British magician Derren Brown will play “Russian roulette” live on Britain’s Channel 4 Oct. 26.
Members of the public have the chance to be the person who loads the revolver by filling out a form at the Channel 4 Web site.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
The 32-year-old magician is best known as a mind-reader, and in the televised stunt, he claims he will use his powers to determine which chamber is loaded. He will point the gun to his head and pull the trigger, firing away only when he believes he has discerned the loaded chamber.
“If you put six items on a table and asked someone to pick one, I can always work out which one [they chose],” he told <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />London’s Media Guardian in May, when the stunt was first announced.
Various British news agencies have reported that the filming will take place on an island off the mainland due to handgun laws. And despite indications that the stunt will be broadcast live, some media reports have indicated it will actually be “live to tape,” which is effectively a tape-delay broadcast should anything go wrong.
Channel 4 did not answer an e-mail seeking clarification prior to press time.
Brown has a two-year deal with Channel 4, Media Guardian reported. Channel 4 also hosts a micro-site for Brown, in which the performer explains some of the secrets and techniques of mind-reading and mind control.
Brown said he grew interested in magic as a child, but only took magic and mind-reading seriously after studying law at Bristol University.
“I found myself developing an analytical mind-set, able to spot the loopholes in anyone’s argument very quickly,” he said on his Web site.
The well-known magical duo Penn & Teller, currently performing in Las Vegas, has performed a “Magic Bullet Trick” involving a .357 magnum for years.
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.
Visit Derren Brown’s Web site.