Paul Zenon, the original Fun Loving Criminal (other aliases include ‘King Con’ and ‘The Sultan of Swindle’!) is the UK’s leading comedy magician, with dozens of TV credits to his name including his very own hour-long one-man ‘street magic’ specials screened by Channel 4.
Paul Zenon has appeared in around thirty countries and in every conceivable location; from The Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, to the hold of an aircraft carrier in the Adriatic, from the London Palladium, to a clearing in the jungles of Belize, and from The Magic Castle in Hollywood, to the back of a truck in a Bosnian war zone!
Paul has always had a devious streak. He was eight years old when he pulled off his first sting, selling raffle tickets to the residents of his street and inventing a fictional lucky winner to avoid having to award the non-existent prize.
As a teenager, he travelled around the Mediterranean earning his living through similarly suspect practices, the more respectable of which included performing as a street magician and fire-eater and telling the fortunes of tourists (“I can see that you will be travelling in the near future…” etc.).
On his return, Paul spent a short spell as a casino croupier before returning to his vocation of trickster and comedian, serving his apprenticeship in summer seasons in Blackpool and Jersey (or ‘Club 80 to Dead’ as it was known), cruise ships, continental holiday hotels and numerous tours of British and United Nations military bases in Germany, Belize, Gibraltar, the Falkland and Ascension Islands, Croatia and Bosnia.
In the early Nineties, Paul presented four series for the BBC (Tricky Business and Tricks ‘n’ Tracks), produced and presented Magic You Can Do, a teach-yourself retail release video tape, and was the creator and Associate Producer of Crazy Cottage, a children’s television game-show which reached number one in the ratings in each of its three series on the ITV network.
Paul Zenon pioneered what has now become known as ‘street magic’ in a series of ground-breaking TV shows (some of which were among Channel 4’s highest-ever rating specials), where he honed a cutting-edge contemporary style, the influence of which is readily apparent in the current crop of magic-based television shows.
He continues to appear in various guises on numerous television shows across every genre, including as regular special guest in Dictionary Corner on Channel 4’s Countdown. Other recent shows have included The Story of Light Entertainment on BBC2, and Paul Zenon‘s Revenge Squad and White Magic with Paul Zenon, both screened on ITV1.
In recent years, Paul’s shows have had sell-out runs at the Edinburgh, Brighton, Adelaide and Melbourne festivals, where he has also been a regular in the celebrated burlesque show La Clique at the Famous Spiegeltent.
Paul Zenon is possibly the UK’s busiest corporate entertainer and presenter. His client list is a Who’s Who of Blue Chip companies and he has twenty years experience in performing after-dinner cabaret and hosting awards ceremonies and numerous other events for audiences ranging in size from a dozen to thousands at top venues all over the world.
His act has been described as “street-style magic played for laughs and as stand-up comedy with tricks”
The magic is contemporary, amazing and funny, and his style is cheeky and irreverent but never offensive. The comedy is fresh, personalised and often improvised; adaptability being one of Paul’s major strengths.
Over the past few years he has appeared at the Savoy, Ritz, Dorchester, Claridges, Grove, St. Andrews Bay and Gleneagles, the Macau Tower, the Mirage Casino, Las Vegas, the Old Bank of China, Hong Kong, the Sugar Beach Resort, Mauritius, the Grand Hotel, Monte Carlo and the Burj Al Arab, Dubai.