• Laurence Abel

What magic was like the last time England got to the World Cup semi final

It’s official, football is coming home. All England need to do is get past Croatia in the World Cup semi final (tonight Wednesday July 11th) to reach the final for the first time since the Three Lions historic 1966 World Cup victory. It has been a whopping 28 years since England last got this far in the World Cup, crashing out one game away from the final to Germany on Penalties. A lot has changed since then in the world of magic, so we present to you a look at magic back in 1990.

In 2018, it is clear to see that Britain’s two biggest heavyweights are Derren Brown and Dynamo and in 1990 the UK had two TV megastars competing against each other for ratings on BBC and ITV in Paul Daniels and Wayne Dobson, respectively. Both Daniels and Dobson were experts at sleight of hand and comedy. But back in the 90s you were nothing if you didn’t have a glamorous assistant by your side. Daniels, as many of you will know, had ‘the lovely’ Debbie McGee whereas Dobson hired Page 3 model Linda Lusardi as the perfect misdirection from his sleight of hand and attraction for the men. Daniels and Dobson had a pretty fierce rivalry that started the same year as the Italia 90 World Cup and continued until Daniels death. Watch a clip of both magicians below.







We were still years ahead of David Blaine taking magic from glitzy stages and TV studios and out on to the street. This meant TV regularly had mixed bill magic shows featuring the best magicians on the planet such as The Best of Magic, which was hosted by Geoffrey Durham, Anthea Turner and Simon Mayo. Magicians who appeared on this ITV Wednesday night wizard wonder show included Max Maven, Uri Geller, The Pendragons, Jeff McBride, Harry Blackstone and David Berglas – to name but a few. The great news is that all nine episodes are available to view on YouTube.

The humble bricks and mortar magic shop was also the only place for magicians to learn their trade in 1990, well that and if they were lucky enough for their local library to stock any books on magic. Nowadays, tricks can be bought from specialist online magic websites and even learnt from YouTube, but in 1990 the magic store was a special place where you could spend hours discussing tricks and buying props, books and gimmicks. There is only really one way to end a blog on magic and England getting to the World Cup semi final, and that is with a score prediction.

So, we are going for an optimistic England 2 - 1 Croatia.

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Kane & Abel

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