Having had a fascination with the world of magic since he was a boy, Alan Davies explores the extraordinary life of illusionist and stunt performer, Harry Houdini, the man who against the odds became one of the most successful entertainers in the world.
In a bid to understand why Houdini felt compelled to perform such terrifying death defying acts, Alan visits New York where the young Eric Weiss arrived as a child with his Hungarian immigrant family, made his entry into show business and ultimately performed some of his most death-defying stunts. Immersing himself in the world of Houdini, Alan tries to hold his breath under ice cold water, lies on a bed of nails, gets strung upside down in a straitjacket and takes an exclusive look at David Copperfield’s priceless collection of Houdini artefacts in Vegas.
The star of Jonathan Creek reveals he learnt very few tricks of the trade creating illusions in the drama but marvels at the lengths Houdini, and his modern counterparts, go to protect their illusions. From his most famous escapology stunt the Chinese Water Torture Cell to the momentous showdown of the Daily Mirror Challenge performed at London’s Hippodrome, this film takes a journey through the life of the diminutive magician born Erich Weiss.
THE MAGIC OF HOUDINI WITH ALAN DAVIES, ONE HOUR SPECIAL, premieres exclusively on Foxtel's History channel, Wednesday August 10 at 7.30pm.