Saturday 18th January 2014. They are billed as renowned clairvoyant medium Roy Roberts and international stage hypnotist Chris Gillies. I was asked to produce a radio interview ahead of their joint show entitled Two Senses of the Unknown and was really interested to meet both of them, having spoken on the phone. We arranged the interview for 9:30am on a bustling Saturday morning at the Astor’s radio studio, and only began about 15 minutes late after the last-minute sound checks.
The interview was good fun, as both the guys were personable, patient, chatty, and moral, and it took about an hour. They drank coffee and enjoyed touring the theatre. So far, so normal, eh?
Well, not quite. For our studio engineer, who I shan’t name here, it was anything but a normal Saturday morning. After the interview, he agreed that Chris Gillies could hypnotise him. So he stood opposite Chris in the radio studio, a trifle sceptically, about 3 feet from where I was sitting and in clear view. After a minute or so, Chris tugged his arm, and our engineer fell, inert but still standing, into Chris’s shoulder. I am in no doubt he was out for the count. Chris Gillies brought him back after about a minute, with words of empowerment and confidence that transformed my colleague’s mood from how he had previously been during the morning. He remembered nothing.
Now, I’ve seen a lot of things in my life, but nothing like this in the flesh. Moreover, if this were all that befell our engineer that morning, it would be significant. But as we were leaving he said that before the interview began, whilst I was fetching a chair from somewhere, Roy Roberts actually read him, swiftly and accurately, citing information that nobody else knew. My colleague wasn’t making it up: he was flabbergasted. He, as I, was working through a variety of reactions: astonished, disconcerted, perplexed, curious perhaps.
You can of course dismiss this experience as part of the show’s pre-publicity. It isn’t though; it’s a faithful eyewitness account of…. something that is difficult to rationalise.
Here’s a link to the interview.