Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Debunking The Derren

Well...I bloody hope not.

God, I love Derren Brown. I love his pixie beard, I love his little nodding tic, I love the fact he collaberates with Patrick from Dead Set, and I love every single mind-bending stunt he pulls. During Russian Roulette, I whooped so loudly I roused my then-flatmate from a gin coma. She had been clinically dead for 20 minutes. THAT'S how good Derren Brown is.

So now here he is, back for an extravaganza of guessing. He says he's going to predict the Lotto numbers - one assumes correctly, although I'm not sure that's been specified, and it will slightly damp-squibbish if he dances merrily onto screen, swigs from a can of Fosters and says, "Errrr, I dunno, four? Never said I'd get them right. Ha! You didn't read the small print, you tiny-brains!" And for once in my life my late working hours are working right in my favour, if you don't count that one time I was here so late that the canteen started giving away free food that was out of date and I caught a parasitic worm from a king prawn wrap, as if there's one thing there's an abundance of round these parts, it's TVs that can broadcast independently from each other. So I can monitor both Channel 4 and the BBC at once, to prove there is no cheeky exploitation of broadcast signals.

Dude! Check out my sweet-set up.

So that's one TV on the left showing Channel 4, one on the right showing BBC1, a spare one in the middle (that doesn't work) and a rather wonderful cartoon on my desktop courtesy of @laura_barnard whose work you can peruse somewhere over there ->

So, initial thoughts - it's gotta be a reveal rather than a prediction - a sealed envelope or box with the numbers inside, rather than a beautiful duet between Derren and Alan Dedicot, voice of the balls... DB: "Four!" ADVOTB: "Four! The number of scotches I can imbibe between balls!" A reveal is something that Derren has done many, many times before, always successfully, and can be easily twiddly-doo'd. Plus, if it was an actual prediction, quite large chunks of statistical theory, relativity, and rational thought would have to be hoofed out of the universe's window, and I'm not sure Mr Brown would like the inevitable rift in the space-time continuum laid on his opulent doorstep.

Right, pointless liveblogging section alert.

10:30 OK it's nearly go time. I have Gordon's Kitchen Nightmares in one ear and the weather in the other. Oh, it's Jay Wynne! The croakiest man in all the land. One cough away from a lung flopping onto Wales and gliding gently down the Channel.
10:33 The continuity bloke on Channel 4 made a balls joke. Dammit! My ballsjoke sweepstake didn't go into negative values.
10:36 AAAAH ANNE ROBINSON'S FACE HAS HURT MY FEELINGS. Well, the two shows are starting at roughly the same time.
10:37 Who the hell is this guy on the lotto? When did Danny Wallace and Vernon Kaye produce vile progeny?
10:40 Awww, look at him filling. This is either ridiculously good acting or actual desperate filling.
10:41 Is the answer in among some of this legality stuff? Did he secretly just say "by the way this isn't live and I'm in on it with Camelot, which is of course run by an evil cabal of lizards, of whom I am king, yes, that's right, king of the lizards?"
10:43 There's definitely no delay between the feeds. My BBC1 and the BBC1 on his telly are as synchronised as my brain and this trick are not.
10:45 Well...hell.

Very impressive. Mayhap: a) Camera trick. Some kind of whizzery with the locked-off camera, easy to split the screen in half, replace the footage of the balls and have a little helper pop the right ones in as the draw progresses. Come on! We've all seen Speed. But, as Derren kept pointing out, he is going to show us how to predict the Lotto numbers on Friday, and I'm pretty sure most of us don't have the whole of Television Centre in our back gardens. b) Clever balls. They light up with the correct numbers? They have tiny miniature printers inside them? The lizards have technology far beyond our ken! Fear it! c) Collective hallucination. There is one poor person somewhere in the country who is immune, screaming at the TV, "he's just written down zero six times! Why can't you see?!" He's probably put it on Twitter with a #DerrenBrown and everything, just to be swept away by the 40,000 tweets saying "OMFG how did he do that????" He's sitting there now, rocking slightly, just waiting for that one little reply saying "yeah, me too!" I believe you, Mr Cynical.

I just have to go to sleep now. Truly sorry for the quality of the above. Hard to type with brain puttyfied.


Ishouldbeworking said...

Fab post! I love him too. I even broke a rule and tuned in from my holiday in the wilds of France. I find him irresistible. He'd find me completely resistible, but there you go.

justrestingmyeyes said...

Oh, ditto. I had a friend who in the early days of DB's career used to say "He's gay, you know," just to wind me up. When he did actually come out, I was properly upset, like a delusional teenager thinking she is, like, so perfect for him, if only we could meet and he'd look into my eyes and just KNOW!

(The theory kind of fell apart when I did once see Mr Brown walking down the street and he looked right through me...)