A COLEG Gwent music teacher is set to bring magic back to the small screen for the second series of a popular children’s television show.
James Went, a professional magician, and music lecturer at the Crosskeys campus, stars in the CBBC show Help! My Supply Teacher is Magic, which started earlier this week.
The 30-year-old, who grew up in Tredegar, has stepped into the spotlight as one of a handful of top magicians in the UK.
Mr Went, who studied at the Paul McCartney-backed Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and played in rock band Ten Men Wide between 2001 and 2005, trained himself to become a magician seven years ago after being inspired by Derren Brown.
He returns to our screens along with four magicians who go undercover as supply teachers in real classrooms for the CBBC show, teaching through magic.
Things get surreal in the hiddencamera show, as book pages turn by themselves, cooking ingredients come to life, and teachers levitate into the air – much to the amazement of the pupils.
The interactive programme teaches children tricks of the trade and allows those at home to follow and experience the magic for themselves.
With skills such as sleight of hand with playing-cards, and mind reading, Mr Went hopes to follow the footsteps of renowned illusionist Derren Brown, and was signed by Derren’s management team last year.
Mr Went’s passion for magic surfaced when he worked as a sound engineer after qualifying in sound technology at university.
He said: “I just had to know how tricks were done, so I did loads of reading and research,” he said.
“Like learning most things, you just read and read and practise and practise.
It’s a very surreal experience to be appearing on TV, but I’m loving every minute!”
Help! My Supply Teacher is Magic can be seen on CBBC at 6.15pm today.