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Derren was born in 1971 in Croydon. It was a difficult birth ~ hi mother was in Devon at the time. A precocious and puzzling only child, he liked to paint, foster obsessive habits and once set fire toa neighbour's boat by accident. Derren went on to study law and German at Bristol University and fell in love with the city. This was a time where marriage between man and city was still frowned ‘upon, so rather than face public derision, Derren decided just to live there forever instead. During this time he began to perform magic in bars and restaurants, and gave occasional hypnosis shows. Then in 1999 he was asked by Channel 4 to put a mind-reading pro- ‘gramme together for television, which became Derren Brown: Mind Control. It was an immediate success and gained Derren a cool underground kudos which he described as ‘not enough’, Mind Controls 2 and 3 followed and then, in October 2003, Derren caused an international furore by playing Russian Roulette live on television. This secured notoriety with the public and a big apartment in London. ‘Bristol can shove itself he said. Further spe- Is have followed including Derren Brown: The Séance which was the most complained about show in the history of television. He still receives several letters of complaint a week from psychics and Christians. He is sensitive to everyone's objections but knows at least the latter group will forgive him, Derren’s workload keeps him exhausted and irritable fifty-two weeks a year and he continues to live in London with a large cok lection of taxidermy and a fatalistic parrot. He spends any free weekends painting and likes to receive gifts. =aaas) TRICKS OF THE MIND DERREN BROV VN