Ed Byrne Faces the Final Forfeit in Last in Series of BBC One’s The Magicians

by Lisa McGarry

The sixth and final episode of BBC One’s The Magicians, which peaked at over six million viewers throughout the series, aired on Saturday, 11th February with a show stopping finale.

The grand final of the second series of the hit magic show hosted by Darren McMullen, saw World Champion of Magic and American illusionist Latimer, joined by street dancer and actor, George Sampson. In their live studio magic the pair delighted with a new take on George’s ‘Dancing in the Rain’ routine. Latimer and George took turns to shape water into solid balls and flowers before the dancer took to the stage and showed off his incredible skills under a shower of rain, conjured up by Latimer.

Their location grand illusion saw the magical duo take to Dunsfold Aerodrome, otherwise known as the Top Gear test track, where they performed an awe inspiring teleportation trick using two HGV trucks and a group of five people.

Middlesbrough funny man Pete Firman, who bravely faced the forfeit last week, was with actor, presenter and King of the Jungle, Joe Swash. The twosome got fishy for their location grand illusion at London Aquarium. Pete, having placed an earlier prediction inside one of the aquarium’s tanks, asked a member of the public to think of any of the fish listed inside the tank – ranging from stingrays to lookdown fish! Then, with Joe on the dry side with the assembled audience, Pete dressed in full scuba gear went into the tank to reveal the correct prediction. However, the action didn’t stop there, Pete then amazingly managed to step from inside the tank to outside without releasing a tidal wave!

For their live studio grand illusion Joe got to enjoy some time on a sunbed, Firman style, in a magical tanning salon but it was Pete that got the real magic treatment. After lying down on the enchanted bronzing bed, Joe was closed in. Moments later the lid was lifted only for Joe to have miraculously turned a wrinkly old fella!

Scottish magical double act, Barry and Stuart, were hoping that stand-up comedian Ed Byrne would help them continue their run of luck, the pair having not faced a single forfeit in the series so far. The trio gave the viewers at home the opportunity to discover the secret behind their magic when they split the action on screen for their live grand illusion. Those watching were given the option to cover one or other side of their TV screen whilst Ed demonstrated an illusion. Depending on the side covered viewers could either see how the magic happened or not. Needless to say even those that were getting the behind the scenes action were flummoxed by the result of the trick.

Their location magic took Ed to the edge when Barry and Stuart persuaded him to take a running jump. At the top of a tower in Sheffield the magic pair cut a bungee rope in half before making Ed jump off the tower and astoundingly ensuring that the cord restored itself before he hit the bottom.

The speciality act for the night was the Dutch illusionist Hans Klok who incredibly broke his own record by performing 12 illusions in just five minutes.

At the end of the night it was George who was top of the viewers’ votes, making Latimer the series champion. Joe Swash came in second place, but for Barry and Stuart their luck was out for the first time in the series and the votes were not in for them and Ed Byrne. The trio pair had to dig deep to find the bravery to face the final and most terrifying forfeit of the series so far.

But even before they had to do that Ed and Barry were both given an extra scary task. They took it in turns to have a bar of solid steel was placed between their teeth and the bar forced down on either side. When it came to Ed’s turn it was George and Joe who were the ones helping to force the bar down.

After that Ed and Stuart had to stand either side of a Perspex screen and place an arrow between their neck and the screen. Then using only the force of their own weight they had to bear forward and break the arrow in two. Tensions were high as the arrow pushed hard against the fleshy part of their throat before it splintering in two.

Ed said, “That was literally a pain in the neck! There wasn’t exactly fear, we had a look at the arrows before but it was definitely something I didn’t want to do.”

The Magicians ran for six weeks from Saturday 7th January through to Saturday 11th February on BBC One. Celebrities included in the series were actors Daniel Roche and Tyger Drew-Honey, Tina Hobley, Adam Woodyatt and David Hasselhoff; TV presenters Joe Swash, Julia Bradbury, Mel Giedroyc, Myleene Klass, Arlene Phillips and John Torode and Gregg Wallace; from the world of sport, boxer David Haye and former England cricketer Phil Tufnell; stars of Strictly Come Dancing Flavia Cacace and Craig Revel Horwood; comedian Ed Byrne; and from the world of music, Kimberly Wyatt and Keith Duffy, and street dancer George Sampson.