Penn & Teller: Fool Us

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Penn & Teller: Fool Us
P&T FU.png
Title Card
Also known as Fool Us
Genre Entertainment
Format Magic competition with live audience
Created by Penn Jillette
Peter Adam Golden
Andrew Golder
Presented by Jonathan Ross
Starring Penn Jillette
Judges Penn Jillette
Narrated by Dominic Byrne
Composer(s) Nick Foster
Ken Bolam
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 8
Executive producer(s) Andrew Golder
Peter Davey
Peter Adam Golden
Producer(s) Johnny Thompson
Location(s) The Fountain Studios
Running time 60 min.
90 min. (Pilot episode)
Production company(s) 1/17 Productions & September Films
Distributor DCD Rights[1]
Original channel ITV, STV, UTV
Picture format 1080i
Original run 18 June 2011 – 28 August 2011

Penn & Teller: Fool Us is a British entertainment comedy television programme. Hosted by Jonathan Ross, Fool Us was a magic competition show, which challenged magicians to perform a trick in front of American magician/comedian duo Penn & Teller. If both Penn and Teller do not know how the trick is done, the aspiring magicians win a five-star trip to Las Vegas to perform as the opening act in Penn & Teller's world famous show at the Rio Hotel & Casino.[2] It was announced on 28 June 2012 that ITV has cancelled the show even though it averaged 4 million viewers which was higher than the usual slot average.[3]


Series were ordered by Elaine Bedell, Director of Entertainment and Comedy on ITV[4] The pilot of Fool Us was first commissioned by John Kaye Cooper, the controller of entertainment for ITV.[5] In February 2011, it was announced that due to good viewing figures, a series of eight episodes had been commissioned, and would be produced by September Films and 1/17 Productions. The episodes began airing in June 2011.[6] The eight episodes were filmed in a ten day filming block.[6]

Episode list[edit]

Pilot episode[edit]

The pilot episode aired on 7 January 2011, and featured a total of six magicians, with a further three non broadcast segments appearing as extras on the ITV website. The pilot was 90 minutes long.[5] In the pilot episode, both John Archer and Benjamin Earl fooled Penn & Teller.

  1. Ali Cook – British Close-Up & Stage Magician
  2. Richard Bellars – British Close-Up & Stage Magician
  3. Michael Vincent – British Close-Up & Stage Magician
  4. John Archer – British Magical Comedy Entertainer
  5. James More – British Stage Magician & Illusionist
  6. Benjamin Earl – British Illusionist
Other Competitors – Not Broadcast on ITV, but available on the ITV website
  1. Morgan & West – British Close-Up & Stage Duo.
  2. Damien O'Brien – British Street Magician.
  3. Noel Qualter – British Close-Up Magician.

Episode 1[edit]

Episode one aired on 18 June 2011 at 8:00pm. In this episode, mind-reader Graham Jolley fooled Penn & Teller.

  1. High Jinx – British Illusionist & Circus Duo
  2. Jon Allen – British Street Magician
  3. Graham Jolley – British Mind Reader & Mentalist

Episode 2[edit]

Episode two aired on 25 June 2011 at 8:00pm. In this episode, French card-magician Mathieu Bich fooled Penn & Teller.

  1. Mark Shortland – British Magical Comedy Entertainer
  2. Mathieu Bich – French Card Illusionist
  3. Young and Strange – British Street Stage Illusionists
  4. Daniel Madison – British Card Illusionist

Episode 3[edit]

Episode three aired on 2 July 2011 at 8:00pm. In this episode, no one fooled Penn & Teller.

  1. Piff The Magic Dragon – British Magical Comedy Entertainer
  2. Soma – Hungarian Illusionist
  3. Alan Hudson – British Close-Up Magician
  4. Damien O'Brien – British Street Magician

Episode 5[edit]

Episode five aired on 16 July 2011 at 9:00pm. In this episode, British Mentalist Nick Einhorn and Victorian magicians Morgan & West fooled Penn & Teller.

  1. Cubic Act – French Illusionists
  2. Philip Carlsson – Swedish Illusionists
  3. Michael Vincent – British Close-Up & Stage Magician
  4. Morgan & West – British Close-Up & Stage Duo

Episode 6[edit]

Episode six aired on 23 July 2011 at 9:00pm. In this episode, Swedish illusionists Brynolf & Ljung fooled Penn & Teller.

  1. Gazzo – British Street Magician
  2. Colin Mcleod – British Mentalist
  3. Keelan and Charlotte – British Quick Change Artists
  4. Brynolf & Ljung – Swedish Illusionists

Episode 7[edit]

Episode seven aired on 30 July 2011 at 9:00pm. In this episode, Shawn Farquhar and Etienne Pradier fooled Penn & Teller.

  1. Shawn Farquhar – Canadian Close-Up Magician
  2. Manuel Martinez – Cuban Illusionist
  3. Etienne Pradier – French Card Magician
  4. Chris Dugdale – British Illusionist

Episode 8[edit]

Episode eight aired on 28 August 2011 at 9:00pm. In this episode, Lee Hathaway fooled Penn & Teller.

  1. Lee Hathaway – British Cabaret Act & Close-Up Magician
  2. Jack Taperell – British Close-Up Magician
  3. Laura London – British Illusionist
  4. Paul & Martin Daniels – Renowned British Magicians


Filmed but not shown were:

  1. Chris Cox – British Mindreader
  2. James Brown – British Stage Magician
  3. Marc Oberon – British Card Magician
  4. David Masters – British Illusionist
  5. Noel Qualter – British Close-Up Magician
  6. David Jay – British Illusionist

International broadcast[edit]

International versions[edit]

The format has been sold to Ukraine broadcaster STB, who will produce a local version.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Roxborough, Scott (2011-11-05). "Penn & Teller to Take Brit Magic Show Format 'Fool Us' to Ukraine". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  2. ^ "ITV Announces Commission of Penn & Teller: Fool Us". ITV. 9 December 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-1-17. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  3. ^ Alex Fletcher (28 Jun 2012). "'Magicians', 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us' axed by BBC, ITV". TV News. Digital Spy. Retrieved 1-9-2013. 
  4. ^ "ITV orders Ross 'Penn & Teller' series". Digital Spy. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-22. "ITV spokesperson confirmed to DS this afternoon that the series had been ordered" 
  5. ^ a b "Penn and Teller: Fool Us" (Press release). ITV. 7 January 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 1-9-2013. 
  6. ^ a b Penn Jillette (1 June 2011). "▶ Fool Us: Backstage Magic Secrets REVEALED!" (video). Penn Point. YouTube. 
  7. ^ "ABC1 Programming Airdate - Penn & Teller: Fool Us (episode one)". ABC Television Publicity. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Penn & Teller: Fool Us ChoiceTV Promo". YouTube. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 

External links[edit]