Firefighter turned magician Matt plays his cards right

Magician Matthew Ramsell
Magician Matthew Ramsell

Matthew Ramsell is sworn to secrecy about how he does his many magic tricks.

The 30-year-old, who lives in Ilkeston and works full-time as a firefighter in Long Eaton, has recently become a member of the Magic Circle within London and is the only person in the area to have achieved this status.

The dad-of-one, who is aptly becoming known for his fire tricks, said: “I have always had a vested interest in magic. I went to watch a show when I was younger but then lost interest a bit at school.”

It was seeing David Blaine on TV and going to see a show by the Nottingham Guild of Magicians when he joined the fire service ten years ago that re-ignited his interest and led him on the path to learning magic. He found himself a mentor - Alex Micheal - whom he went on to became such good friends with that he was best man at his wedding to wife Liane.

As he built up his magic skills Matt started to perform for friends, and at pubs, sometimes teaching people the basics.

He said: “I’m certainly not where I want to be. I think the pathway of learning will never stop.”

Matt’s kind of magic skills include ‘close up magic’ such as card tricks, coins and fire.

“It’s all about getting everybody to have a good time’, he said.

“I enjoy classic tricks like the cups and balls which Paul Daniels made famous.”

Many other magicians have also inspired Matthew and he has nothing but praise for Bradford magician Dynamo: “What Dynamo has done for magic is great, he has brought it into the limelight. He’s worked really hard.

“I watch a lot of close up magic, though it almost spoils it a bit when I know how they do it but I love being fooled by great magic. Penn and Teller are amazing, so is David Copperfield. That’s what I want to do, I’d love to do a Vegas show.”

At the moment Matt is booked for a number of weddings and has performed at corporate events including one for the Ministry of Defence. His fellow firefighters often ask him to do a trick for them, and he takes a pack of cards with him on nights out so he is prepared for when someone requests a spot of magic.

His three-year-old daughter is also a fan of his magic and has even started to learn some basics.

His Magic Circle membership sets him as one of the elite magicians within the UK. He had to pass an interview and audition in front of 60 of the UK’s leading magicians to be accepted.

He said: “The audition was one of the most nerve wracking things I have done. It was worse than my driving test. To find out I had got in was fantastic. It was something I had always wanted to do and puts you with the elite magicians in the UK. Only 1,200 people worldwide are part of the Magic Circle. I had to wait three weeks and then had an email to say I had been accepted. It’s a big box ticked in my life.”

Matt believes he is the only magician within the Nottingham and Derby area to have been invited to perform at the invite only Illusions Magic Bar in Bristol. He has been invited back to perform there again for three nights.

“Becoming a member of the Magic Circle has really boosted my profile.

“I have just come back from the Blackpool Magic Convention, a three day convention where new magic gets showcased. Magic is constantly evolving and being updated.”

Though Matt has mastered the art of more than 100 magic tricks he has signed a contract to say he will not reveal the art of magic to anyone apart from other magicians.

More information on Matt can be found at or via his Facebook page

He also has a YouTube page where you can see him in action.