David Berglas MBE

When you draw something it lives. When you photograph it, it dies. – John Fowles. 

Recently, another friend has departed, someone who was a giant in the magic world. I had the privilege of drawing him when he was with us to which he said, ‘Jay, I had no idea you had such talent besides being a magician. Your art is wonderful, you’re incredibly talented and your portrait of me is stunning.‘ – David Berglas.

David was a titan in the magic world, being the first British magician to have his own TV series and was subject of TV’s ‘This Is Your Life’ broadcast after the Queen’s Speech, Christmas Day, 1991. His achievements were legion and he was eulogised in all the leading newspapers. 

I had the privilege of knowing David, spending quality time with him. One day, we spent all day and late into the night together, just he and I, sharing anecdotes and he performed his signature trick, known as The Berglas Effect, just for me. A real pinch-me moment. 

David and his family have always been so supportive of me, kind and generous with their time and love. I’m forever grateful of the many memories I have of spending time with ‘The Original International Man of Mystery’, David Berglas. 

Photo: with my charcoal portraits of Eugene Burger (bottom) and David Berglas MBE, who passed away 3rd November 2023.