John Lenahan

Twenty-something years ago John Lenahan arrived in Britain from his native Philadelphia, and never quite made it back. Now a popular and well established entertainer, he enjoys the twin distinction of being hailed by The Guardian as “the mascot of a magical renaissance” – and being thrown out of the Magic Circle. (His offence was to reveal to millions of TV viewers a card trick used by con artists around the world to fleece unsuspecting victims.)

John starred in BBC’s Secrets of Magic and hosted his own BBC2 series, Stuff The White Rabbit. Other credits include presenting the travelogueOpen Roadand appearances on How Do They Do That?, TFI Friday and Richard & Judy. He also fronted ITV’s HoaxBusters, again lifting the lid on scams; but despite all this, there are still those who can only think of him as the voice of the toaster in Red Dwarf.

John has performed live from China to South Africa, and toured the UK with the likes of Victoria Wood, Lenny Henry and Jack Dee. And alongside a finely honed corporate cabaret act, he has made kitchens appear, levitated enormous bars of chocolate and taught hundreds of bankers how to juggle (though he accepts no responsibility for the subsequent crash). John was also the first to perform magic live over the Internet, for BT.

As he often admits when hosting awards shows, John is proud to have once held the title Time Out Street Magician of the Year. 2009 saw another achievement: publication of his first fantasy novel, Shadowmagic. When he isn’t entertaining audiences across the globe, John lives quietly in London surrounded by an ever growing collection of computers and gadgetry