Big Interview - Richard Jones

Date: Tuesday December 10, 2019 at 2:44pm

Thank you for agreeing to speak with NCNB today... You joined the British Army in 2010, what made you want to join?

For as far back as I can trace, my family have all served in the Armed Forces so I was always destined to follow that path. The Army was perfect for me as I love to travel and I like the variety of work that being a soldier entails, no day is ever the same.

What was your most ‘magical’ moment in the Army? (Pun intended)

Over the last few years I’ve put on shows for our troops all over the world. Most recently I put on a series of shows in and around Kabul, Afghanistan. Every morning me and my team would get on a helicopter and be taken to a different camp where we would spend all day trying to create make shift theatres out of whatever we could find and then in the evening we put on shows for our troops and coalition forces. Without doubt the most grateful audience I’ve ever performed for, they really looked after my team like royalty.

     

You did a lot of performing within the Military as you spent your time in the Band of the Parachute Regiment and the band of the Household Cavalry, what was this like and how many instruments did you learn to play?

Yes, I joined as a bandsman. I play the Trombone, Piano and sing. After studying at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall I went on to spend 4 years with the Para band which took me all over the world. Then in 2014 I got posted to The household Cavalry Band. Which meant I had to go through all the mounted dutyman course where I learnt how to ride horses. It was a seriously tough 6 months but was worth it when I then got to ride on parade on the Queen’s birthday.

In fact, the weekend after I won Britain’s Got Talent I had to go straight back into work to polish my uniform and prepare for the Queens 90th Birthday celebrations. I was also quite pleased when the BBC gave me a name check during the parade on TV.

In 2016, you won Britain’s Got Talent as a magician, what made you want to go on the show and how did you get into doing magic?

I started learning magic in 2014 while in Cyprus with the Para Band. I remember performing a trick on the guys and they loved it, little did they know at the time I only knew that one trick. But as word spread quickly that the Army’s alternative to ‘David Blaine’ was in Cyprus I had to learn new tricks quickly, as everyday people would come looking for me and asking to see magic. So due to the pressure of keeping up with the demand I had no choice but to learn quickly. So, after then I carried on performing pretty much every day, getting bigger and better every time.

As you won Britain’s Got Talent, you performed in front of members of the Royal Family. What was it like going from performing in a band within the Military to performing in the Royal Variety Performance?

I was very proud that I got to have my colleagues on stage with me at the Royal Variety Performance. It was important to me as they were the guys and girls who had supported me on my journey over the years. When I found out it was HRH Prince Charles at the show, I knew I had to involve him in some way as I know he loves magic. In fact, he is secretly a Member of The Magic Circle! I’ve since performed for the Royal family on many occasions and recently had HRH Prince William on stage at one of my shows (There’s a clip of it on my YouTube channel if you want to check it out).

      

What was more intimidating, performing at the Royal Variety Performance or performing in the Trooping the Colour?

Haha, both have different challenges. There’s a lot of pressure performing magic in front of thousands of people, if one thing goes wrong then its game over! But Trooping the Colour is also pretty nerve-racking especially as we have to perform music while riding on horseback, certainly lots to have to concentrate on.

After winning Britain’s Got Talent, you did your very first tour as a Magician, what was this like compared to moving around and touring with the Military?

I certainly miss the camaraderie and banter of travelling round with the band as now I travel round in a very small team. But it’s totally worth it when I get onto stage. My tour shows are by far my favourite type of show that I do now as I know that everyone who comes along is excited to see magic. I always make a point of standing at the exit after the show as I love to meet as many people as possible. It’s always a great crowd and it’s always especially great when I know we have some forces family in the theatre.

You have been doing your “Escape, Breaking the Limits of the Mind’ tour this year. Tell us more about this.

So the show combines my stories and skills that I’ve picked up in my Army career with my fascination with the art of deception to create a show that I like to think is very unique. It’s a very light-hearted show and very audience interactive. I am soon about to announce a new leg of the tour for early 2020, it’s suitable for all the family, I’d love to have you there! :)

tickets available at: richardjonesmagic.co.uk - plug, plug, plug :)

       

Who has been most influential to your Military & Magic career?

I’m very lucky that I have had lots of support along the way from lots of people. My colleagues in CAMUS have been incredible, especially my old boss at the HCAV Band as he helped me get the suitable permissions to perform on TV. Also, along the way my family and close friends have had a huge impact on my success.

Tell us something about Richard Jones that no one will know?

I’m a keen musician! When I’m not performing magic, I like to chill out with either the guitar or play the piano. I find it’s a great way to unwind during the busy periods of the year. I’m also a bit of an adrenaline junky, this year I’m hoping to do a skydiving course, I love rock climbing & I’m currently getting my motorbike licence (embarrassingly I failed my first test last week so now have to wait a few weeks to get going again - apparently you’re not supposed to kick the cones haha)

If you could magic 6 people to a dinner party who would you have?

  • Will Smith - legend
  • Prince Harry - Also legend
  • Taylor Swift
  • David Copperfield
  • Beyoncé
  • Taylor Swift - gets 2 votes,

If someone out there could arrange this that would be greatly appreciated! :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, any final words or wisdom you would like to share with the Armed Forces Community for 2019?

I have lots of respect for the Armed Forces families, if you ever see me around please do say hi. Have a great year & remember to - Always Believe in The Impossible!

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