I've never been fond of magic acts ( Tommy Cooper excepted! ) but I always watched 'The David Nixon Show', which occupied the 'Opportunity Knocks' slot of 6.45 on a Monday evening. Why? Because of Nixon himself. He was like your favourite uncle - bald, elderly, a shade eccentric, had he been an actor he'd have made a wonderful 'Dr.Who'. For years he dazzled television audiences by sawing people in half, making playing cards disappear and reappear, conjuring flowers out of thin air, the sort of things you expect magicians to do. He had a relaxed, confidant manner that was marvellous to watch, and he knew how to tell a joke. Anita Harris, Freddie 'Parrot Face' Davies, and Basil Brush all regularly appeared on the show. Nixon would never have gotten up to the stunts so beloved of today's magicians such as David Blaine. When he died in 1978, British television searched for a replacement - and came up with the awful Paul Daniels. At least Nixon never bored us rigid with stupid catchphrases like 'not a lot'.
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