Jamie Raven has been working as a magician for over 12 years and joined our team in 2014. He sprang to fame in 2015’s Britain’s Got Talent. Coming second in the contest, his astonishing tricks prompted Simon Cowell to say, ‘I now actually believe in magic!’
His online videos from BGT and subsequent performances have been viewed over 400 million times, making him one of the world’s most viewed magicians. His headlined show, "The Illusionists" became the most successful magic show ever in the history of London’s West End.
Jamie became our first official patron earlier this year.
We spoke to Jamie about why he chose to work with Spread a Smile.
What attracted you to Spread a Smile’s work initially?
Originally, Jospehine and Vanessa asked if I could arrange for other magicians to help with Spread a Smile in its infancy and having spoken to Josephine on the phone, I could hear in her voice that she is a good person, doing great things, for the most deserving cause so I wanted to help out if I could.
How did visiting the children in hospital make you feel?
It is always the most wonderful way to spend time. If you can make somebody laugh, or smile, even for a second, I think it is one of the most precious gifts in the world. If you add in to that all that the children and their families are going through, to be able to hopefully do something for them that may make their day a tiny bit easier, or to somehow make the suffering just a little bit less, there is no better feeling.
What difference do you think Spread a Smile’s work makes to the families?
I think it is invaluable, how do you put a price on making somebody smile, somebody happy, to make somebody or their friends or family forget the terrible time that they are going through, even just for a few minutes? You can’t, therefore by definition, to me, the work is invaluable.
Can you recall one particular moment which stood out to you during your hospital visits?
There are too many to list. I think it must have been my very first visit, to see first-hand just how much of a difference the work makes.
How do you feel when you leave the hospital after a visit?
I feel wonderful. Looking past the situation of why the children and their families are there, I always focus on the positives. Did what you did make somebody else’s day a little bit better? If the answer is yes, then there is very little in life that can make you prouder.
You recently hosted some families from Spread a Smile at one of your shows – how did it feel to have them at the show and meet them afterwards?
It was awesome, I am so thrilled that they could come and they enjoyed the show. To think that they would like to come and watch me and what I do is an honor. We met up afterwards to take some photos and for some hugs. It was definitely one of the highlights of the tour.