Record breaking illusionist, magician and escapologist, Shahid Malik, completed a 4 year Diploma in
Interior Design at Bradford Technical College in the early 1970s.
Shahid was only an 18 year old student when his first major
public performance, escaping from a strait jacket whilst
suspended from a 100 ft crane just up the road from College,
caused a sensation and traffic chaos.
Later in his career, he would claim the world record for performing this stunt suspended from a helicopter at a height of 1,800ft. Shahid’s student grant contributed to his fledgling showbusiness career as he spent much of it on magic books and tricks!
“Art was always my first love. I had genuinely intended to
become an interior designer. Magic was just a hobby I got
interested in at school. It started as a sideline but then I became
more and more obsessed until gradually it took over.
Although I passed my diploma I didn’t do as well as I should have. The last thing my tutor said to me was that if I had spent as much time on interior design as I did on magic I would have gone a long way and that it if there was a diploma in magic I would done better!”
Since college Shahid has built up a truly magical career that has taken him all around the world. He was voted ‘Magician of the Year’ by the International Brotherhood of Magicians in 1985 and has amazed audiences wherever he has played. He has stunned audiences with stunts fraught with danger. He has broken bones, almost drowned and once suffered serious burns when chained, roped and tied to a stake in the middle of a bonfire of burning straw (although he escaped his bonds in just 33 seconds).
He has executed incredible tricks on countless TV shows and Royal Command Performances, memorably turning his wife Lisa into a Bengal Tiger on Live from the Palladium in 1985. Shahid has appeared with a galaxy of international stars and often played private functions for stars such as Paul McCartney.
Major corporate clients now dominate much of Shahid’s time for gala cabarets, after dinner shows to major product launches. “My arts and graphics training have been a big help in designing illusions. I use those skills for product launches all over the world. For instance if a company is launching a new car and I theme an illusion around making it disappear, it involves a lot of design.”
Photograph by Trevor Griffiths