Morecambe magician's Peter Kay link
A Morecambe magician who has entertained for Peter Kay's children aims to be crowned Britain's best kids entertainer of the year.
Mark Bennett has a few tricks up his sleeve for the national final which welcomes 40,000 magicians from all over the world this weekend.
The 47-year-old hopes his 15 years experience will bag him the title on the Blackpool Opera House stage.
Mark has worked in the industry since he was 18, taking inspiration from king of magic Paul Daniels.
Mark said: “When I was five my parents bought me my first magic set. I grew up watching Paul Daniels.
“Nowadays it’s about street magic, walking up to people and then walking away, there isn’t much interaction. With Paul Daniels it’s all about the comedy, which I prefer.”
The dad-of-four has performed for many families across the country, including comedian Peter Kay’s.
He said: “Peter was great. I used to work with him quite a while ago.
“He has been to a couple of my parties. His children have been to three of my parties when I used to live down his area.
“I have also met Paul Daniels and got the chance to go out to dinner with him which was fantastic.”
Before Mark became a children’s entertainer he worked in cabaret on cruise ships which took him around the world.
He left the sea life and began entertaining when he started a family of his own.
Now he is representing the North West in the British Children’s Entertainer Championships, part of Blackpool’s magic festival on Saturday, February 20.
He said: “I’m happy, but very nervous, the Opera House is one of the biggest stages I’ve ever been on. But it’s about the journey you take children on, not the destination.
“It’s what kids get out of it that makes it worthwhile.”