My place - Martin Duffy

MARTIN, 46, is a professional magician. He has been performing magic full-time for more than 20 years but before that he used to sell magic in London to other magicians.

MARTIN, 46, is a professional magician. He has been performing magic full-time for more than 20 years but before that he used to sell magic in London to other magicians.

Martin has also been president of Newcastle’s Magic Circle and spent a summer season as a children’s entertainer on a holiday camp.

His shows are split 50/50 adults and children from private birthday parties to library shows, and car launches to private parties.

Martin lives with his partner in Seaton Delaval.

Where do you live?

In a cottage in Seaton Delaval which is over 100 years old. Everything is on my doorstep within a two-minute walk – supermarket, corner shop, hardware store, bakers, chemists, Post Office, barbers, newsagents, Chinese takeaway, Indian takeaway, two fish and chip shops and the world-famous Delaval Ice Cream shop! I also have the best neighbours in the world – a plumber on one side (very handy!) and a couple on the other side who can let the dogs out if I am delayed or working all day!

How long have you lived there?

15 years.

What’s your dream home?

I have it – but if I win the lottery I will get one of those huge machines from America which pick up whole houses and move them in one piece! I would move it to the edge of a lake somewhere.

How do you get around (walk, car, public transport, private jet)?

Car – just as well I like driving. Next week I am travelling from a show at a nursery in Chester-le-Street to a dinner at Alnwick Castle. I have driven to York or Manchester or even London for shows but I prefer to work locally.

What is your favourite part of the North- East?

I love the shopping at Corbridge (where my parents live) and Barnard Castle (great antique shops). I used to live on the seafront at Cullercoats and I so love that coastline.

What is your favourite building in the region?

I love Alnwick Castle – especially with the Harry Potter connection.

What is the best holiday you’ve ever had?

For luxury it was the Dominican Republic – despite being woken up by a 6.5 on the Richter scale earthquake on my first night. For fun it has to be Vegas. I have friends performing out there so I see two shows a day and try to fit in three or four meals a day too, magic!

What’s the favourite thing in your home?

I like my Magic and eBay Bad Taste Bears and my new granite fireplace but I love eating in the conservatory.

If you could have one luxury what would it be?

A personal trainer and cook to get me fit and keep me that way.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am very busy with Christmas shows. Most of the school shows I have been doing now for over 15 years. I am rehearsing my Santa via Satellite Show where we track Santa’s sleigh (using the same technology the satnav uses in your car) during my magic show from the North Pole to the Customs House in South Shields.

Who or what is the love of your life?

As well as my partner, my family, my two rescue dogs and my new nephew, I love magic. I remember reading if you find a job you love you never have to work again.

What is your favourite shop?

There’s a great shop in the Venetian Hotel in Vegas that sells ornaments and home furnishings.

What is your favourite restaurant?

I love the Blacksmiths Table in Washington Village and Matfen Hall. I am a member of the Gourmet Society and every month there’s a group of eight of us visit a different restaurant so we visit a lot.

Where is your favourite pub?

I am not a pub person but like As You Like It in Jesmond.

Do you have a favourite meal?

Any meal! Could be Chinese, Indian, Italian, fish and chips, roast dinners... I never get sick of pasta but if out I will invariably have Steak Diane. My various tastes are why I love the buffets in Vegas as you can have a mouthful (or two!) of all of the above on one plate then go back for more!

Are you any good at cooking – do you spend much time in your kitchen?

I have only cooked a handful of times in the last 15 years and when I do I need to follow a recipe to the letter! The time I spend in the kitchen is making cups of tea (I have about eight a day).

What’s the last play or film you saw?

Wicked in London.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Magic ones – which you won’t have heard of. The most recent you may have heard of is Chicken Soup for the Soul – a collection of inspirational stories. I cried my eyes out on the plane back reading this.

What are you listening to on your iPod or CD player at the moment?

Tony Henry, the opera singer.

What is your favourite TV programme?

Dragons Den but I like X-Factor, The Gadget Show and Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares.

What are you proudest of?

The fact I can create lasting memories for people (especially children) at important times of their lives. Also the fact I have taken magic as an entertainment and transformed it into an educational tool where I can talk about bullying, road safety and environmental issues and slip the important messages in under the children’s radar.

When and where were you happiest?

I am at the happiest time of my life now.

Do you have any wisdom to share?

I am full of it... wisdom, that is! I have realised I am at the time of my life when I don’t feel I have to impress anyone and so have found myself telling people exactly what I think of them or a situation. I have a couple of magic mates who ask my opinions knowing I will tell them the truth.

What does the future hold?

I’m a magician not a fortune teller! I would like to do more school shows. And for my other work – getting paid more so I don’t have to work as much.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer