Limerick magician casts spell on the Discovery Channel

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

LOCAL magician and stuntman Steve Spade is to star in a special Discovery Channel documentary to air in Europe and America this Christmas.

LOCAL magician and stuntman Steve Spade is to star in a special Discovery Channel documentary to air in Europe and America this Christmas.

Coonagh man Steve was fresh out of performing his ‘Sacrifice’ stunt at a packed King John’s Castle in September, when he received a call from the international television network which was due to film in Dublin.

With short notice, he went up to the capital, where he was asked to take part in a rope escape stunt.

But then he got the surprise of his life when he was awarded with a priceless pair of handcuffs once owned by his hero Harry Houdini.

Initially, he was shown the cuffs by an auctioneer with a view to doing an appraisal.

Taking up the story, Steve says: “It blew me away, because they had the genuine paper work, including signatures from Theo Hardine, Houdini’s brother, and handwritten letters. I had done a bit of research and found they were certified from 1905. They would have been considered ‘Challenge cuffs’. Every so often, Houdini would have a pair of cuffs sent as a challenge,” Steve explained.

As part of the show, Steve - whose last stunt ‘Sacrifice’ involved escaping from a burning at the stake - was set the task of escaping from a tightly tied rope, something he did in just 52 seconds - beating his own record, and smashing Houdini’s fastest escape time.

Now he has the cuffs - which he describes as “priceless” - Steve says he wants to put them on public display in the Hunt Museum.

“I want them to be seen. They are so beautiful, and over 100 years old too,” he enthused.

Steve - who has previously escaped from a rope at 100ft, emulating Houdini, as well as escaping from a locked safe deep in the Abbey River - will appear on the as yet unnamed documentary, which is expected to air on the Discovery Travel and Living channel over Christmas in this country.

He said the international exposure is already giving his career a boost, with offers to perform coming in from Britain and America.

“It was huge. [To be approached] by the Discovery Channel is just amazing. It catches you off-guard. I had just finished Sacrifice, and I had a major buzz from that, because it has sold out King John’s Castle. That was a big thing in itself for me, because I had always wanted to do a show in King John’s Castle,” he told the Limerick Chronicle.

“This will help my career. Next year, I am going to do a show called ‘Voodoo’ based on the old Edwardian/Victorian magic shows. It is going to be a modern take on a show that would have been common around the turn of the century,” he explained.

The as-yet untitled programme is set to air over the Christmas period on Discovery Travel and Living, available on Sky channel 220, or UPC channel 210.

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