INTERVIEW: ‘The first time in my life I had affirmation’… Magician Matt Edwards opens up about Britain’s Got Talent

Contagiously funny and possessing a wickedly comedic spin on magic, Matt Edwards has all the tricks up his sleeve.

With Britain’s Got Talent preliminary auditions held over the last week in Manchester, MM caught up with the magician about his experience on the talent show and the life changing impact it’s had on his career.

Edwards burst onto our TV screens earlier this year with a crowd-wowing performance that earned himself the prestigious golden buzzer from presenters Ant and Dec.

A respectable fourth place in the Britain’s Got Talent final won over the hearts of the nation and MM were lucky to have some time with Edwards to ask about his experiences before, during and after the talent show.

MM: How did you come across Britain’s Got Talent in the first place, was it planned or did someone convince you to do it?

ME: For me I had thought about entering Britain’s Got Talent for years, I’ve watched the programme for many years and I know so many people who have been on there.

The last couple of years of my personal life had been very difficult. I lost my father in law to cancer last year and I had been looking after him for a long time prior to his death.

As me and my wife had been caring for him for such a long time, I hadn’t been performing as much but, when he passed, my wife and I spoke about Britain’s Got Talent and we thought what a great time it would be to try and bring some happiness into our lives.

I decided to go for the audition and, just before I did, I was lucky enough to do panto in Swansea and I was working with Richard Jones who had won it the year before.

It was amazing to meet up with him and, as well as having a magic chat, he did encourage me to participate and he couldn’t emphasise enough how much fun the competition is and said to me that it would change my life forever.

He told me to just go on TV and show everybody what I could do. Ultimately, it was a little bit of inspiration and encouragement from Richard Jones that influenced my decision.

How could you describe the Britain’s Got Talent experience? What were the memorable moments for you? I’d imagine the moment that you got the Golden Buzzer from Ant and Dec at the audition stage must’ve been up there?

Honestly that moment turned my world upside down.

You never know when you enter any talent competition about how you are going to get on but, for me, it was just about enjoying the experience and that’s what I love about my job. By doing comedy and magic I get to enjoy it as much as the audience, but you will always feel nervous.

When Ant and Dec came out onto that stage, my first genuine thought was that one of the cameras had broken and that we were going to have to re-film it. However, Dec walked past me on the stage and whispered to me ‘watch this’ and they just walked to the front and hit that buzzer. I couldn’t do anything but cry like a little girl and it was just amazing.

It may sound like a strange thing, but I’ve performed magic my whole life, probably since I was five years old, but it was the first time in my life that I had some affirmation.

Finally I had some people turn around and say that you were really good and deserve a chance and that was my highlight of Britain’s Got Talent.

From that day forth, it was just like one big happy family. The biggest thing I can remember about Britain’s Got Talent is not the competition itself, it was the people. Not once did we feel like we were competing with each other, it was just like a room full of talent, a lot of fun and ultimately amazing.

However, all the crew, the makeup, the lighting and sound – they are the unsung heroes. It is their job to make you look like a superstar and they do an amazing job, it was so much fun.

How has your life changed since the experience? Do you get recognised on the streets for instance?

I have to say that after that first episode aired, that was my life changed completely. I get spotted in the strangest of places whether it’ll be walking down the streets or even in the male toilets.

I think above all, it goes to show that throughout all the hard times we’ve got in the world, we, as human beings, are actually really nice people.

Just by being given this tiny bit of status from BGT, it has been so great to meet so many lovely people. The people who want to come up to you and say hello are all so nice.

The support I have had from all over the world has been really overwhelming and it’s really emotional when people say to you ‘thanks for making me smile’ and that’s such a great gift to have, it’s really good fun.

What has the show done for your career, is this now your full-time occupation?

I’ve been a full-time performer since I moved to Spain when I was 16 years old and that’s when it started as a full-time career for me. After the show ended, the kind of things I have been doing now are just amazing, I never could’ve dreamt it for myself.

I’ve been flying all over the world, performing on TV shows and doing interviews. I’ve been to Romania, Spain and I’m going to Germany next so really I get to fly around just to do magic.

I guess the most exciting thing coming up for me is that I’m doing a casting with a TV company very soon and I’m going to talk to them about a few prospective magic related TV shows, but that’s all I can say on that at this moment in time.

Finally, what would be your advice for people who are now considering to apply for Britain’s Got Talent?

If you are thinking about applying than just do it, it will flip your world upside down and you will have so much fun.

You just need to trust in yourself, enter and do it. It’s brilliant!

Image courtesy of ITV via YouTube, with thanks.

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