Illusionist Derren Brown reveals his vices

They include coffee, the Old Fashioned cocktail, and... taxidermy

If you're not familiar with the magician Derren Brown, here's a quick rundown: He's played Russian roulette live on TV, predicted the national lottery in Britain, and been banned from most U.K. casinos.

"I'm a British psychological illusionist, which is a term I made up, but I do these kind of mind-reading and psychological experiments. There's nothing magical about it at all," says Brown.

What is magic, he says, is how his work is a useful metaphor for daily human interactions.


"A magic trick of any sort works because you tell yourself a story about what you see," says Brown. "And politicians use this all the time in their own way by throwing a load of statistics at you when things don't quite follow and then saying, 'So therefore blah,' and you believe that ‘blah’ thing because of the confusion that's come before."

Watch: T-Pain tells us his greatest vices

He added, "If you do magic, it's the quickest most fraudulent route to impressing people."

We also took a quick route, fraudulent to impress him, surrounding him with his favorite things — coffee, an old fashioned cocktail, and taxidermies — while he spilt the beans on his personal life, including his experience going through gay conversion therapy.

This segment originally aired June 25, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.