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Award-winning Kent magician Michael McIntyre to keen to bring a spark to Maidstone

While we would normally associate the name Michael McIntyre with the TV comedian, his mind-reading namesake has landed a prestigious award in the world of magic.

Pick pocketing Michael, "same name minus the fame", grew up in Liverpool and started off using close-up magic as a way to break the ice as a timid youngster.

Having learnt he could land free drinks with his repertoire, the paramedic kept adding to his skill sets and is making his way to the top of the illusionists' ladder.

He said: "I was always into the close-up magic and it was more of a hobby but I didn't realise it was a viable career and it wasn't something I pursued.

"I was a shy kid. I used the magic to meet people.

"I enjoy seeing the reactions and being able to interact with complete strangers.

Magician Michael McIntyre. Picture: Chris Davey... (7387553)
Magician Michael McIntyre. Picture: Chris Davey... (7387553)

"Sometimes you will see someone who is down and even for just a few seconds you can make them smile and we call that a magic moment."

Grosvenor Casino, Chelsea Football Club and the Hilton Hotel in London can all count themselves lucky enough to have been mesmerised by his magic, and Michael admitted his work is all about making people smile.

However, it was never an option to forge a career out of stealing watches or card tricks but after a decade as a personal trainer he was ready to perform miracles in as many ways as possible.

Magician Michael McIntyre entertains Bill and Gloria Strutt. Picture: Chris Davey... (7387686)
Magician Michael McIntyre entertains Bill and Gloria Strutt. Picture: Chris Davey... (7387686)

Michael give up his job in the fitness industry and a brief encounter with saving lives opened up a new world to him around 13 years ago.

"One day in 2006 I came across a 12-year-old boy who had been hit by a car and the emergency services hadn't arrived yet," he said.

Michael McIntyre, magician, was awarded Kent Close Up Magician of the Year (7372995)
Michael McIntyre, magician, was awarded Kent Close Up Magician of the Year (7372995)

"I got asked to go with them to the hospital and I was amazed by what I saw watching the paramedics and I thought these guys were really making a difference."

Michael McIntyre's tricks involve various items including fruit, money and even goldfish (7373061)
Michael McIntyre's tricks involve various items including fruit, money and even goldfish (7373061)

He joined the Cambridgeshire Ambulance Service and is now just one year away from completing his paramedic degree at the Medway Campus of Canterbury Christchurch University.

But in 2012 illness meant Michael found himself at a crossroads and pondering his career options.

He said: "People started to ask me why don't I become a professional magician. It had its perks like getting free drinks and ice breakers to start talking to girls.

Magician Michael McIntyre performs one of his card tricks for Storm Miller in Maidstone on Friday. Picture: Chris Davey... (7387713)
Magician Michael McIntyre performs one of his card tricks for Storm Miller in Maidstone on Friday. Picture: Chris Davey... (7387713)

"I always thought being a magician was like being a clown. I contacted one magician though and he was kind enough to invite me to a show and I got to shadow him at an event which was at the Hammersmith Apollo with Miranda Hart.

"It was a bit of a baptism of fire."

Michael has never looked back since.

It was clear to see the natural talent he possessed when he turned blank lottery tickets into £20 notes before my very eyes. I was watching like a hawk and I'm still at a loss writing these words two days later.

Magician Michael McIntyre. Picture: Chris Davey... (7387628)
Magician Michael McIntyre. Picture: Chris Davey... (7387628)

Hearing his tales of pinching £50,000 Rolex watches and turning cash into goldfish, it's obvious his enthusiasm would always lead to success.

Michael's meteoric rise saw him join the prestigious Magic Circle, a group of 1,500 magicians dedicated to their trade and he has also won the accolade of Kent Close Up Magician of the Year. This to top off fairytale year when he married his opera singer wife Laura in August.

Now he has his sights set on making Maidstone his home for the next couple of years and he is keen to become a regular in restaurants such as Wildwood and wedding venues.

He said: "This detour has been a Godsend. I have learnt to turn something that was a hobby into a profession and that gives me a lot of fulfilment.

"Magic should be three things. It should add value, make an impact and it should be able to create lasting memories.

"The ambulance service is a lot more serious. When we are called out it is when people are at their lowest.

"Magic is almost therapeutic. It is a great way for me to dial down."

For more information visit www.michaelmcintyremagic.co.uk

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