and into yet another church style venue to appear on Hardeep’s Chat Masala. At least on this one we got to eat a bit of curry.
One more interview for an online magazine and Debbie went back to pick up the rabbits and I shot round to a Poundshop to get some plastic storage boxes.
Somewhere in the middle of all that interviewing Big Mouth Daniels said that nothing ever went wrong because, up to that moment nothing of any import ever had.
At the venue I started to get all the props ready. Time was ticking away and almost showtime before I noticed that a piece of rubber on a comedy table had snapped. Damn it, that was put on there almost 30 years without a problem. I wonder if the shop is still there so I can go back and complain?
Immediately I had to rejig the running order of the show and rapidly let the crew know this was not going to be a normal sequence. I always have spare tricks on stage with me – I just wasn’t sure which I was going to use.
Hey, the good news was that we were almost sold out, and this was only day three. The show started well and inserting my Linking Ring routine in place of the comedy piece that was missing went well. I got two guys on stage but in concentrating on the replacement I forgot that someone had slipped me a note about a man having a stag ‘do’ and I had said I would find a moment to use him. Speed up Daniels (always a danger) and I did a routine with the two guys I had and then lost ’em so I could get Stag Man up.
I did. He had a woman’s dress on, lipstick and a long wig. Oh Lord, why me? A quick re-jig in my head and Debbie brought on the guillotine. Back to all going well when I leaned the blade against my box table and turned away. I heard the crash. The weight of the blade had knocked the table over. The contents were smashed on the stage. Very important to act as if it was not important but the brain was now on hyper setting.
On the spur of the moment I invented a new ending to allow me to give the guy his money back and everyone left having had a good time…. except me.
Hey… you live and learn and at least to the audience they were unaware of the adjustments that had to be made.
Then I went and did another TV interview. You gotta love show business.

5 comments to Me and my Big Mouth at the Edinburgh Fringe

  • jhnbxtr
    August 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Seen the whole thing tonight. It was marvellous. What a showman!

  • Raymond Keith Photography
    August 5, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Had a ball, the man is a legend, Thank you for asking me to help you with the cup and ball trick and also for letting me get a pic taking with you.

    If you haven’t seen the show get online and buy a ticket u wont be dissapointed


  • Hack Shillingworth
    August 5, 2011 at 10:58 pm


    Thanks for inviting me up on stage tonight (grey T-shirt’d engineer). We loved your show and had no idea that it wasn’t going to plan. Good crowd tonight, hope the rest of your run is as popular, but that no eggs get broken prematurely.


  • Al
    August 6, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Just discovered your blog and spent hours being entertained by it Paul. Does your upcoming tour come to Winchester or Southampton?

  • Hoods
    August 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Cracking and hilarious show. just wish I didn’t need to bow out for a wee.

    from the man with the tattoos and tan.