Veteran magician David Berglas dies - and never revealed secret to his 'holy grail' of magic tricks

Magician David Berglas, one of the most influential of the 20th century, has died aged 97.

Also known as the International Man of Mystery, he was the first magician to have his own programme on British television, Meet David Berglas, in 1954.

He appeared frequently on TV and radio over six decades and became a household name for his stunts, including driving a car around London while blindfolded.

Berglas was renowned for a trick called the Berglas Effect, in which he could find a person's chosen card at their chosen point in a deck of cards.

It is regarded as the holy grail of magic effects - and he never revealed the secret of how to do it.

Berglas was awarded an MBE in 2018 for his services to magic and psychology.

On receiving his award he said: "I am delighted to accept this honour but even more pleased that the art of magic has at last been recognised.

"I have spent over 60 years entertaining people in person, on radio and television - 'reading their minds' - but I certainly didn't see this one coming."

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Illusionist Derren Brown hailed Berglas as "one of our greatest living magical performers" when Berglas was awarded his MBE.

"Generations of magicians owe him a debt of gratitude," Brown said.

"Each of my shows is indebted to his artistry and astonishing body of work. I thank him for his constant inspiration."

As president of The Magic Circle from 1989 to 1998, Berger revitalised the society and was the driving force behind its decision to admit women in 1991.

His son Marvin Berglas, who was elected president of The Magic Circle in September this year, said: "My father was a giant in the magic fraternity, known for his originality, creativity and showmanship.

"His mysteries have not only baffled audiences but also his peers. However, to us, his family, he will always be best remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather."