When I was young, I was shy, and - like most teenagers - scared and unsure of what I might do with my life. I was learning to juggle, but that was just a distraction, surely, from whatever it would be that I'd do for a living.
Every Saturday night, I would sit down and watch - along with a pretty hefty chunk of the nation - The Paul Daniels Magic Show. For fifteen years, it was the centre of BBC weekend prime time. Massive viewing figures, stars from all over the world. It was the shiny floored showcase of the world of the circus, variety show and cabaret club.
And I started to realise that some of the guest stars were jugglers. I began to get the first glimpses of the people who would go on to become my heroes and inspirations. The great Kris Kremo. The hilarious Rob Murray. The astonishing Nathalie Enterline. And, of course, the godlike George Carl. These people sent me a message, although they didn't know it. They showed me that there might be places that I could make a living out of this stupid juggling lark. if I was good enough, and lucky. And that was all I needed. That helped push me onto a path that I will never leave.
Which is why it will be a privilege to be able to welcome Mr. Paul Daniels onto the stage of the London Varieties on April 25th. He'll be talking about his life and career, his art, his heroes and inspirations, and his thoughts on the current state of variety. He'll also be treating us to a couple of his classic routines. I truly can't wait.
But that's not all - we also have the hottest stars of the international cabaret circuit Eastend Cabaret, the hilarious Austrian interpretive dancer Johann Lippowitz, and the truly incredible Lisa Lottie.
Oh, and I'll be attempting the single most dangerous feat of dexterity I have ever tried.
It's going to be a hell of a show. Hope to see you there.
Winner of best new light entertainment show of the year – The Stage
"Thankfully there is still someone out there that “gets” the power of a proper variety show, and his name is Mat Ricardo...A tour de force!" ★★★★ - Broadway Baby
“Guaranteed entertainment” - This Is Cabaret
“Exhilarating – you need to go!” - ToMaxTalks.com
“Captivating..Unique..Superb” - Ben Walters, Time Out
“Brilliant! Not to be missed!” - Liz Arratoon, The Stage