Derren Brown – Russian Roulette

By July 31, 200333 Comments

On October 26th (my 25st birthday, in fact), Derren Brown will play Russian Roulette, with a live gun and live rounds, live on air. The Guardian
explores the man and plan,


  • Jac says:

    your 25st birthday is it? Personlly I plan to have a 25th.

  • Wibbler says:


  • John says:

    I actually saw him NOT shoot himself yesterday night (5th oct). Bullet will be in chamber 1. He mistakes on chamber 5 (he ‘shoots’ a click in the air).

  • Derren was great last night! what was the empty shot in the air all about?



  • Rick says:

    Very entertaining TV this, very professionally done – however, I have shot literally thousands of 357 rounds through this type of revolver and I do not believe that this was the real thing.
    A real discharge makes far, far more noise and generates a significant recoil – both of which were lacking with the stainless steel revolver during both shots on the barn. In a low light such as in the barn there would also have been some muzzle flash, I saw none.

  • Kieron Underhill says:

    There was significant muzzle flash – I saw it. It WAS very entertaining TV.

    He wasn’t sure about the 3rd shot – that’s what the air shot was about. He waited an age after that cos the round was in one of the last 3 chambers.

    You also can’t get an idea of the actual noise because it comes through your TV – depepnds on the level of the speakers, etc.

  • Wibbler says:

    “Pick a number. Any ONE. Are you thinking of ONE now?”

  • Wibbler says:

    There’s a lot of discussion on it here:
    Digital Spy: Derren Brown

  • Wibbler says:

    Here’s the screenshots:

  • Roy says:

    Did i hear it right? Was his hart pounding trough the microphone after the click in the air? On the other hand, i believe that without this mistake, the whole thing wouldn’t be so thrilling, i he chose did everything right. It also would look less real. A failure makes it look realer….you can see that as a peace of mind controlling…and isn’t that derrel’s thing?

  • Rick says:

    What about the total lack of recoil Keiron? It would be impossible to negate that on a real discharge.
    Also I’m sure that most people do not realise just how shockingly loud a weapon of this calibre is when it’s fired indoors – regardless of a microphone’s ability to accurately reproduce the sound. (Not just the little pop of a primer being fired – it didn’t even look like a blank cartridge)
    I saw chamber flash when it was fired but not muzzle flash. (blocked barrel?)

  • AISHAH says:

    well I think all of these people who hate derren brown or criticize him should give him a break, he has studied this art and i totally believe that what he does is possible since we cant all be so ignorant to think that the human mind is not capable of doing so, in this society our minds have just become lazy and tedious and follows whatever is thrown at us, and derren has stepped on to the other side and examined how and why we react certain ways, he has inspired me!

  • Ed says:

    Aishah – Derren Brown rules. He’s inspired me too – his psych stuff and cold reading are great.
    However, you don’t think that wasn’t set up, do you? You really think CH4 would put out a man killing himself live, do you?
    Okay, so now we ask how.
    If the lad was in on it, it’s easy. If he wasn’t it’s more tricky.
    I agree Rick – no recoil or muzzle flash. I have tried to film blank firers, and most of the time the mic can’t handle it and it sounds crap.
    Were they .357 or .38 special, d’you think?
    If the barrel was blocked as you say, and a blank was used, the blast would come out sideways and look obvious. Why, you would need some kind of metal sheild to cover it up!
    This is a lovely theory if it wasn’t for the armourer firing that first round. I’d have to go back and look at the cutting.
    – Ed

  • Roy says:

    “I saw chamber flash when it was fired but not muzzle flash. (blocked barrel?)”

    Here in Holland they showed how the selection was made and also they showed how a shot with the gun looked before. They also told that, instead to what you see in films, there isn’t a muzzle flash with these guns. I don’t know if these are the same things you saw on chanel four.

  • Em says:

    Oh come on guys, give Derren a break! So what if perhaps there was some fakery about his russian roulette stunt.I don’t hear anyone decrying all the other “magicians” for not actually sawing a person in half!!! I thought that Derren’s stunt was excellent viewing although in rather dubious taste.I think that he’s an extremely talented and clever man, how many of you out there can do what he does? Lighten up, it’s entertainment!!

  • Wibbler says:

    I agree, Em. Sure, I was diappointed that it wasn’t a real gun, but it’s not any different to other magic and illusions. And Derren is plainly very good at what he does… we wouldn’t still be talking about it if he wasn’t.

  • Em says:

    Was I real or was it fake? I’m sure the only person to clear up the mystery is Derren hinself and I can’t see him divulging his secrets readily.I think that Derren is more entertaining and interesting than David Blain (yawn…how dull!)I dislike magicians because there is obviously a lot of deception and fakery but with Derren I find the methods he uses very interesting. It just goes to show how unobservent and susceptable people are to suggestions.

  • Em says:

    If you’re off to Dublin check out the oldest pub for atmosphere and good beer.You must have at least one pint of Kilkenny.

