Magician Paul Daniels has lashed out at his American counterpart David Blaine for looking like “a bum on the street”.
Daniels, whose lighter brand of magic has been eclipsed in recent years by illusionists such as Blaine and Derren Brown, said the New Yorker had only done “half a dozen tricks very well”.
The 66-year-old told the Radio Times magazine: “Blaine isn’t glamorous, he’s scruffy. He can’t be bothered to get dressed up. He’s wearing what a bum on the street would wear.
“I don’t think Blaine puts anything into magic at all – I think he was a street performer who did half a dozen tricks very well.”
Daniels criticised the illusionist, famous for spending 44 days inside a clear plastic box suspended over the Thames, for being “heavily edited” on TV.
He said: “I’ve never actually seen David Blaine do a complete trick, so I’ve really no idea whether he can do it or not.
“His programmes are heavily edited – you never see a trick in one camera shot.”
Daniels, who used to be a regular face on prime-time TV and recently appeared with his wife Debbie McGee on reality show The Farm, said he preferred working off-screen.
“TV – who wants to work on TV?”, he said. “There’s no money in it. Television is the crap end of magic.
“It’s the bottom end of showbusiness and it’s never been my major source of income.
“I only ever did 10 shows a year, the rest was all live shows as well as a lot of private and corporate work, but people thought I lived on television,” he told the magazine.