Tag Archives: Paul Zenon

The real truth about UK magician Paul Zenon’s plot to kidnap David Blaine using scantily-clad girls and sausages

(A version of this piece was also published on the Indian news site WSN)

Sporting my new Berlusconi style yesterday

Sporting my sexy new Silvio Berlusconi hairstyle yesterday

In my blog yesterday morning, I wrote about the tragedy of my forehead and slaphead – both burned at the World Egg Throwing Championships last Sunday and, by yesterday, flaking skin like a politician sheds promises after an election.

Yesterday, my eternally-un-named friend decided she had the cure and covered the top of my head with Rhassoul Mud.

This remained on my head, slowly drying for an hour, so I looked like I shared Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi’s dodgy hairstyle.

And it had no effect.

My skin is still flaking.

While my head was still caking, I received an e-mail from ace UK magician Paul Zenon, who appeared in last year’s increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show at the Edinburgh Fringe. (Useful tip No 217: If you have a daily blog, relentlessly plug your own product.)

Janey Godley was under David Blaine in 2003

Janey Godley under David Blaine in 2003

In my blog three days ago, I mentioned that Malcolm Hardee had abandoned the idea of a stunt linked to American entertainer David Blaine‘s ‘sittting in a glass box suspended by the River Thames for days on end’ stunt.

I wrote that Malcolm lost interest after several plans fell through and the final nail-in-the-coffin was when “an intrepid British magician whom Malcolm knew (not Jerry Sadowitz) phoned him up wanting to borrow Malcolm’s boat because he wanted to kidnap Blaine (financed by a national paper) on 28th September 2003”

This detail – like a few of Malcolm’s other stories (but not the ones in his autobiography) – appears to have grown in the telling.

The UK magician I did not name three days ago was Paul Zenon and, when I asked him about the 2003 David Blaine kidnap plot yesterday, he told me:

“That wasn’t quite the plan. Originally, I was going to borrow Malcolm’s boat and hire in some giant inflatable (bouncy castle-style) food – burgers, sausage and chips, etc.

Paul in 2003 thinking outside the box

Paul Z in 2003 – thinking outside the box

“Then I was going to moor as close as we could get to David Blaine’s box, with me sat on a toilet in the middle of it, reading a newspaper – and with a scantily-clad girl band playing live.

“In other words, we would remind David Blaine of all the stuff he was abstaining from with his vainglorious stunt. We had interest from an alcohol company and a newspaper for sponsorship but sadly neither bit.”

Oh well… It’s still a good story.

When in doubt, I always say print the legend.

You read it first here.

THERE WAS A 2003 PLOT TO KIDNAP DAVID BLAINE USING SCANTILY-CLAD GIRLS AND SAUSAGES…

It may not be true. But it brightens up Britain without hurting anyone or risking sunburn.

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Magician Paul Zenon, comedian Charlie Chuck and Vic & Bob’s big birthday cake

Paul Zenon outside the cow yesterday.

So, yesterday evening, I was sitting on London’s South Bank with Miss Behave outside the giant upside-down purple cow – the Uddderbelly venue – discussing which acts to book for the two hour Malcolm Hardee Awards Show at the Edinburgh Fringe this August. It is on the final Friday of the Fringe and Miss Behave is presenting it.

“Well,” I said, “we already have the Greatest Show on Legs doing the naked balloon dance…”

And then magician Paul Zenon passed by. He had a chat with Miss Behave.

“I’m seeing Charlie Chuck tomorrow,” I said to him.

“Ah,” Paul said. “He phoned me up recently because he says he’s going to be doing more work in Europe and he wants some props for a tour that’s coming up.

“Years ago, I made some props for him because I wanted to have the credit as Charlie Chuck’s magic consultant. He phoned me up because he was doing a four-month theatre tour with Vic and Bob – Reeves & Mortimer – and he wanted some bigger visuals to play the theatres.

“Years before that, I’d been doing kids’ TV and had some props left. One of them was a big megaphone-trumpet.

“It involved a whole routine with a giant birthday card, where you sing Happy Birthday, you show the card, you sing through the funnel, put the funnel on top of the card and then, for the reveal, a big three-tier cake appears underneath the funnel – like a wedding cake, but it’s a birthday cake.

“Nothing can go wrong…

“So I trained Charlie to do this, spent a couple of hours rehearsing it and he did it very well. It fitted his style. Just a daft thing. Singing a song.

“So, the first night of the four-month tour, it comes to that part of the show… He sings Happy Birthday, he shows the card, sings through the funnel, reveals the cake… Big round of applause… And then he twats the cake with a big lump of wood and destroys it and that was the end of the £300 prop on the first night of the tour.”

“That’s Charlie Chuck,” I laughed. “He loves a plank of wood. What did he say afterwards?”

“He didn’t mention it and neither did I,” replied Paul. “I don’t think we’ve mentioned it to this day.”

“And now he wants more props for European shows?” I asked.

“Yes,” Paul said. “So I’m thinking of anything else I can get rid of out of my cupboard, because it’ll just get trashed anyway. He says he’s making the act more visual to move into other territories. Maybe that’s,” Paul laughed, “cos of Health & Safety issues in the UK getting stricter – He has to go elsewhere to swing big bits of wood round near audiences. I think the act’s genius. I think it’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen.”

“Do you want to appear on the Malcolm Hardee Awards Show in Edinburgh?” Miss Behave asked.

“OK,” said Paul.

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Miss Behave and an encounter with Kunt at the Edinburgh Fringe

Last night at the Edinburgh Fringe, I went to see Miss Behave’s variety show The Mess at Assembly in George Square.

She may have been laid low with meningitis for weeks, but Miss Behave sure knows how to put on a show.

It’s not often you get in one show, clowns, music, Phil Kay in full manic flight, Charlie Chuck and his plank of wood, magician Paul Zenon, a host of other top acts and 25 circus stunts in 5 minutes. And it is a different show with different acts every night.

Leaving George Square later, I bumped into stuntmeister of the moment Kunt and the Gang with comics Ian Fox and Ashley Frieze.

Ashley is, it seems, a great fan of Kunt’s magnum opus Shannon Matthews: The Musical.

Kunt promised to give me a copy and he told me that the Edinburgh Council men, who threatened him with a £3,000 prosecution for inciting audiences to stick paper penises onto other acts’ posters, were tremendously amiable. They told him – he swears this is an exact quote:

“We’ve been round 100 sites, pulling cocks off.”

Ian Fox has posted online some of the random penile graffiti, which he photographed before the council men went around doing their civic duty.

More worrying than the threatened £3,000 court case, though, Kunt has heard a rumour that managemrnt/promotion company Avalon may sue him for £50,000 for… I am not quite sure what for… damage to their acts’ images?… inciting audiences to deface random posters with sticky cocks? As Kunt did none of the cock-sticking himself, it is a tough call. I am not sure if ‘incitement to commit graffiti’ is on the statute books.

But maybe this rumour is just the sign of a stunt that has gone beyond control and now has a life of its own. Or maybe Avalon are now in the race for next week’s Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award.

Whatever.. Kunt now has 4,300 sticky paper penises left over.

If anyone has a good suggestion about where to stick them, then let him know.

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