A North Devon magician has received two major international awards in the space of a week.
Ian Adair, 77, retired from magic 10 years ago, but this week was the recipient of two prestigious awards from The International Brotherhood of Magicians.
The worldwide society – formed in Missouri, USA in 1922, with a 15,000-strong membership spanning 80 countries – awarded Ian for his 50 years of continuous service to magicians.
He was awarded The Order of Merlin Excalibur for his five decades of service, and The Silver Nib for outstanding achievements in the world of magic.
Ian, who lives in Barnstaple, said: “Receiving these awards in the post was a real joy and a real thrill, though I wish I could have gone to America to receive them.
“At my age, when you don’t think anymore awards should be given to you, it’s nice to know your peers still recognise you.”
Ian’s love of magic began when he was just five years old, when his grandmother gave him a magic tricks box for Christmas.
“A lot of people got them and just cast them aside after a week, but I was obsessed,” said Ian.
“I practised and showed my tricks to people. and over the years I went on to be part of the church events and parents evenings, that sort of thing.”
Ian’s love for magic continued and at the age of 14 he had his first book published. He would go on to write 318 more.
As well as performing his own tricks, Ian was also the general manager, and later partner, of The Supreme Magic Company, which operated from Bideford.
The company manufactured tricks and equipment for magicians around the globe.
His trick ideas were used by many renowned magicians including David Nixon, Paul Daniels, Tommy Cooper and David Copperfield, and also by teddy bear Sooty.
Ian himself has had many television appearances, including on The Paul Daniels Show, as well as 20 weeks on Blue Peter.
He has also travelled to America to give lectures to The International Brotherhood of Magicians. And his favourite trick?
“One of the best was catching coins from the air and plucking them out from the end of wands,” he said.
“I used to have an assistant and dress in tails, and we did an act catching live doves, thought I don’t know if you’d be allowed to do that nowadays.”