MAGICIAN Ben Hanlin has called on the latest weapon in the conjurer’s arsenal - social networking!
Ben, from Earlswood, has been using sites like Twitter and Facebook to track down and perform tricks to celebrities.
So far he’s used his sleight-of-hand skills to confound the likes of Michael McIntyre, Fearne Cotton and most recently David Hasselhoff.
This week, the Solihull News spoke to the performer about his challenges - which he films and posts on the internet.
“It all started as a bit of a bet with a friend, after we’d had a few beers,” explained the 24-year-old.
“I thought that I could use the internet to find any celebrity in two days and perform a trick to them.
“It was interesting to see if I could pin them down in a short period and whether they’d have time for Joe Nobody.”
The 48-hour challenges are fairly frantic affairs, but Ben gets a bit of a head-start thanks to fans online.
Complete strangers have tracked down the stars, offered him lifts and even put the magician and his friend up.
“It’s always interesting starting the challenge because we often don’t decide who we’re looking for until that very day.
“It takes time and money to do, but if anyone is willing to back us we’d like to go international with this.
“I’d love to see how far we could get with some of the big names in America like Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise.”
Ben, one of the youngest members of the Magic Circle, took up magic while he was still at school.
He used to use his talents to impress the customers at Solihull’s TGI Friday’s before turning pro a few years ago.
But why does he think that magic is still so popular today?
“I think it’s the mystery, it gives people back a little bit of that childhood sense of wonder.
“A good trick only takes a few minutes, but if it works it’s going to be on people’s mind for a while.”
You can see Ben’s challenges by searching MagicBoyTV on Youtube.