A PROFESSIONAL magician from Skipton has been promoted within the entertainment industry’s Magic Circle to ‘Associate of the Inner Magic Circle with silver star’ - placing him among ‘the best of the best’ of his peers.

Mark Waddington, 29, has been a professional magician since 2010, and a member of the Magic Circle, at ‘entry level’, since 2008.

The Magic Circle was founded in 1905, and is the ‘club of choice’ for famous magicians across the world - world-renowned acts such as David Copperfield and Dynamo are members, as was the late Paul Daniels.

Mark said that he wasn’t aware his membership was being reviewed, and received a shock when he read the email informing him of the changes.

He explained: “Associate of the Inner Magic Circle (AIMC) is a level of membership that I’ve always wanted to work towards.

“The Magic Circle has very high standards to gain even the basic membership level, so to be granted ‘Associate of the Inner Magic Circle’ is brilliant.

“It’s humbling to be considered among ‘the best of the best’ by a council of my peers.”

The Magic Circle is widely regarded as the premier magical association in the world and the membership is extremely limited.

There are fewer than 1,500 members across the world, of which less than 350 members have been given the honour of being an Associate.

The silver star award is intended to reflect the general excellence of a performer in magic and illusion.

Mark added: “The silver star really does mean a lot to me. I’ve been treading the boards as a performer for 18 years now, so knowing your performance ‘chops’ are considered worthy of the honour is amazing.

“It shows all the hard work and dedication I put into the art form over those 18 years have been well worth it.’’

Mark is a former pupil of Aireville School in Skipton, and was also a member of Bradford Magic Circle as a teenager.

At 14 he became the youngest solo artist to appear on the stage of the world-famous City Varieties Theatre in Leeds.