Lamb Island

With a name like Merlini it was inevitable that my protégé from Budapest would be a magician. From the moment I saw his act I knew he could become a world superstar. What I never imagined was that he would one day place his life in my hands.

Sometimes, when I’m singing “If I Ruled the World” in my shower, or idly flicking through this month’s Heists And Henchmen magazine, I picture myself in an underground HQ, with sharks swimming past the wall-length windows, and an array of ominous red buttons on my desk. And when I’m presiding over my TV show from the leather depths of a futuristic throne in front of the soundstage, I feel the need to stroke a white Persian cat, with a gloved hand. And then I start to chuckle… menacingly. It worries the contestants.
But I didn’t understand the full extent of my ambition until I opened the paper this morning and read that an eccentric internet millionaire is selling his island off the Scottish coast — and I knew I had to have it.
What kind of Bond villain doesn’t own an island? Within moments I was on the phone to an agent for the seller, Baron Camilo Agasim-Pereira, and placed a five figure bid.


Photo: Alastair Seagroatt

The Lamb, sometimes called Lamb Island or just Lamb, is a small (approx. 100m long x 50m wide), uninhabited island between the islands of Fidra and Craigleith in the Firth of Forth, off the south-east coast of Scotland.

Hanna was aghast. Her idea of an island paradise involved sun-kissed sand, palm trees, lilting music and a hotel with an infinity pool. Lamb Island in the Firth of Forth, on the other hand, features an acre of jagged rock, driving rain on 364 days a year, and several thousand seabirds.
In fact it’s so popular with gulls, terns and cormorants that the island, the remnant of a volcanic eruption, has been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest. That means I’m going to have trouble with planning permission, even for an undersea lair.
There’s no ferry, no jetty and almost certainly nowhere to land a helicopter. Any visits will probably involve wetsuits (but I like that idea, especially if I get to carry a harpoon gun).
Something is drawing me to the island, though. Perhaps my dowser’s instinct has sensed rich mineral deposits or a crystal core to the rocks. And I love the idea of perching at the sea’s edge, in serene solitude, watching the seals while I plan world domination.
The most likely explanation for Lamb Island’s powerful subconscious lure is an extraterrestrial one. This would be the perfect site for a UFO signalling station. With no light pollution, it could be the ideal place to erect a laser and beam a clear signal into the far reaches of space. A satellite dish could pick up answering messages. 
I won’t be able to take over the Earth on my own, after all. I’ll need help from my home planet…


When a three-legged stray dog in Istanbul sank its teeth into my finger this summer, I vowed to take more care around animals. And with my hand swathed in bandages, I’m regretting that I didn’t take that vow more seriously.
We were filming in Switzerland at the weekend for a documentary on the brilliant mentalist Vincent Raven, who won the German series of my show. Vincent shares my taste for the subterranean — he lives in a tiny theatre under Berne’s main street, where he holds seances. 
Berne is a beautiful place, with a sixteenth century clock of fabulous complexity. I was tempted to try and stop it with mindpower, but the Swiss President, Michelle Calmy-Rey, is a dear friend and I didn’t think she would take a lenient view.

Please, don’t stop the Swiss clocks and watches

Vincent’s famous ravens don’t live in Berne — they need the chance to soar, so he keeps them in a 400-year-old barn outside the city. We drove there on an afternoon of brilliant sunshine and walked together through the woods.

Uri and Vincent (not only a brilliant mentalist, but an experienced animal behaviourist, an ethologist)

 “Do not get too close to the ravens,” he warned me. “They trust only me, and their beaks are sharp.”
I love all animals, and experience has taught me that telepathic contact can easily be established with the more intelligent species. Ravens are as smart as dolphins, according to many scientists, so I focused my mind and sent a signal of friendship and trust. Then I stretched out my hand.
To Vincent’s amazement, the biggest bird, Corax, allowed me to stroke his neck feathers. “That’s incredible,” my friend exclaimed. “He has never permitted anyone but me to touch him.”
 “He knows my touch means safety,” I said. “We have a mind link, a kind of hypnotic bond.” And I carelessly reached out my hand again — without first transmitting the telepathic signal.
Corax twisted his head in a flash and sank his beak into my finger. With an involuntary shout, I tried to wrench my hand away but the razor-edged bill had cut clean to the bone and I only succeeded in stripping half the flesh from my finger. 

The ravens of Berne don’t have a beak; they’ve got a Swiss Knife

Vincent helped to free me and filming was suspended while I headed to the hospital for bandages. I’d had a tetanus jab in Istanbul, but the doctor thought there was little risk of infection in any case.
 “An animal’s bite, especially a bird’s, is usually sterile,” he said. “It’s the human bite which is really dangerous, because our mouths are teeming with bacteria.”
Perhaps he’s right, but in future I’ll take precautions. I now know why Bond villains don leather gloves before they stroke their white cats. 

After the mental and medical aid


Hamilton has a great career platform: Mclaren MP4-23 chassis, Mercedes-Benz FO 108V engine, Bridgestone Potenza tyres and Uri Geller mindpower

Before many Grand Prixes this season I’ve sent a mindpower text message to Lewis Hamilton. As he prepares for the final race at Sao Paulo’s Interlagos circuit in Brazil this weekend (Nov 2nd), with the world title within his grasp, I shall be joining millions of fans around the world to wish him good luck. He’s a brilliant and inspirational young man, and he’ll be a heroic champion.


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