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Barry in 2009
Keith Patrick Barry
2 October 1976
Barry’s television career began with a series entitled Close Encounters with Keith Barry, which ran from 2003-2005. The show originally aired in Europe and has since aired in 28 countries worldwide.
In 2004, Barry performed in a MTV television special entitled Brainwashed. 2005 ended with Barry performing a live Christmas special in Europe. Keith Barry Live With Friends featured various celebrities such as magician Billy McComb, Jim Corr of The Corrs, and The Conway Sisters.
Barry's success throughout Europe coupled with his MTV special led to a four-year multi-special deal with CBS. His first special with CBS debuted on 12 May 2006 and was entitled Keith Barry: Extraordinary. The special later aired on New Year's Eve 2006 on The CW and on New Year’s Day 2007 on TV3 in New Zealand and the Arena channel in Australia.
In the Keith Barry: Extraordinary special, he performed various illusions and mental feats. In one trick, which he referred to as "Black Ops Hypnosis", he made a host from Entertainment Tonight forget that he had torn a specific page from a book and sealed it in an envelope in the span of roughly five minutes. In another, he made a blindfolded man lift his arm when he thought others stopped touching him. Barry first used suggestion to make the man "concentrate" and lied that he was touching the man. The man imagined the touch and lifted his arm, but Barry and another member of the audience only moved their hand afar.
Following a successful Irish tour along with a week in Dublin's Vicar Street, Barry and his longtime manager Eamonn Maguire were badly injured in a car crash on the Belfast to Newry road on 1 March 2007. Barry suffered severe trauma to his left leg and only returned to the stage later the same year at Vicar Street.
Barry's TED talk is in the top 20 most viewed TED Talks of all time and follows from his first ever live stage performance which was at TED in Monterey, California in 2004. He returned to TED in 2005 and was the special guest performer then on the opening night.
On 29 December 2007, Barry performed in a live Saturday night prime-time special on ITV in the UK titled Keith Barry - The Escape Live. The finale of the show featured an escape from a shed rigged with explosives. Barry was tied to a chair with thick ropes by two members of the audience. One of these was Glen Gathard, noted for hoping that Keith Barry would not make it out of the explosion. Participants lit a fuse, started a two-minute countdown, and carried the chair into the shed. Workmen hammered additional wood to cover the door and windows from the outside, then left the scene when one minute remained on the countdown. After the countdown was complete, the shed exploded, then the camera changed to reveal Keith safely on top of a gantry some distance away.
In February 2010, Barry finished a pilot for a new series on The Discovery Channel in the US. The show is called Deception with Keith Barry and the pilot aired in July 2010. The show was picked up for a season and premiered on 31 May 2011 with 4 one-hour shows, "Black Ops", "Used Car Salesman", "Cops and Robbers", and "Daring and Dating". The show premiered on 6 October 2011 in Taiwan, 1 November in Japan, 3 November on Quest in the UK, on 7 December in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, 13 December in Australia and New Zealand and in India February 2012.
Also in 2010 and 2011, Keith toured extensively with his live show "The Asylum", which finished its run in May 2011. On this tour, Keith set the record as the most successful solo act ever to play The Olympia Theatre in Dublin. On 13 July 2011, his "Keith Barry - 8 Deadly Sins" show opened to critical acclaim and a standing ovation at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin and ran for 5 weeks, setting new box office records during the run. It was followed by a national tour in Jan/Feb 2012 with shows in almost every county in Ireland.
In June 2012, Barry stated his disapproval of TV's late-night anti-intellectual offering Psychic Readings Live and challenged one of its presenters, Psychic Wayne, to prove his psychic powers. (Wayne declined.)
Barry advised Woody Harrelson for his role as a mentalist in the 2013 film, Now You See Me, and again for its 2016 sequel, Now You See Me 2. Barry prepped Harrelson for a successful performance on the Late Show with David Letterman during the marketing of the first film.
Keith's hit show "The Dark Side" launched with a 31 date sold out tour in Jan/Feb 2013 and continued with a 12 night run at the Olympia in Dublin in July 2013. On 23 July, Keith took time out to give a talk at the Science Gallery in Dublin and demonstrated the techniques of cold reading and explained how "psychics" can convince so many people that they can read minds.
Keith currently is on TV3 with his show Brain Hacker.
Between 2015 and 2016, Barry starred as the hypnotist on the ITV game show You're Back in the Room hosted by Phillip Schofield. He is also the hypnotist on the Australian version on Nine Network hosted by Daryl Somers and will also be the hypnotist on the U.S. version later in 2016 on FOX hosted by Taye Diggs.
As an actor, Barry performed in the "Open Water" episode of CSI: Miami in 2006.
Activism against elderly abuse
Barry's grandfather, 82, was attacked in his home in Waterford by burglars in 2009, later dying of his wounds. Barry and his father launched a high-profile campaign to stamp out abuse against the elderly in their homes, said the government was "insulting" the elderly and said he would "bring the country to a halt" Pundits referred to the incident in discussions of laws about the actions people can legally take to defend themselves in their homes.
- "Close Encounters". 2005. Archived from the original on 12 September 2003. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- "CBS.com". CBS.com. 23 May 2007. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- "TV3 distances itself from Psychic Wayne TV broadcast". The Journal. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- Jarlath Regan (15 November 2014). "Keith Barry". An Irishman Abroad (Podcast) (82 ed.). SoundCloud. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- "Cold Reading with Keith Barry". The Science Gallery. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
- Elderly man injured in Waterford burglary Thursday, 17 September 2009 15:15
- Barry's granddad remains critical Tuesday 22 September 2009
- Waterford man dies after attack in home Tuesday, 22 September 2009 08:32
- Grandfather of entertainer dies Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 September 2009, 08:19
- Elderly man dies after attack at Waterford home Tuesday, 22 September 2009
- Magician Barry lashes thugs as grandfather battles for life By Conor Kane, Saturday 19 September 2009
- Barry 'to bring country to halt' over assault By NIAMH HORAN, Sunday 20 September 2009
- Tougher sentencing for burglars gains support Monday, 21 September 2009
- Right to defend your home should not be seen as 'licence to kill' Sunday 20 September 2009