MYSTIQUE illusionist Richard De Vere is making a pilgrimage to Downing Street to protect the future of magic shows.

The star of the Pleasure Beach's summer show is hoping Tony Blair will step in and stop ITV from screening another two programmes revealing the secrets behind some of the world's most breath-taking and highly-guarded magic tricks.

His protest follows the recent showing of Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed where a masked magician gave the audience a look behind the scenes.

And Richard, who has the backing of the president of the Magic Circle and Ian Ogilvy from Blackpool Magicians Club among others, is also threatening to reveal the magician's identity in a bid to prevent him from giving away any more secrets.

He told the Citizen that revealing such tricks would lessen demand for magic shows and discourage a lot of new talent from coming into the industry.

"People don't realise the knock-on effect of this," he said.

"For instance, there are 60 people behind my Mystique act, from dancers to set designers.

"If one magician was forced out of work, all these people would be too."

The series of four programmes was originally made and screened in America and on Sky TV earlier this year.

The satellite channel recorded its second highest viewing figures as a result.

ITV has shown two episodes but is yet to confirm dates for the other two.

Richard himself has been approached by two television companies asking him to become involved in similar programmes, but he explained: "I have a few morals."

He was due to travel to London last night (April 22) with his dog Schnorbitz and Ziggy Winters, wife of the late comedian Bernie.

"All I want Tony Blair to do is say this isn't right," he said.

"A lot of people get a lot of relief and entertainment out of magic and no-one has the right to take that away from them.

"I say let the Americans ruin their live variety business but leave ours alone.

"We don't need programmes like this over here."

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