Channel 4 fails to deny roulette stunt was a fake

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The Independent Online

More than three million viewers tuned in to witness Derren Brown dice with death as he purported to use "mind power" to survive Russian roulette with live ammunition. But Brown lived up to his title as an illusionist, using blank bullets and special effects to dupe viewers.

Police in Jersey, where the stunt was filmed, said the act was faked to ensure he could not be killed.

Brown claimed he had staged the show in a secret foreign location to bypass Britain's strict gun laws. But, the law surrounding firearms in Jersey is equally stringent, said Lenny Harper, the detective chief officer for the States of Jersey Police.

"There is absolutely no way that the States of Jersey Police would allow anybody to put themselves at risk and shoot themselves dead."

Shortly before the stunt, Brown, 32, told a press conference: "It's a real gun, it's a real bullet. I'm really putting the real gun to my head and really firing it."

Millions of viewers tuned in on Sunday to witness him choose volunteers to load a live bullet into the gun, before pulling the trigger a number of times and firing into a sandbag.

Last night, a spokeswoman for Channel 4 said she was unable to deny the police officer's version of events.

A spokesman for Brown claimed that if he had fired a blank round into his head "he would have died anyway".