David Berglas


TV magic pioneer David Berglas has vanished aged 97. After fleeing Nazi Germany for England as a prepubescent, he helped the US Army with denazification espionage missions. Once that winded down, he planned to join his family’s textile business before being wooed by a chance encounter with magician Ken Brooke and recharting his course to psychotherapy.

Berglas’s magician act quickly gained steam across radio, TV, and the variety circuit, and inspired virtually every British illusionist since. His popularity was aided by his diversity of tricks – predictions, disappearing/reappearing objects, card tricks, levitation, even stopping traffic. He drove through Piccadilly blindfolded, which scared passenger Graham Hill shitless. The crown jewel of his repertoire was named “the Berglas Effect”, the “Holy Grail” of card tricks that involved getting audience members to name a random card and random number in the deck, and the card appears at that position without fail. Like a rabbit out of the hat, Here’s Who You Could Have Won pulls another interesting unique.

David Berglas
30 July 1926 – 3 November 2023, aged 97
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