Illusionist lights up sky with spectacular show

Derren Brown at Todmorden Cricket Club
Derren Brown at Todmorden Cricket Club

THE skies above Todmorden were lit up in a spectacular fireworks display to mark the end of filming for a TV show.

Psychological illusionist Derren Brown was in town for several days last week filming for a new programme he is making about luck.

After hearing about Dawn Porter coming to Todmorden to investigate the lucky dog statue in Centre Vale Park, Derren decided to visit the town and test whether it really is lucky.

“I just heard about it and we are making a show about luck so this is a really interesting story,” he said.

“I’m not superstitious so I’m not trying to debunk it.

“I want to put it to the test and see whether touching it somehow makes you live your life a bit differently and makes you think differently about things.

“Although I’m a sceptic at heart, I would love it if the dog has some kind of magic power.

“To find something that could explain these things would be fantastic. But it’s more likely I will find out it’s to do with a mindset.”

Derren spent time meeting local people and hearing their stories.

On Sunday afternoon, he organised a massive “luck test” at Todmorden Town Hall, followed by the fireworks display in the park.

“My feelings about luck is that is makes you take more opportunities,” he said.

“If you say yes to more things and to more opportunities in life and have a more enthusiastic and positive attitude, better things are going to happen.

“It may be with the dog that people are touching it and thinking that it has done something and then they maybe engage a bit differently.”

Derren, famous for his TV programmes such as ‘Trick of the mind’ and ‘Russian roulette’, has a routine he goes through to prepare for his shows.

“I do vocal warm-ups and if I don’t do them I feel under-prepared,” he said.

“That’s not superstitious, just things that I do to warm up.

“I’m a bit obsessive and like things to be just right.

“The psychology behind superstitions makes you act differently.

“The idea that doing that can affect anything in this world is ridiculous but if it affects your mindset and you approach things differently, that’s much more interesting.”

Todmorden butcher Wayne Stansfield was among those who attended the show and he was delighted to come away with a big win.

“It was a good experience,” he said.

“It’s a bit nervy when you have never been in front of TV cameras before and there’s a large audience there and you are gambling your money.

“It felt great to win but everybody has spent it for me already.”

To find out how Wayne won and what Derren discovered during his time in Todmorden, tune into the programme when it is screened in late October or early November. The exact broadcast date will be confirmed in the near future.