Former TV magician David Berglas, who has been awarded an MBE, has joked that despite decades of mind-reading he “didn’t see this one coming”.
Berglas, now 92, was one of the first magicians to appear on British TV screens, attracting millions of viewers in the 1950s.
The magician, also known for his powers of the mind, said: “I am delighted to accept this honour but even more pleased that the art of magic has at last been recognised.
“I have spent over 60 years entertaining people in person, on radio and television – ‘reading their minds’ – but I certainly didn’t see this one coming.”
Illusionist Derren Brown hailed Berglas as “one of our greatest living magical performers.
“Generations of magicians owe him a debt of gratitude. Each of my shows is indebted to his artistry and astonishing body of work. I thank him for his constant inspiration.”
Berglas was known for his psychological experiments, on the radio, and later his big stunts.
He had his own BBC TV show, Meet David Berglas, which was a huge hit, in 1954, and in the 1980s The Mind Of David Berglas, on Channel 4, featured celebrity guests.
He has also been a consultant on several Bond films.
The Magic Circle first admitted female members, in 1991, during his tenure as president.
He is awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List for services to magic and psychology.