Cecile Verwaaijen,Kabir Khan
Our menagerie is growing again. My three koi carp, in the pool by the garden waterfall where I meditate, were looking lonely, so we have added five beautiful enclo koi. And just to make sure it’s one big wet happy family, there are ten new goldfish too.
The brilliant Dutch artist Cecile Verwaaijen caught my eye in Amsterdam earlier this year with an immense portrait of a Turkish boy. The child turned out to be a fan of my live series, Der Nieuwe Uri Geller, and Cecile captured a magical sparkle in his eye. She drove all the way from Holland at the weekend to make me a present
Their journey was a small hop, however, compared to the trek made by Malaysian mentalist Kabir Khan. He flew from Kuala Lumpur to bring me a unique and priceless present.
Kabir is 24 and a devtoed fan of my shows. It’s no surprise to know he would love to be a contestant if we ever take the series to Indonesia — and why not, since the region is packed with the most fascinating mix of people on earth, from the undiscovered tribes of Borneo and New Guinea to the sophisticated urbanites of Penang and Singapore.
Kabir’s fame is spreading as a brilliant mystifier, who seems to command sheer magic with his fingertips. He gave a command performance for one of the billionaire sheiks of Dubai, and decided to fly on to England to meet me.
With him he brought one of his family’s most precious heirlooms as a gift — a 400-year-old Russian manuscript, in a plush case to protect its delicate pages.
Kabir’s father treasured the book all his life but never knew what secrets lay behind the handwritten script. He spoke no Russian, and could not find anyone to translate the pages.
I have no idea of its meaning either. I shall have it restored, so that the sheets can be turned without crumbling to dust, and then I shall take it to an expert — I’ve already contacted the research team at RTR, the Moscow TV station which screened my series last year.
One thing is certain: the book, like the painting, has come to me for a definite reason. I’m looking forward to revealing it… as soon as I discover it myself!
The former Blue Peter presenter Tim Vincent, who hosted Phenomenon, the US version of my show, joined me for dinner at my favourite Japanese restaurant. He’s looking fantastic, with a bodybuilder’s physique that is the result of long hours in the gym.
I wish I could include a photo of us together, but Tim did his usual trick and stuck his tongue out as the camera clicked. “Grow up!” I told him. “Most kids stop doing that when they’re six.”
“I don’t think I’ll ever grow up,” he told me. “That’s why I’m always happy to do children’s television — the audience can see I’m one of them.”
Another perennial child, the original star of Oliver, Mark Lester, joined Hanna and me for lunch and a stroll along the banks of the Thames. We talkedabout Michael Jackson, of course, but mostly we just walked in companionable silence. He’s one of the easiest people to relax with, because he knows when to let a silence do the talking, instead of filling it with words.
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