Sunday 23 October 2016

Paul Daniels' 'extraordinary' magician nephew to try his luck on Britain's Got Talent

Published 08/04/2016 | 09:19

James Phelan will try his luck on Britain's Got Talent
James Phelan will try his luck on Britain's Got Talent

Paul Daniels' magician nephew has been hailed as "extraordinary" by Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden.

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James Phelan, 23, is among the hopefuls auditioning on the ITV talent show this year.

Famous magician Daniels died of cancer in March, aged 77, with his wife Debbie McGee at his side.

Speaking at the show's launch in central London, Holden said: "He was extraordinary (James) and obviously we didn't know anything about Paul at the time."

"I thought of him when Paul passed away, he was the first person I thought of."

She said she thought a magician could win this year.

Speaking to the Radio Times last month, James said, “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.  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?"

The popular show returns with Holden, Simon Cowell, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon on the judging panel.

Cowell did not attend the launch as he is currently filming in Los Angeles.

Fellow judge Walliams did not miss a trick and arrived dressed as Cowell on the red carpet.

In a video message, Cowell explained the "official" reason for his absence was due to filming America's Got Talent, but that "unofficially I can't bear to be around David and his ego at the moment".

He joked: "Weeks on the road with him was enough. Just to remind you, I'm on the British show and the American show and David's just on the British show."

Britain's Got Talent is broadcast on April 9 at 7pm on UTV Ireland.

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