A FORMER police officers is celebrating after his dreams of becoming a magician turned into an award-winning reality.

Paul Clancy, from Palmers Drive, Grays, has 30 years’ of crime-fighting service under his belt in Essex.

With over 50 years of practice, Paul is now a respected, popular and decorated magician and member of the elite magical group ‘The Magic Circle’ since 2005.

“I first became interested in magic when I was 13 years old and happened upon a chance discovery of a book on the skills of magic at my local Westcliff Library lifelong fascination for the art.” said Paul who celebrated his 67th birthday last week.

“Well, it’s considered to be the most prestigious magic club in the world. Magicians from all over the Country and abroad meet weekly, to share new ideas. To join and you must pass an interview and a practical exam, so the standard is very high.

Inspired by David Nixon, Paul has been wowing crowds from an early age - starting off on the elderly home circuit to in 2019 bringing home for the third and fourth time respectively, the coveted awards for both close-up and stage magic from The Ilford Magical Society and can now boast a total haul of eleven awards.

With three years to go until Paul puts down the cards and retires from magic, he is keen to keep inspiring the next generation of magician and is pleased to see magic becoming more popular through TV shows like Britain’s Got Talent and reminisced about special moments throughout his career.

He said: “I’ve had apprentices before and the Ilford Magical Society is always looking for new members. I joined the Ilford group in 2004 and go along most weeks to keep up to date with the magical world as it’s constantly changing. So, if you’re interested in learning some magic and making some new friends, come along – we’re a friendly bunch.

“The moment that stands out the most – and to be honest, every event and performance is different and great in their own way, but performing at the after party for the London Virgin Marathon for five consecutive years was really something else.”