Paul Zenon

Paul Zenon

Date of birth: 29-06-1964
Magician Paul Zenon has always been a trickster: at the age of eight he conned his neighbours into buying raffle tickets for a non-existent prize – then invented a fictional winner so they wouldn’t catch on.

In later youth, he worked his way around the Mediterranean as a street magician, fire-eater and phoney fortune-teller, then - after a short spell as a casino croupier in Denmark – he returned to the UK where he worked his way into the comedy clubs.

He took one-man shows to the Edinburgh Fringe in 1997, 1999 and 2002 but has also performed for the troops in Bosnia, Belize and the Falklands, at plenty of corporate after-dinner functions, and in a Vegas casino.

In the early Nineties, Zenon presented four series of the children’s BBC programmes Tricky Business and Tricks and Tracks, before making three hour-long shows for Channel 4.

Other TV credits include a 'tricks and travel' TV special set in Sweden, hosting 22 hour-long episodes of Worst Case Scenario on Bravo, Paul Zenon's Revenge Squad for ITV and making regular guest appearances on Channel 4’s Countdown.

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A magic moment

Paul Zenon collects an award from Ken Dodd

Paul Zenon has received a comedy award from Sir Ken Dodd.

The entertainer was honoured with the accolade, named after Dodd himself, at the Blackpool Magicians’ Convention at the weekend

Around 4,000 magicians and fans attend the event, now in its 65th year. Sir Ken is honorary life president and each year he presents the Sir Ken Dodd Award for Comedy to someone who is judged to have made an outstanding contribution to comedy in magic. Previous winners have included Tommy Cooper, Joe Pasquale and American conjurer Carl Ballentine.

After Sir Ken presented Zenon with the award, the pair launched into an a cappella version of  Dodd’s signature tune, Happiness.

Zenon said: ‘I’m particularly tickled to be awarded it as I used to go to the convention every year from the age of 11 and marvel at Doddie on the Opera House stage, little dreaming that I'd be up there singing Happiness with the legend all these years later. He's the last of the music hall greats.’

• Fay Presto had a miracle escape when she crashed on the M6 driving home from the convention. Her car overturned near Sandbach services, and she posted online that she ‘crawled out’ of the wreckage. She was given the all-clear after six hours in casualty.

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Published: 21 Feb 2017

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