Englishman and television personality Derren Brown was born on February 27, 1971 in Croydon, South London. A skeptic of paranormal phenomena as well as a psychological illusionist, he attended the Whitgift School and the University of Bristol. He left behind his Law studies after being impressed by one of hypnotist Martin Taylor’s shows, and Derren began researching hypnosis and illusions instead. He has also worked as a conjurer and stage magician, as well as having an interest in mind-reading. Other acts he has done for live television include holding a séance and playing Russian roulette. Derren says that he has achieved his mind-reading ability through a carefully trained combination of psychology, misdirection, showmanship, and subtle suggestion.
Mind Control with Derren Brown is a television series from the Sci-Fi Channel, taken from his original U.K. Channel 4 show Mind Control. The episodes showcase Derren’s supposed mind-reading ability, which he himself describes as a combination of different skills, including the ability to read subtle physical signs, body language, and manipulating what his subjects are thinking through subtle suggestions. At one point in the history of the show, Derren traveled to the U.S. and managed to convince five leading figures from different sectors that he was blessed and had powers in their respective beliefs. These included Christian evangelism, New Age theorists, alien abduction, psychic phenomena, and acting as a medium for the dead.
(Image courtesy of TMCEntertainment.co.uk)