Britain's Got Talent 2016: Paul Daniels' nephew James Phelan to audition with own magic act

The young magician auditioned ahead of his uncle's passing last month

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 05 April 2016 12:36 BST
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Paul Daniels' nephew James Phelan will audition with his own magic act
Paul Daniels' nephew James Phelan will audition with his own magic act

One of this year's Britain's Got Talent auditionees will be James Phelan, nephew of magician couple Paul Daniels and Debbie McGree.

Phelan - who took to the stage with his own magic act in front of judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon - revealed the news to Radio Times ahead of Daniels' death last month, citing his uncle and auntie as major influences.

“I don’t think I’d be doing this without them; they’ve closed the Royal Variety, they’ve played it a few times and that plays a big part in me being here," he said. "There’s no other sort of inspiration I’ve taken. I’ve never really watched any other magicians.”

“I’ve got a video, a VHS of my uncle playing the palladium in about 1979, and it is him, the stage, a box and that’s it. I was always inspired by that – how can this one person fill this whole theatre?"

Describing his decision to audition as "a jump in the deep end," Phelan levels that he has faith in his magician abilities to succeed.

"If you apply for The X Factor, you’re basically competing with everyone doing the same thing. Whereas now, as long as I’m a good magician, it’s less sort of pressure on that front.”

Britain's Got Talent returns to ITV on Saturday 9 April.

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