A MAGICIAN conjured up a star performance to scoop the coveted title of Yorkshire Pride Close-up Magician of the Year.
John Danbury, of Clayton West, beat eleven other hopefuls from all over Yorkshire at the competition in Leeds city centre this month.
The father-of-one was representing The Huddersfield Circle of Magicians and wowed audiences with close-up magic card tricks.
The 35-year-old said: “There was some very strong competitors from all over Yorkshire and magicians of all ages wearing many styles of dress.
“There were magicians in jeans and warlocks in corporate business dress, all a far cry from the public's general perception of big bow ties and top hats.
“And with no rabbits in sight it was an evening crammed full of the finest magic seen this side of Hogwarts.”
John is originally from London and moved to town seven years ago with wife Ann who is originally from Mirfield.
He said: “We didn't want to bring children up in London – we thought it would be much better here surrounded by the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.”
John said his daughter Imogen has already started mastering magic.
He said the three-year-old who goes to Hillside House day nursery is a dab hand with card tricks.
Previously, John was resident magician at London's Hilton hotel on Park Lane.
He has also entertained Princes William and Harry at a private event at Highgrove House and performed at the Princess Diana Memorial concert.
John once organised a magic show for American superstar Michael Jackson at Hamleys toy shop in London.
He said: “Michael Jackson enjoyed the show. He’s very interesting and very child-like, the first thing he asked me was if I had any magnets.
“Being a magician is very interesting and it's different every day. Some days are really long and I can be working from 8am to 2am the next morning.
“It's constantly a sales job because you're always having to sell yourself which is very hard for British people because we're not used to saying how great we are.”
John now hopes to tour with his magic show, Intimate Intrigues.
In the meantime, he will carry on with corporate shows and parties across the country.
For more information or to book a performance visit www.johndanbury.com or call 01484 861126