Magician Rodd is ‘close-up’ master

Byline Mark Jamieson-Ace magician Rodd Hogg gets cuffed up for his forthcoming trick by jumping out of a helecopter into Carrickfergus Harbour and freeing himself handcuffed.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
Byline Mark Jamieson-Ace magician Rodd Hogg gets cuffed up for his forthcoming trick by jumping out of a helecopter into Carrickfergus Harbour and freeing himself handcuffed.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
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NOW you see it, now you don’t.

A Coleraine magician has proved he is the master of sleight of hand by winning the International Brotherhood of Magicians ‘Irish Ring’ Close-Up Championship in Belfast.

Rodd Hogg - who is already being dubbed ‘The Irish Dynamo’ - blew away a top juding panel in the Ramada Hotel at Shaws Bridge to win the coveted award against six other leading Irish magicians.

The 33-year-old maestro dazzled with a gobsmacking 11-minute routine, using coins and tricks to wow both the audience and judges.

The panel included American Joshua Jay, rated among the top three magicians in the world and who performed at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Also judging were close-up magic technician and lecturer Andi Gladwin and magic writer Joe O’Donnell.

“I’m thrilled,” said Rodd, “because I really didn’t expect to win it.

“I only entered the competition because a friend told me about it and I only had a few days to prepare.”

Because of Rodd’s hectic schedule he was performing his routine at a winebar in Carrick when news of his award came through by text.

Thanks to his stunning up-close magic, Rodd ’s mesmering act has already wowed showbiz celebrities such as Diana Vickers, Tinie Tempah and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

And the modest showman also performed his routine at snooker star Mark Allen’s wedding to fiance Kyla McGuigan in the Hillgove in Monaghan last Friday.

Rodd also appeared to universal acclaim on Alan Simpson’s BBC Radio Ulster show last Tuesday afternoon.

As The Coleraine Times revealed last month Rodd will attempt the most dangerous stunt in magic when he tries to escape underwater while handcuffed at Carrickfergus Harbour in June. He will be leaping into the water from a raised gangway.

In 1912 the feat made Houdini a global superstar after he jumped into New York’s East River.

Rodd will attempt his own version of the great escape, planning to jump 30ft from a helicopter into the sea on June 22.

He is also hoping to do a stint at the Edinburgh Festival later this year.

STORY: David Rankin