A MAGICIAN from Northwich managed to steal a top prize at a convention thanks to a little help from the Guardian.

Douglas Tilston, 17, of Mayfair Drive, Kingsmead, came out as winner after wowing the audience with his magic routine at the Junior British Magical Close-up Championships.

The event was held in Blackpool over the weekend of February 21 and 22.

And to show the audience that he wasn’t thinking on the spot, he showed them page 60 of last week’s Guardian (inset) – a small classified advert predicting that the spectator would select the four of diamonds as part of his final trick.

The invitation-only event came as a massive boost to the student who had been given a slot after impressing show organisers at a different meet.

“I started off with a card routine, three dollars appearing from one hand into another and this explained the current banking crisis,” he said.

“I then did three coins passing through clear silk before moving on to card routines.”

Then it was time for his best trick, which involved 12 decks of cards shuffled, spread on a table, with a member of the audience selecting a card – the four of diamonds.

The trick earned him a standing ovation.

“It was fantastic just to have the opportunity to perform there,” Douglas said.

“I only went there to do my best, and I never thought I would be placed in the top three, never mind finishing on top.”

The Sir John Deane’s College student is currently doing AS levels in maths, chemistry, physics and business studies and has been doing coin and card tricks for six years.

Dad Phillip is a professional magician and was the first to show his son the ropes.

“The event was videoed and they had a big screen so he was performing in front of 700 people,” Phillip said.

“There were only five performing in his category from hundreds, it was prestigious just to be involved in the convention.”

Congratulate Douglas on his winning trick at northwichguardian.co.uk/forum.