What’s On spoke with the British illusionist and Britain’s Got Talent finalist ahead of his gig at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace on July 8 and 9. Did he give away any of his secrets? Read on to find out…

His first trick

When I was 10 my family went to India, and while we were at a restaurant a magician came to the table to entertain us. Afterwards he taught me the Indian rope trick, where you have a piece of rope and when you snap your fingers it stands up straight. I’ve still got that rope at home.

His favourite illusion

My absolute favourite trick is the one I finish the first half of my show with. It’s where we get a child on stage and levitate them up in the air. The look on their face when they come back down is brilliant.

Getting nervous

It’s terrifying when you first start [performing]. When you first start you have to think about everything, but once it gets into your subconscious you just do it.

On his worst gig

There’s never been a bad one in terms of performing and tricks going wrong. The worst thing for me is when you are in a location that is simply not suitable. I’ve been asked to do a show on top of a double decker bus while it is moving around London – in the winter, when it was freezing. You just do the best you can.

On revealing his methods

There’s a saying: “A magician always guards an empty chest.” It’s not what is in the box that’s interesting; it’s what might be in there. As long as you don’t let anyone look inside, they will always be intrigued. I can tell everyone how my tricks work or I show people and let them try to figure it out. And the explanation is much more interesting that what actually happened. You’ve got to keep that element of mystery.

Britain’s Got Talent

It was a dream come true when I did my final on Britain’s Got Talent. There were 15 million people watching and I got a standing ovation from the judges and the audience.

Jamie Raven will perform at Emirates Palace, Al Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, on July 8 and 9. Tickets are Dhs150 to Dhs250. Tel: (800) 555. Taxi: Emirates Palace. thinkflash.ae