I retired as a teacher and changed my life - now I'm a magician who has been in Coronation Street

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Frank Farrell rekindled a passion from childhood to give himself a new lease of life.

Most people when they retire decide to take up delicate hobbies like gardening or painting – but Frank Farrell had a different plan in mind at age 60. 

Frank always had a passion for magic ever since he was a young boy, but later in life he put his box of tricks aside to become a teacher. For years his passion for magic was long forgotten, until a trip to India with his wife rekindled his spark.  

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He said: “In India, we met some children and [my wife] showed the children a magic trick and they asked her to do another one but she didn't know anymore. She asked me, ‘do you know any?’ And I said, ‘well, no, I don't, but I used to as a kid’. I learnt a few tricks from that point on.”

With his love for magic revived, Frank decided to pursue magic as a hobby. With research, he was recommended books and got a magic tutor. After he was confident with his abilities, Frank joined the Magic Circle, a magic society that ensures entertainers perform magic at high standard. With this, he could perform at birthday parties and shows when he had spare time on the weekends. 

Frank Farrell in action doing his magic. Picture: Rachel Lawson PhotographyFrank Farrell in action doing his magic. Picture: Rachel Lawson Photography
Frank Farrell in action doing his magic. Picture: Rachel Lawson Photography | Rachel Lawson Photography

“I remember the first time I was absolutely petrified,” he said. “I spent a long time pacing around outside before knocking on the door. The way I work is I turn that nervousness into excitement – they're the same feeling. 

“So instead of telling yourself, ‘these butterflies are because I'm scared of what might go wrong’, I'm thinking ‘I've done this before, it's always gone well and people really like it so I can't wait to get in there and start showing them the magic’.”

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Frank would keep his magic and teaching separate. After 35 years of teaching, Frank retired in 2018 to pursue his passion further. When he first hit the stage as ‘Magic Frank’, he was still finding his personal style of performing. 

He said: “Over the years you learn the sorts of magic tricks that fit in with your personality and what you think is appropriate. There are tricks I used to perform in the past that I no longer do because they don't fit in with the type of magician I have become. 

“You build your persona, your character, which is almost like an extension of your own character. Take Derren Brown and David Blaine, for example. They have very different characters. A trick that would work well for one might not for the other. Or at least, if they did do the same trick they would have to present it very differently.”

Frank Farrell stuns a wedding guest with a trick. Picture: Rachel Lawson PhotographyFrank Farrell stuns a wedding guest with a trick. Picture: Rachel Lawson Photography
Frank Farrell stuns a wedding guest with a trick. Picture: Rachel Lawson Photography | Rachel Lawson Photography

When Frank isn’t wowing guests at events, he is branching out to other media, such as the acting field, where he has met several soap stars. 

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He said: “Although magic is what I mainly do, I've also joined an extras agency, so I was doing extra work. I was on ‘Coronation Street’ a couple of times. There was a scene with a golf club dinner so we sat down with some of the actors there for some time.”

Now, Frank has been honoured by the annual Hitched Wedding Awards for his work. Looking back on his career, he said: “Life turns out in very interesting ways. You never know what's around the corner. I've often thought about looking back at yourself at 20 or something, would you think that one day you'd be doing this? And I don't think that's very likely, no.”

With more titles under his belt, Frank is not finished achieving more in his exciting life. 

“I like to have something to strive for,” he said. “It's a challenge. I think you need a challenge by going out of your comfort zone so you don’t get bored. 

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“The way not to get complacent is to just push yourself a little bit to a slightly more challenging environment, a slightly bigger arena. And so you get those nerves again, but you go through the nerves. Hopefully, you're successful and you feel confident to repeat that level and you've moved up. That's the way it works in my mind.”

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