TV gun stunt man declines to answer 'live bullet' question

Self-proclaimed “mind controller” Derren Brown today refused to say if he used blanks in his TV Russian roulette stunt as he spoke for the first time about the show.

Self-proclaimed “mind controller” Derren Brown today refused to say if he used blanks in his TV Russian roulette stunt as he spoke for the first time about the show.

Police on the island of Jersey, where the stunt took place, yesterday dismissed Brown’s attempt as a fake which did not involve a live bullet.

Asked this morning if that was the case Brown gave a series of rambling replies on radio station 104.9 Xfm and said all the issues were addressed in the show.

Up until yesterday Channel 4 was claiming on its website that a “live bullet” was used.

Brown himself – prior to the stunt – said: “It’s a real gun, it’s a real bullet. I’m really putting the real gun to my head and really firing it.”

Asked today if the ammunition was real, he said: “All of that is answered on the show, and those are things we go into because we wanted to make a responsible show.

“Issues like the question of blanks and so on are all answered there, coming back to all this is terrific because as a performer and when you want to create a piece of riveting television and something people will talk about and have lots to say about.”

Brown, 32, who also calls himself a “master mentalist”, added: “As I’ve said, coming back after the weekend and seeing this press question of was it real or was it not real, I couldn’t have hoped for a better response, because for me, if it comes down to it, if it’s real then it was just reckless and if it’s a hoax then he’s just a waste of time.

“Those aren’t interesting questions to me, but to actually have this question now, was the whole thing real was it not real? Is it a hoax? For me that is great, any magic performer in the country would give their right arm.”

Brown was seen choosing an assistant in the programme on Sunday night who placed a bullet in the chamber of his choice in a pistol.

The volunteer then counted from one to six and Brown was said to read his voice to work out which one contained the bullet.

He heightened the tension by firing a sandbag as he pulled the trigger for the third time.

After a dramatic pause he again placed the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. The fifth shot was again fired at the sandbag and a shot rang out.

The States of Jersey Police said yesterday: “This programme was made by a TV company very experienced in pyrotechnics, in making smoke and bullet holes appear. It was no different to film which uses special effects.

“This was just an illusion – the question of whether it was in dubious taste is another matter.”

A spokeswoman for Channel 4 said she could not deny the police version of events. “Our website does conflict with what the police have said. There is not a lot else we can say,” she said.

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