WITH Dynamo continuing to stun crowds around the UK, we wouldn’t have thought there would be any room for another illusionist-type on the circuit.
But we’re very wrong, because there’s one man who is finding space. Ben Earl is the latest in a glut of exciting new talents, and this series looks set to be something special.
In each edition, the sleight-of-hand genius focuses on one topic, beginning with crime, upon which Earl offers an array of bewildering illusions, and cunning tricks and deceptions.
“It’s essentially on some level a magic show but it’s also something which infuses deception, creative thinking, sleight of hand and crazy stunts,” he explains.
Tonight’s stunts include a bullet-catch - a trick so dangerous it’s only attempted by the best in the business, and which, legend has it, has claimed the lives of at least 12 performers.
He also attempts to leap from atop a speeding car, goes to prison where he performs with ex-convicts, and teaches an audience member the skills required to become a pickpocket.
Look out for any slip-ups that might give away his secret - but we don’t think you’ll find any.
Earl adds, “I spend a lot of hours partially mentally rehearsing, but a lot time physically rehearsing timings, moves, pieces of sleight of hand, I just never stop practising.” ”Your hands and your body are learning a relationship between themselves, a little secret language about balance, speed and timing.”
• Ben Earl: Trick Artist, Channel 4, 9pm
Have I Got News For You
BBC One, 9.30pm
WHAT could have killed this series off years ago has actually ended up making it stronger.
When Angus Deayton vacated the host’s chair in 2002, it led to one of the show’s best features - the guest host.
Some have performed excellently - Alexander Armstrong, for instance, is a firm favourite - while others have not fared well, and struggled to rein in the panel.
One man unlikely to have a hard time maintaining order from the teams is this week’s skipper, Cockney hard man Ray Winstone.
The star of Scum, Nil By Mouth, Beowulf and Sexy Beast is renowned for his tough-guy image, so team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton and their guests will have to be on their best behaviour.
Stand-up comedian Reginald D Hunter is among the guest panellists this week, who will be picking apart the news from the past seven days.
The World’s Weirdest Weapons
THE second of the weapons featured in this six-part series is quite bonkers... wait for it... a flying soldier. Yes, that’s right - a FLYING SOLDIER. Not in a plane, but actually an airborne human being.
It was the brainchild of the US Army, whose boffins needed someone really special for a secret mission, so they tried to come up with a way to get a bloke into the air, using rotor-blades, rocket-packs and mini-jet engines.
Iceland: Ash cloud apocalypse
IN a bid to reveal the effects Iceland’s volcanoes have had on the world, this enthralling documentary blends gorgeous scenery with background information, CGI graphics and interviews with experts to take a fresh look at major events in the country’s geological history.
Most people will remember the events of 2010, when a series of eruptions led to travel disruption as aircraft around the world were grounded, but the volcanic history of Iceland goes back much further than that.