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mr magic

Meet our viral sensation, Mr Magic

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Spread a Smile magician and viral sensation Mr Magic is hoping his newfound social media fame will continue to bring positivity and joy to those who need it and remind people just how powerful laughter and smiles can be.

Mr Magic’s clip of a cheeky magic wand that refused to be put away earned a rippling,  unfettered belly laugh of giggles from a child he met in hospital, and currently has more than four million views and over 380,000 likes on Instagram alone (@spreadasmileuk)! The film has also helped take Spread a Smile’s followers from just over 6,000 to 20,000 in two months.

Mr Magic, real name Ian Manly, says: I’ve always thought how wonderful it would be to bottle a child’s amazing laugh, and now we’ve done it.

“I knew it was a great video as there is nothing better than a child laughing. Add in the fact that this child was quite unwell in a hospital, and it just makes it such a strong and emotional piece of film.

“It’s received comments from all around the world with so many people saying, ‘I’m keeping this and will play it every time I need cheering up’. It’s a very proud moment when you realise how much it has positively affected people’s lives.”

Ian began working for Spread a Smile 11 years ago, when Co-Founders Josephine Segal and Vanessa Crocker set up the charity.

He recalls: It was very small then and the only hospital we visited was Great Ormond Street – and that was once a month.

“I was referred to Josephine and Vanessa by Vanessa’s sister, who had seen me do a magic show. Once I met Josephine and Vanessa I had no hesitation in joining Spread a Smile and have been there ever since, watching with great pride as their determination and hard work ensured it has grown into what it is today.”

“Magic has always fascinated children, who love tapping into their creative imaginations. People think it’s easy to do magic for children, but it’s not. There is so much more going on in a simple children’s magic trick than the actual trick itself. Everyone wants to ‘believe’ and the child has to follow the story and what is happening. The words you use are vital – and of course they need to be entertained continually throughout the trick. Plus, a good trick for one child may not even be a good trick for another child the same age. For me, entertainment is the most important factor.”

All of Spread a Smile’s entertainers bring their own talents, skills and expertise to help spread a little happiness to seriously ill children and young people in hospital and online at home.

Ian says: “The video is as close as anyone can possibly get to actually being in the same room to see the massive difference we make. It’s not unusual to create this laughter and it happens often. The wonderment and fun created by Spread a Smile’s singers, fairies, magicians, musicians, poets and therapy dogs shows on every visit. And not just for the children, but for the parents, grandparents, siblings and friends who are at the hospital and are all heavily involved in their journey too. It is our mission to ‘Spread a Smile’ to everyone and I hope the message taken from the film is that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope.”

The film has helped raise huge awareness about Spread a Smile and it’s work in NHS hospitals and hospices across the country, with the growth in audience meaning the charity can reach even more people who need their help. It is also clear from the 4,000+ comments on the film, that the film has been helpful to so many people, helping to spread smiles across the world.

“It’s wonderful to think that people around the world are playing the film over and over and it’s helping them through difficult times. Sometimes the simplest things can make the world of difference to someone.”

Now that really is what we call magic!

if you haven’t already seen the film, head over to @spreadasmileuk on Instagram, Facebook or X, or watch below.

To support our work spreading smiles, please donate here

Mr Magic spreads smiles around the world

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Spread a Smile’s entertainers do an incredible job, spreading laughter and joy to seriously ill children and their families in NHS hospitals and hospices and through our events and virtual visits.

One such entertainer is Mr Magic – one of the very first entertainers to join Co-Founders, Josephine Segal and Vanessa Crocker when they set up Spread a Smile over 10 years ago. Today Mr Magic remains a firm favourite amongst the families we support and is much loved as he spreads smiles across hospital wards and at Spread a Smile events.

“Jack loved Mr Magic and all the Spread a Smile magicians. The consistency of seeing them in different hospitals really helped him to cope with his illness and treatment. During Proton Beam Therapy, we stay away from home for over 6 weeks and feel really isolated. Our Spread a Smile visits helped us to meet other families and really gave us something to look forward to.” Jodie, Jack’s Mum

Recently, Spread a Smile filmed Mr Magic in action at one of their NHS hospital partners, performing some of his brilliant magic tricks for a young patient on the ward. After posting the film to the charity’s social media accounts to highlight the difference our entertainers make to the children they meet, the film went viral on Instagram, being viewed over 1.3million times and liked by over 115,000 accounts. The reaction of the child in the film speaks for itself, showing just how important Spread a Smile’s work is.

Spread a Smile currently supports 32 NHS hospitals and four hospices across the country, reaching thousands of children and their families every year. We also reach hundreds more through our virtual sessions and in-person family events, making sure our families have access to our services wherever they may be.  It is our mission to grow and reach even more hospitals and families, spreading smiles to seriously ill children and young people during some of the most difficult times of their lives.

To share in the Spread a Smile ‘Mr Magic magic’, you can watch the film here or below. Please do share as far and wide as possible and help us reach even more families when they need us most.

If you would like to make a donation to support our work, please follow this link. Just £26 could help pay for an entertainer like Mr Magic to visit a seriously child in hospital, spreading smiles and happiness.

To get involved, fundraise or find out how you or your company can support Spread a Smile, please email the team at – we’d love to hear from you. You can also sign up to our e-newsletter to stay up-to-date with our work, fundraising activities.

Thank you so much for your support.