My life has crossed paths with Uri Geller on several occasions. He is my favourite famous person in a terrible, appalling way, simply because he’s managed to get away with it for so, so long, criticism falling away from him like water from a duck’s arse.
Claims to fame: I’ve told him to “fuck off”, I’ve been to his house (he wasn’t there, but there was a rather unfortunate cutlery incident) and I’ve been to far too many football matches where he has cadged free tickets and blagged his way onto the pitch at half-time for a spot of self-promotion.
“I love you all!” he once crowed at Ipswich Town to a chorus of boos, his ability to gain free entry the only genuine magic he has ever demonstrated in the last thirty years.
Am I too harsh on my arch-nemesis? He is indeed a great showman and self-promoter, but even up close you can tell it’s all show. But give him a vacant mind, and they’ll lap it up.
My favourite moment was at Elm Park, the old football ground in Reading, where Geller was filming something for his terrible TV programme during half time in a dour second division match.
They distributed different coloured cards around the ground, and on The Great Fraud's instruction, we were supposed to hold up the card that matched one he had previously put into an envelope. The implication being that he would use his psychic skills to influence our choices and make him look good.
Yellow. Red. Blue. Simple choice.
Uri shouts "NOW!" and 12,000 the crowd raise cards EXACTLY one third of each colour.
"See? I was right!" he yells in triumph, but he is laughed off the pitch.
The red cards came in handy later in the match when one of the opposition got sent off.
The least said about his stint “saving” Exeter City FC the better…
My favourite Uri thing: On Holiday With The Gellers, the most cringe-making television programme ever, where a TV crew follow Geller and family around Croatia as he tries to impress the locals with his “unique” psychic skills.
Geller: "That dog is three years old! How old is that dog?"
Non-plussed local: "Eleven."
Uri is sitting in a large bell-tower. There are large bells.
Uri: “I can make this bell ring, just by using the power of my mind”
The bell rings.
Producer (off camera): “Uri, it’s three o’clock…”
Television at its finest. Uri Geller = excellent celebrity value. Where would we be without him?