The news of the death of magician Paul Daniels reminded me of the time I took his photo – and managed to capture the moment he astounded a member of the public.
Paul Daniels astounds a fashion lecturer at Newport University’s May Ball. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)
It was back in 2008 when I was Press Officer at the University of Wales, Newport. I had to cover all sorts of events – including the annual May Ball. The Students Union always tried to attract big name bands and entertainers to the event which was held at the beautiful Caerleon Campus.
That year Paul Daniels was in one of the bars demonstrating close-up magic. As I walked through I saw he was doing a magic trick with playing cards for Tracey, one of the fashion lecturers.
Photography, it is said, is all about “capturing the moment” – and I certainly did that. The look of astonishment on Tracey’s face as Paul Daniels completed the trick is wonderful. This is one of the photos I am really proud to have taken.
The Elvis tribute band rocking in the marquee. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)
Sadly, I was so busy that evening that I didn’t really get a chance to talk to the magician who was once a staple of Saturday night television. There was lots to cover – including a funfair, students in fancy dress and an amazing Elvis tribute band in a marquee on the lawn.
I covered the event with my photographer friend Betina Skovbro – who taught me everything I know about taking good press photos. So, thankyou, Betina – and thankyou, Paul Daniels, for providing me with a lovely photo opportunity.