BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Sunday, 5 October, 2003, 21:42 GMT 22:42 UK
Illusionist survives Russian roulette stunt
Derren Brown
Derren Brown's stunt took place overseas
Mind control expert Derren Brown has survived a controversial Russian roulette stunt, shown "live" on television.

A member of the public chosen from 12,000 volunteers loaded a gun with a single bullet, which Brown put to his head and fired repeatedly.

He successfully identified the second chamber as the one which was loaded and fired the bullet into a sandbag - to great relief.

The stunt - which was shown with a time delay - has been criticised by police, who fear copycat incidents.

Rick Naylor, vice president of the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales, said he was "flabbergasted" it was going ahead.

"You're going to get copycat kids doing this and we're possibly going to end up with some tragedies," he said.

Handguns ban

Brown flew to a secret location to carry out the stunt, which was shown on Channel 4.

The performer had to film the stunt outside the UK because of the ban on handguns.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said she did not know where it was being filmed, other than it was somewhere in Europe.

She said the network had been in discussions with groups opposed to the programme.

The trick was filmed for Derren Brown: Mind Control, an illusion series that is returning for a second run this year.


Before the show went ahead, Brown said that if he felt unsure about his safety he would pull out.

"If I'm not 100% sure I will not pull the trigger. It will be humiliating but preferable to the other option," he said.

His family - mother Christine and brother Dominic - were against his potentially lethal stunt.

"I had long chats with them and explained to them I'm not going to do it if I'm not confident. If I'm confident they should be as well," Brown said.

"My mother will be, probably by crouching behind the sofa."

David Berglas, magician
"I personally feel it shouldn't be done, but I congratulate him for having achieved it"

Riveting finale to Russian roulette stunt
05 Oct 03  |  TV and Radio
Plans for TV Russian roulette
15 May 03  |  TV and Radio
Watchdog clears TV autopsy
27 Jan 03  |  TV and Radio
Seat at the autopsy sideshow
21 Nov 02  |  Health
Man fined over Trigger Happy stunt
30 Jan 01  |  Entertainment
Teenager burned in 'copycat' MTV stunt
30 Jan 01  |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific