A MAGICIAN from Thornbury has fulfilled a boyhood dream and has been accepted into the exclusive world of the Magic Circle.

Barry Smith, 55, has now joined the likes of Paul Daniels and David Copperfield, in being accepted as a member of the premier magical society.

Barry, whose popular show, A Touch of Magic, has been entertaining people in the Thornbury area for many years, started his magical career at the age of seven when he was given a David Nixon magic box for Christmas.

"I have always had an interest in magic and 48 years ago the Magic Circle was just some magical organisation to aspire to," the father-of-two said.

For 48 years Barry has been entertaining friends and family with card tricks, illusions and even sawing his wife Sue, who is also his assistant, in half.

The Magic Circle has just 1,500 members worldwide and to be accepted into its ranks magicians have to meet certain criteria.

Wannabe magicians have know at least two existing Magic Circle members, who act as sponsors, and have to have an interview to make sure they will adhere to the strict code of honour of not revealing the tricks of the trade.

To be accepted into the Magic Circle Barry, who was a major in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers until five years ago before working for the MoD, also had one of his performances reviewed by senior members of the circle.

"I didn’t even know they had come and watched. You have to complete a practical test but for me instead inviting me for a demonstration they decided to watch me in action," he said.

Despite remaining tight-lipped on how his tricks work Barry did say the key is in having confidence.

He said: "It is all about balancing everything that is going on, remembering the trick, making sure your hands are functioning without you having to concentrate, and of course you have to interact with your audience. If you can manage all that, you are fine."