When I heard John Lennon was dead, I couldn’t believe it. The timing was so terribly, tragically wrong.
Of course New York was a violent town, and John had warned me to use security precautions when my instincts were jangling about fans — ”There are some crazy people out there,” he said to me, a couple of years before one of them gunned him down.
We visited this Aegean gem at the invitation of friends, after enjoying a long break on my boyhood home of Cyprus. My live TV show had smashed all the viewing records in Greece, and after ten thrilling weeks in Athens we were ready for some sunshine and quiet tavernas.
Kefalonia was an unknown dot on the map to us, but we happily visited in the spirit of exploaration. And what a wealth there is to discover – snowy mountains, cliffs, ravines and the startling sea. This is an eco paradise, and it’s easy to understand why so many celebrities have holiday boltholes here. Roman Abramovich and Bill Gates often moor their yachts in the harbour.
One of the friends who invited us was Panagiotis and Marianna Metaxatos, who brought me to Greece 18 years ago to give a lecture.
Athena, Evita, Marianna and Hanna in Athena’s Jewellry work shop in Argostoli.
His son Alexander celebrated his 18th birthday while we were in Kefalonia, and it was incredible to think that, in what seems just a short time since I delivered that talk for his father, Alex has grown from a tiny baby to this strapping young man!
Kefalonia was devastated by an earthquake in 1953. Almost every building was reduced to rubble, when two minor tremors were followed by a quake measuring a terrifying 7.3 on the Richter scale. The whole island was convulsed and forced more than half a metre out of the sea by the immense tectonic forces, caused by the faultline where the European and Aegean plates meet on the Earth’s outer skin.
Around 80 per cent of the islanders were forced to leave, in search of jobs and homes on the mainland. Now this sparsely populated beauty spot is a heaven for tourists.
We arrived home to the horrific images of suffering and tragedy on Haiti, and I could not help thinking how catastrophic the quake in Kefalonia must have been too. I pray that Haiti will be rebuilt and become a paradise, just like its Greek twin. After a few days at home, enjoying long walks with my faithful greyhound Barney,
I flew to Amsterdam for two days to announce the launch of the third season of my TV series there. We stayed at Lloyds Hotel, one of the cultural gems of the Dutch capital with its incredible collection of artworks, and I enjoyed discussing art with the artistic director, Suzanne Oxenaar.
artistic director, Suzanne Oxenaar
For the first time in any country, we have tweaked my show’s format, with an exciting new segment which promises to make it even more gripping. We are filming the pre-selection rounds, the part of the process which decides who will be among the ten contestants competing for the title of The Next Uri Geller!
Infront of the studio’s backdrop of the 3rd season in Holland
There will be six recorded episodes, giving viewers a chance to get to know the best of the performers. Many of them are amateurs, and I expect to see some astonishing and inexplicable manifestations of mindpower.
The jury on those six episodes includes Rob and Emiel, the brilliant mentalists who have featured on both my previous series in the Netherlands. We have eleven stage shows booked for theatres in Amsterdam and around the country, so fans of the television series will be able to see Rob and Emiel, as well as me, in person.
Patty, Juror and Co-Host of Th New Uri Geller
One of the contestants who has already been selected for the live rounds, and who will be trying to stay the distance for ten weeks, all the way to the grand climax, is an astonishing mentalist known only as The Joker. We met on the finale of Popstars, the Dutch equivalent of Pop Idol, where I was a guest. Joshua Newton and Wesley Klein were the finalists, and they both had exceptional voices. I wouldn’t need to be clairvoyant to predict that my show will be more shocking, amazing, funny, scary, dangerous, entertaining and mindblowing than any series ever broadcast in Holland, even though it’s the home of reality TV.
I had a unique experience while I was promoting the show – I was transformed into a hologram. It’s a fascinating techical process, which i don’t pretend to understand. I was filmed from several angles, as I read from an autocue, and then my ghostly image was projected onto the stage.
The audience gasped, but the biggest shock came at the end, when my image turned into a computer-generated picture of a spoon. It was like seeing myself transported into a lifesize version of the 3D blockbuster Avatar… only my avatar was a piece of cutlery!
Before the audience had stopped applauding, the spoon exploded and, in a burst of dramatic lighting, I stepped onto the stage. I think a lot of people still believed I was a hologram.
Using the same technology, the organisers were also able to project a hologram of Michael Jackson, moonwalking across the arena. I predict that one day, we will go to live events featuring 3D computer graphics of pop stars such as Elvis and The Beatles, who will look and sound exactly like the real thing.
Motivational Inspirational Speaker
Motivational, inspirational, empowering compelling 'infotainment' which leaves the audience amazed, mesmerized, motivated, enthusiastic, revitalised and with a much improved positive mental attitude, state of mind & self-belief.