  • Rick says:

    I have just seen that Derren has admitted to CNN that the Russian Roulette stunt WAS a hoax, staged in Jersey, using a blank cartridge.

  • zacko says:

    Wie kann man bloss so bescheuert sein und sich daran aufgeilen wenn sich irgendsoein idiot im tv ein kugel in den kopf jagen will – sich total verarschen l?sst,da sich zeigt das alles nur beschiss war

  • Wibbler says:

    Absolutely, Zacko.

  • People says:

    Derren Brown an avaricious coward.

    I can’t believe how many little kids believed it was real.

    Notice the 357, although not a huge caliber bullet, did not recoil WHATSOEVER, when Derren fired it ONE HANDED.

    Also notice (how conveniently) it was not filmed from behind the line of sight as he fired it and therefore could not show the simultaneity of the sangbag getting hit.


    Derren fires the gun.

    Detonate squib.

    Show sandbag leaking.

    This is done so that still frame slow motion viewing would not reveal that Derren Brown is a fake kindergarten kid deceiver.

    And the fact that the “how conveniently” nervous gun loader loaded the bullet where WE couldn’t see. Ok so Darren shouldn’t have seen it, but why not us?

    Because then WE would see that what was being put into the chamber was not the lead tipped real .357 bullet, but a piffy blank (not even a normal blank, but a much reduced powder charge), that you could even fire into your hand.

    Irrespective, ofcourse he was never going to fire it anywhere near his head, and contrary to what people have been saying that the loader just tapped his foot on Derren’s foot to indicate what chamber housed the bullet, it was simply predetermined.

    Already knowing what chamber the round is going to be in he STILL doesn’t use a real bullet (no recoil). A very “brave” man, suddenly seen as very much the opposite, a very pitiable, sad coward.

    Derren Brown is a very talented person reader, but unfortunately he has put himself to shame, by attempting to convince the world of his courage with this so very poorly executed childrens show.

    All this has done is convinced us, and hopefully other producers, that his very pitiful cowardice, and spinelessness still do not hinder his greed for fame.

  • A. Non says:

    I was involved in the show, and have worked closely with Derren Brown.
    The frightened little boy was infact a stooge. The bullet was real however never reached the gun, the gun was empty. Nothing happens without a reason in magic, why did the gun have a cover? so that the AUDIENCE could not see that the gun was empty. It was the only way that the show could have gone ahead. Even using a blank in this way would have been considered to much of a threat to be allowed by the Jersy police.
    As Derren making James choose the number 1, well its just hogwash i’m afraid. You can get a stooge to choose any number you like!
    If you think about it why exactly was SO MUCH of the show geared towards showing that the final members of the group were REAL people? because it is misdirection from the truth… 4 of the final 5 were… but non of them had any chance of being the finalist.
    If you knew how much i knew about Derren you would laugh at the whole thing, its a psychological as an orange.
    Why do i tell you all this? Thats personal i’m afraid… but trust me.

  • So it was fake, OH No,

    I think the bits I liked more were the bits of chosing the person. Even if the last guy was fake that means some of the stuff he did with the others was real and that was impressive.

    I know Jack about guns, so muzzle flash, bullets, none of it maters to a simple minded orange who found it good entertainment.

    Now if you dont mind I’m going back to the tele to watch Will And Grace, Family Guy and Loads of CSI. All filmed as they happened

  • I highly recommend his live mind-control tour. Now finished. Shameful.

  • muguik says:

    mugu mugu mugu mugu keep offfffffffff offfffffff offffffff ogffffffffff

  • Graeme says:

    Someone wondered why he shot off the fourth round. I reckon this is because lots of people say that the way he suggests choices and answers to those he performs his tricks on is often quite obvious suggestion.
    In RR when he was getting the boy to choose the chamber he said some word begining with ‘f’ , I forget what, and then said, as if in emotional response to the dry disclaimer that he delivers ‘this is my choice, it won’t be your fault etc.) ‘In case it fucks up.’
    Emphasising the ‘f.’ Since people are still unused to hearing swearing on TV, I reckon this served to make a lot of people iin the audience think of four or five themselves, and the sceptics think ‘it’s so simple..’
    so when he dispatches with chamber four really quickly, half the audience arte thikning they know the score. And his intentional error just bewilders people.
    Just because it is TV and he is a magician, well that hardly means you should belive him when he persuades you it’s all real does it? He he, the most effective mind control is clearly the easiest.
    Also, that barn was a film set wasn’t it? There were no location outdoor shots, were there?

  • Jac says:

    well done on such an open and well-debated forum. And thank you, Zacko, for your insightful contribution.

    Personally I have never heard of Derren Brown, I never watched the show and I’m only commenting to increase my lead on the Comments Leaderboard.

    I thank you.

  • Wibbler says:

    You’re so shallow

  • Jac says:

    yes, I suppose I am.

    That’ll be another comment registered then.

  • bali says:

    , :)Great content to find another.

    Interesting. Nice to get you.


  • Jac says:

    glass of water?

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