Max Andrews


An article was written for Magic Magazine some time ago on the subject of publicity from a magicians standpoint. In this article the writer deplored the Tact that there were hardly any magicians who had been able to publicise their names to a sufficient extent so as to cause them to become household words. Obviously, the writer was comparing the present time with the past, and there no doubt arises in every one's mind, ready reasons as to why it is more difficult today to build up this type of publicity than it was years ago.

Before we could get this article into print, and it contains basically very sound advice, let me hasten to assure you, there comes like a bombshell to hit both magicians and laymen alike, the name of AL KORAN!

The delayed action of the sequence of his stunt was in itself a masterpiece, and the whole nation was talking about it, speculating on the outcome, and reserving the time to watch the actual denoument on Television.

For the benefit of overseas readers, I can tell you that he made a prediction about an event which would happen in one week's time, and this was done before a committee of people. The message was written on a £5 note and signed on the back by several of those present, as a means of identification. The message was then sealed in a small box, which was placed inside a bottle and the whole sealed and given to a well known person for safe keeping. On the selected day, the bottle was produced, opened by the committee, the message taken out and read . . . and it foretold accuratey the winner of the 2.,000 Guineas race!

What Al Koran had not reckoned on was the fact that his little act was arranged to be squeezed into the preliminaries of a well known programme. The chairman of the programme who is weTI-known mostly for his bad manners, criticised the stealing of his time, and this started a controversy which threatened to almost obscure what actually happened. It certainly did Al no harm, for after all, he had no say in when and where he should appear. After his idea was accepted, the rest was in the hands of the programme arrangers.

I have before me a copy of the "Sunday Graphic", which has half a page devoted to an analysis of this happening. The headline reads "The Amazing Story behind the STUNT OF THE WEEK". Then it follows with "Ten Million people in Britain who saw the Mystery of the Bottle on Television last week, are asking themselves: was this the biggest stunt or the most successful hunch in history?"

According to them, Al swears it was a hunch . . . but he refused all attempts to inveigle him into submitting himself to a series of scientific tests with a view to confirming whether he is possessed of super normal powers above the average. The writer of the article actually states "I think he may have powers which he does not himself realise".

The article is accompanied by a big photograph of Al Koran's eyes, and I think it says much for what he did, that even some case hardened newspapermen were impressed. Some, of course, including that horrible man Arthur Helliwell, tried to steal his thunder by offering so-called explanations, but one must always expect that the lower orders will try to cash in on some one else's courage and originality. The fact remains that Al Koran became a household word overnight, and we say good-luck to him.

The other personality of the month is of course, our old friend Les Levante, who has arrived here from Australia, to open very shortly his show "How's Tricks". He is accompanied by his wife, his daughter Esme, her husband George Hunt, and another George who is stage manager. The British Ring held a reception in their honour, on May 7th at the Horseshoe Hotel, Tottenham Court Road, London, and this took the form of a Supper and Cabaret. It is impossible to name even


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