Performing magic for Billy McNeil

Thursday night brought my magical abilities to Hamilton for the opening of a solicitors. Normally, I would go into telling you about wee bits and bobs that happened (including my driving down a 1 way street antics) on the night; but, this blog contains something far more interesting! Midway through a card trick, I looked up and saw Celtic legend Billy McNeil. Now, if ever perfect misdirection existed it was performing magic to a bunch of Celtic fans when the Lisbon Lyon Legend walks in to room. “Wow there’s Billy McNeill” I said, and the whole audience looked over to him. I could have walked a rainbow coloured elephant onstage to the music of a brass band and no one would have noticed.

Billy was in a small room and was being harassed by people for photographs and autographs. I started performing for 2 people next to him only to be asked if I knew who I was performing for. I didn’t recognise the face and was informed that it was Scotty McClure from the radio. Around 1994 Scotty McClure was a total radio phenomenon. His quick wit and outrageous comments made him the thing on everyone’s lips. He will probably be the last person to make radio more popular than TV to a young audience. So Scotty was great fun and it was a pleasure performing for him.
Next up was Billy McNeill. So how did I manage to get to perform for him when no one was around? Simple…Neive Jennings (Former Miss Scotland and Miss Uk) walked into the building. Billy was brilliant and loved the magic. He kept walking away and coming back in disbelief. I briefly thought he was going to have a heart attack and I panicked a little but the show must go on. I asked him to name a card and was certain he would go for number 5 (his shirt) but he said he was looking for Jimmy’s number (Jimmy Johnstone) and picket the 7 of hearts. What a gentleman!

So next off was Scotland’s own Neive Jennings. Neive and I both work in events so we bump into each other quite often – I like to think she’s stalking me but unfortunately she’s not. My random Neive Jennings story is that I performed in her flat when she was in the audition process for Miss Scotland. Neive has always been an admirer of close-up magic and she loves my rope routine so I showed it to her again and it’s always nice to see her jaw drop and reveal those big pearly whites.

Random story of the night: Sometimes when performing for girls they don’t understand that I am paid to be there and I am not just flirting with them. So it’s important to address the issue in a humorous manner. So I’d dealt with this and about 5 minutes into the act just before I got to a punch line one of the girls blurts out, “she’s only 14” Now bearing in mind the girl looked about 14 and I was talking about the 10 of diamonds at the time I asked her why she felt the need to tell me the other girls age, She replied, “I’m 21”. This totally confused me beyond all belief. It was as if we were in different time zones.

Overall; A fantastic night, lovely office, lovely people and a night I will never forget.

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