The audience at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre was captivated on Saturday night with an unexpected appearance by 97-year-old Fergus Anckorn, a survivor of the notorious Burma/Thailand railway made famous by the film, The Bridge on the River Kwai.
The oldest member of The Magic Circle, Fergus cheered up his comrades as best he could performing card tricks in the death camps of the Second World War. When liberation came, he could not be sent home until his weight had been increased to six stones.
Fergus had made an appearance recently on the Final of Britain’s Got Talent and was introduced to the audience by Lance Corporal Richard Jones, who went on to win the contest.
The young member of The Magic Circle unfolded the story of Fergus as he performed his card tricks and then revealed Fergus on stage.
When asked about his experience on the show at the Hippodrome a week later he said, “Amanda Holden wanted to take me home.”
Fergus was secured for the day-long event at the Royal Hippodrome organised by the British Music Hall Society, which included appearances by Roy Hudd, Marilyn Hill Smith, Wyn Calvin and Eastbourne’s Steve Hewlett.
But it was Fergus Anckorn, once named “the conjuror of the River Kwai” who captured the hearts and imagination of the capacity audience.
Photo by Peter Turner.
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