Spelling test

Now ITV launches a magic show, too

Comedy magicians Penn and Teller are to star in a new ITV1 magic ‘spectacular’ to be fronted by Jonathan Ross.

News of the 90-minute show Fool Us comes after BBC One announced its own magic series, The Magicians, presented by Jonathan Ross. While the BBC magic show features professional illusionists, the ITV show takes its cue from its biggest shows X Factor, Pop Idol and Britain’s Got Talent – and invites amateurs to take part in a big-budget competition.

Aspiring magicians will perform their tricks to an audience including Penn and Teller. If anyone can fool the professionals, they will win a trip to Las Vegas to open for Penn & Teller.

Penn Jillette said: ‘Nothing would give me or Teller more pleasure than to hand over Vegas tickets to someone – anyone – who has the nerve to stand in front of us, monkey with us, leave us baffled and ultimately blow us away with their brilliance. We SO want that to happen.'

ITV entertainment commissioner John Kaye Cooper said: ‘Penn and Teller have been performing together for over 35 years.  They know trickery but can the world’s foremost experts on deception still be fooled?  This exciting new format… makes terrific “talk about” TV and the ideal show for all the family to enjoy.’

The show will be Ross’s first ITV presenting job since he left the BBC following the fallout from the Sachsgate furore – though he will be returning to the corporation in January to take part in an astronomy show alongside Dara O Briain.

Penn & Teller: Fool Us will go out over Christmas.

Published: 29 Nov 2010

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