Mind-reader Don is a Luton icon as he gets hotel’s magician slot!

Don Neufville and Icon operations manager Michael Bugler
Don Neufville and Icon operations manager Michael Bugler

Former Luton News and Dunstable Gazette columnist Don Neufville is under no illusion that it can be hard to get a big break in showbusiness.

After leaving a 20-year career in sales, he signed up to a modelling agency, and also applied for film/TV extra work too.

But now his career path has taken a magical new twist as he continues his quest for fame and fortune.

Don, 59, of Round Green, is also a well-known local DJ.

After debuting on the decks at the former Tropicana Beach nightclub way back in November 1984, he has decided to quit his music interests to concentrate on his new-found talent for magic and mind-reading.

After an audition last Thursday, Don – who calls himself Luton’s answer to Derren Brown – has been taken on as resident magician at Luton’s Icon Hotel in Stuart Street.

He will appear on Fridays and Saturdays in December as well as New Year’s Eve and into January.

He said: “I have been their resident DJ for six years, and they felt with my change in passion to magic rather than music they’d give me a shot.

“I showed them three illusions and that was it, I was in.

“I am so excited to be doing these live performances. It will be totally new experience for me but one I’m relishing immensely and can only thank manager Michael Bugler [pictured with Don] for giving me this opportunity.”

And Don, whose act has also been booked for a prestigious Thames River Cruise on November 5, had further good news this week when he received a call from the producers of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent who wanted to see how his act had developed after being impressed by him last time out.

He didn’t quite make it on to the last series of the TV show itself as similar mind-reading act DNA got the nod over him.

Don said: “I was absolutely gutted to not only just miss out on the TV stages of BGT this summer but also the BBC 1 Game show Partners in Rhyme were I made the standby list of six.

“However looking back now I just wasn’t ready, it all came to me far too soon.

“Since then I’ve not only developed my act but I reached the Luton Mela grand final and while admittedly it wasn’t my greatest stage performance I took a lot of positives out of it, and I am really looking forward to going back in front of the producers – and ultimately the judges –of Britain’s Got Talent.

“I always believed the producers would come back to me. They must have seen the new me, my new act, on YouTube. This time I am more than ready for Britain’s Got Talent!”

After an audition in the near future, Don expects to know by February if he has made it on the part of the show that is shown on TV.