Queues snaked around the Wool Exchange – a legion of local fans could be waiting for hours to meet their hero. But this was no ordinary homecoming.
Dynamo – aka Steven Frayne – has become a household name across the world. His unique brand of streetwise magic has amazed audiences from London to Los Angeles, and made him countless famous pals along the way.
As he sat in the staff room of Bradford Waterstones eating a chicken and sweetcorn sandwich, however, I was reminded that the man who has been regularly described as having god-like powers will always be a Wyke lad at heart.
“I don’t get back to Bradford nearly as much as I’d like to,” he said. “I have been living in London for the past 10 years, and even though I look out for Bradford City’s results, it’s always good to get back up here and meet my family.
“I spent most of my childhood in Wyke, and I have had some of the best times and the worst times of my life there – I think that’s part of what growing up is all about.”
Dynamo attended Wyke Manor School, now Appleton Academy, and received support and encouragement from many of his teachers.
“A lot of my teachers at school helped me with my magic,” he said.
“They really encouraged me with the tricks I was doing, and that gave me a lot of confidence.
The second series of Dynamo’s TV series, Magician Impossible, has just come to a close, and has broke viewing figure records for digital channel Watch, beating Channel 4 for its slot.
Despite his success, Dynamo isn’t resting on his laurels, and was visiting Waterstones to sign his new book, while filming series three of his show, and has wowed the great and the good along the way.
He said: “I think the most famous person I ever met was Will Smith, he’s a really nice guy, but also Snoop Dogg and Ian Brown, who is a fellow northerner as well!”
Dynamo also had some sage advice for those wanting to make their way in the world of magic.
He said: “I would say to anyone wanting to do this that they should try and perform as much as possible. I practised a lot when I was younger and perfected my style.
“I would also warn them not try to emulate others and to develop their own style. One magician I looked up to was Paul Daniels, who I respect very much as a magician, but we both have completely different styles. The most important thing is to be yourself.”
Dynamo’s new book, Nothing is Impossible: The Real-Life Adventures of a Street Magician, is out now.