IT'S official - Limerick's Leon Andersen is the number one magician in Ireland.
Leon scooped three awards at the recent International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) awards at the South Court Hotel - picking up the titles of IBM stage act of the year, Irish stage act of the year and showman of the year.
Leon, who last year opened the country's first magic school on Mary Street and recently launched the second book in his hit 'Class Magic' series, said that he was thrilled to win the recognition of his peers: "I'm delighted - it's something I've been working towards for years, and to finally to get recognised as one of the best in the business is a great feeling."
The Irish circle of the IBM holds its three-day awards event ever year in either Dublin, Belfast or Limerick. Last week, more than 300 magicians, entertainers and members of the public gathered at the South Court Hotel in Raheen for the 2009 ceremony. The event, which ran from Friday to Sunday, saw performances by stage magicians, harpists, jugglers and other acts.
Leon said that he was particularly delighted to pick up the showmanship award, as it is one that is only awarded once every few years on merit: "They didn't actually give that out for the past two years because there wasn't any act at a high enough standard. The last time they gave it out was in 2006, and I won it that year as well. The competition this year was tough enough, so I'm even happier to come away with as many awards as I did."
Meanwhile, Leon is hoping to visit a number of primary schools in Limerick between now and the summer holidays to hold magic workshops with fifth and sixth class children. He said that the core ethos of his magic school is to help give confidence and self esteem to children through performing easy to learn tricks in front of their friends.
To contact Leon about visiting your school or to apply for places on his summer magic courses at the Irish Academy of Magic, visit www.leonandersen.com or www.theirishacademyofmagic.com