A Dunstable schoolboy and his father are thrilled to be finalists in the UK Family Entertainer of the Year competition.
Determined duo, Jacob, 11, and his father, Dave Allen, 45, competed in the award’s London heats on October 1 and now have a chance to be crowned overall champions when they perform at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, in February.
Thanks to the kind owners of the Forster Institute on Waterloo Road, the pair were able to hire its hall for three days to practice, and were up until 10pm one night rehearsing.
Dave said: “The London heats were brilliant. I said I was going to do a Las Vegas trick and make a tiger appear on stage. I had a large cage set on fire, put a cloth over the cage, extinguished the fire, then pulled the cloth off.
“There in the cage is Jacob dressed as a tiger - and he doesn’t look impressed; he demands to get paid before he roars! The show had the wow factor and the comedy factor.”
Jacob, who attends All Saints Academy, said: “I enjoy making people laugh and making people happy. I couldn’t believe it when we won - my dad was swinging me all over the place. He was happy for me and I was happy for him.”
Dave added: “It was such a thrill to work with my son and I got a little emotional.”
However, the clever family are also finalists in other competitions! Jacob, a member of the Young Magicians Club, made the final of its Junior Stage Magician of the Year (October 20), while Dave, a member of the Magic Circle, is a finalist in its Children’s Entertainer of the Year awards in November.
Dave’s love of magic first began when he received a Paul Daniels magic trick as a child and he has been performing full time since the age of 22.
Known locally as Magic Dave, he is also part of another double act called Carl and Dave Comedy Magic.
Jacob, meanwhile, has been performing as a warm-up act for his dad, and hopes to perform in Las Vegas one day.