Ali Cook

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the England international cricket player, see Alastair Cook.
Ali Cook
Ali Cook, Magician and Actor.jpg
Born Alistair Cook
Yorkshire, England
Occupation comedian, illusionist, magician

Ali Cook (also credited as Alistair Cook) is an English magician and actor originating from Yorkshire. Cook is known best for writing and starring in seven British television magic shows for Channel 4, Channel 5, and Sky1, produced by Objective Productions. Cook is a headliner on the British stand up comedy circuit. His 2010 Edinburgh show "Pieces of Strange" was in the top 2% of best reviewed shows according to the British Comedy Guide. Chortle said it caused a sensation with a "genuinely astounding" Houdini-inspired water tank escape.[1] His 2011 show "Principles and Deceptions" was nominated for Broadway Baby's six-star award.[2]

Television career[edit]

Cook began as a sketch actor on Jerry Sadowitz's television sketch show Jerry@Trick Show before moving on to co-write and star in TV series, including Monkey Magic (nominated for The Golden Rose of Montreux), Psychic Secrets Revealed with Derren Brown (both for Channel 5)and the Secret World of Magic for Sky One. Cook was the star of Channel 4's late night show Dirty Tricks (nominated for a British Comedy Award and The Golden Rose of Montreux). Cook starred in the first Penn & Teller: Fool Us (ITV) hosted by Jonathan Ross. In 2011 he performed his Houdini-style water Torture Escape on The Slammer (CBBC). He has also starred in the prestigious France 2 series Le Plus Grand Cabaret du monde produced by Magic.


Monkey Magic[edit]

Monkey Magic played for two seasons of seven half-hour shows and a Christmas special on Channel 5 in the UK, commissioned by Andrew Newman. The show featured Cook and three fellow magicians showcasing their unique skills and comic personas to perform a variety of magic tricks. It was nominated for the Golden Rose D'Or comedy award.[3]

Dirty Tricks[edit]

Dirty Tricks is a six-part series for Channel 4 hosted by Barry and Stuart. The show had regular spots from Cook and the Monkey Magic boys Pete Firman and Jonathan's Escapes. There were also appearances from international variety acts and celebrities, including Penn and Teller and Kevin James. It was nominated for a Rose D'Or Comedy award in Montreaux.

Psychic Secrets Revealed[edit]

Psychic Secrets Revealed was a one-hour special and six half-hour episodes on Channel 5.

Cook demonstrated a range of psychic feats such as bending keys, walking on fire, contacting the dead, spirit guides, and clairvoyance. Psychological illusionist Derren Brown and psychologist Dr. Richard Wiseman then explained how these feats could be more psychological than paranormal.

Greatest Magic Tricks in the Universe Ever[edit]

Greatest Magic Tricks in the Universe Ever was a series of six one-hour episodes on Channel 5.

Cook and his Monkey Magic co-stars hosted this series, which included tricks such as Horace Goldin's sawing a woman in half and David Copperfield vanishing the Statue of Liberty.

Secret World of Magic[edit]

Secret World of Magic was a series of one-hour episodes on Sky One. Cook travelled the world with Pete Firman, interviewing magicians while performing on the streets of Paris, Madrid, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Bueno Aires. The series included performances from Mac King, Juan Tamariz, and Max Maven.


Cook stars alongside Ian Somerhalder and Brian Cox in the 2014 feature film The Anomaly. He starred in the 2013 heist feature film Get Lucky, playing a professional thief alongside Luke Treadaway. In 2011 he appeared in Outside Bet, directed by Sacha Bennett, alongside Bob Hoskins, Phil Davis and Jenny Agutter. He has played the lead role in ten British short film dramas, most notably the psychotic character Greg in Andrew Saunder's and Stephen Frears' Striklem. In 2007 he wrote, produced and starred in his own comedy short, The Enchanter: The Crime Fighting Magician, a spoof of 1970s detective series, directed by Adrian Vitoria. In 2011, Cook was an executive producer on the feature film Dark Tide, starring Halle Berry.

Cook trained at The Second City in Chicago and Los Angeles. He has also studied at The Actors Temple with lead tutor Mark Radcliffe and been coached by Paul Gregory.


Feature films[edit]

Short films[edit]

  • 2006 The Bus Stop, MTV Europe, Mario Cavalli
  • 2006 Missing Eunice, The Second City (Los Angeles), Mike Ross
  • 2006 Different Directions, Film Applications, Araceli Fernandez
  • 2007 Disposal inc, Symbionic, Christian Evans
  • 2007 The Enchanter, ACP, Adrian Vitoria
  • 2007 Striklem, NFTS, Andrew Saunders/Stephen Frears
  • 2008 7pm Valentine, Symbionic, Christian Evans
  • 2010 The Turtle and the Nightingale, Igneous Features, Gershon Hinkson
  • 2011 The King's Men, Reelworks, Schuman Hoque
  • 2012 Circles, Spencer Hudson Films, Spencer Hudson
  • 2013 Trolls, JBA Ltd, Jake Bryan Amaning
  • 2013 The Boy with a Camera for a Face, SBP, Spencer Brown
  • 2013 The Boy and the Bus, BBC Worldwide, Simon Pitts


Cook has written and performed three critically acclaimed sell-out Edinburgh solo shows: A Touch of Vegas (2008), Pieces of Strange (2010), and Principles and Deceptions (2011).


  • 2015, Stage, Impossible: London's Magic Spectacular, Jamie Hendry Productions, Noel Coward Theatre, London
  • 2011, Stage, One man show, Principles and Deceptions, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh
  • 2010, Stage, One man show, Pieces of Strange, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh
  • 2008, Stage, One man show, A Touch of Vegas, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh


External links[edit]