Derren Brown: Archive

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April Fool Postings

When time was a luxury I enjoyed more of, I posted DB related April Fools jokes to the various DB discussion fora. Having recently rediscovered them I thought it would be fun to add them to the eclectic archive here.

2004: Psychic Chef
The press release has been embargoed until today, but news of Derren Brown's latest project can now be made public, and hopefully you'll have heard it here first.

The self-styled psychological illusionist Derren Brown ( has recently moved to London. He explained that the increase in the levels of work meant that it was impractical for him to remain in Bristol. It can now be revealed that his move was heavily connected to his substantial investment in a new Italian restaurant, PizzaESPress.

Working in conjunction with Sbarro ( PizzaESPress aims to provide a new dining experience to the lover of Italian cuisine. In addition to all of the standard kitchen training, Brown has also taught the chefs advanced psychological techniques. This means that just by looking at the customers, the chefs will be able to read their non-verbal signals and cook and serve their orders without having to interrupt conversations to jot the order on a notepad.

"We are having a great time working on this project" said Brown last night taking a break from his stage show, "the chefs have really got to grips with my mind control skills and are cooking up some fantastic dishes! The advantage of this system is that there is no need to employ waiting staff, so the cost of the pizza pays for our amazing chefs."

The chefs' contracts forbid them from divulging their techniques, although Brown suggested that his forthcoming TV series would give the casual diner clues as to how they manage to do away with the waiters. When a chef leaves the restaurant Brown performs a memoryWipe(TM), as demonstrated on the London Underground in his previous TV series, to make them forget everything he has taught them.

James Harrison, 26, from Leytonstone was one of the diners invited to the opening night and he described the experience as "totally weird, but so cool". Another member of the party who wished to remain anonymous was open mouthed with surprise when his Napoletana with extra chillies arrived: "he had trouble choosing a chamber between one and six, I never thought he'd get the chillies", she said alluding to Brown's Russian Roulette stunt televised last year.

2005: Memorising the Internet
The press release has been embargoed until today, but news of Derren Brown's latest project can now be made public, and hopefully you'll be able to say you heard it here first!

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The psychological illusionist Derren Brown has announced that at the end of his current UK tour he will be embarking on a project to memorise the entire Internet.

As part of his previous stage show he demonstrated his photoreading abilities by memorising an entire telephone directory before each show and then telling astounded theatre goers their home telephone numbers. Previously he had also demonstrated his speedreading skills publicly in 2001 during a visit to the British Library.

Compared to telephone directories, memorising the Internet is in a different league: conservative estimates of the amount of static data in web pages start at 167 terabytes, which is the equivalent to over 256,000 CDs full of information.

"Sure, it's a big task" said Brown last night in a brief interview at the stage door of Salisbury's City Hall, "but it's possible; information on web pages means something, a phone book is just abstract names and numbers. I love the Internet and spend too much of the day on it, so this seemed a great way to turn a hobby into something useful".

Brown will be working with the California based search engine Google which already has vast quantities of the Internet's contents indexed on their servers. Speaking from the quirkily named Googleplex, founder Larry Page said: "When Derren first got in touch with us we thought it was a neat idea but didn't believe he could do it. He spent a couple of days here and proved that it was possible. We've developed him a special browser which presents the pages to him in a logical order following the links from each one in turn."

Earlier this year Brown appeared in a one off special entitled 'Messiah' in which he attempted to debunk belief systems, he claims that completing this memory feat would safely debunk paranoid fears that computers are more powerful than humans.
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2006: Derren McDonald
This press release has only been circulated for publication today, but news of Derren Brown's latest commercial involvement can now be publicised, and you'll be able to say you heard it hear first.

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McDonald's Restaurants have announced that the psychological illusionist Derren Brown is to become the new public face of their global fast-food empire.

As part of their marketing campaign Derren has appeared as McDonald's new icon in his new series, 'Trick of the Mind', on Channel 4. Viewers have seen him appear as Derren McDonald stopping people in the street and demonstrating a remarkable insight into their characters.

"We needed a new twist in our restaurants", explained a spokesman for McDonald's, "over the past couple of years our focus has been on the speed of service, but this has been detrimental to our levels of interaction with our patrons. Customers asking for a 'Super Psych Meal' will be reminded of a fact from some aspect of their life giving them something to discuss with their server while their healthy meal is prepared for them."

Earlier this year McDonald's reported an increase in the number of franchises available in the UK indicating their loss of the fast-food market share in the UK: they hope that recreating their iconic clown figure as Derren McDonald will reignite public interest in their restaurants.

Derren was unavailable for comment last night due to the demands of his current tour, but he released a statement saying: "The character of Derren McDonald has been met by a mixed reception from my fans, but I hope that over time they will come to love him as much I do."

Over the next few months Derren will be training members of McDonald's waiting staff to give them the abilities needed to delve into their customers' character at a moment's notice to create a highly skilled regiment of Derren clown clones in fast-food restaurants across the country.
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