Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions
Stephen: Now, Caprice, if this was a normal card trick, I'd be asking you to cut the cards for me - But this isn't a normal card trick, and I'll actually be using the cards to cut you into four.
Mischa Barton: So, Amy, I see you've also practised self-mutilation for the sake of fashion - You have pierced ears like I do.
Holly: (As she removes her wedding ring and hands it to Stephen Mulhern for him to use it in a trick) This is actually the first time I've taken it off since the wedding, so you'd better look after it, Stephen.
(Stephen is getting ready to guillotine Holly)
Stephen: So, Holly, I just need you to stand here facing the board.
Holly: OK! (Holly walks over and stands with her front against the board of the guillotine.)
Stephen: Right, so now I just need to strap you in so that you can't escape.
(Stephen ties Holly's hands behind her back and straps her to the board of the guillotine)
Holly: (Looking slightly worried) Now I know how Marie Antoinette felt!
Stephen: Don't worry, I've done this lots of times before. Now you're all secured, I just need to move you into place, and we're ready to start.
(Stephen takes hold of the board that Holly is strapped to and tilts it forward, dropping her into position below the blade, and closes the stock around her neck)
Holly: (Staring down into the basket in front of her) This is really scary!
Stephen: Relax, Holly - There really is nothing to worry about. (He takes hold of the handle that releases the blade) Just a little off the top, madam?
Holly: Ha ha, very funny, Stephen - Just get on with it, will you?!
(He pulls the handle and the blade falls, slamming home into the stocks around Holly's neck with a loud bang. As it does so, Holly's head drops and tumbles into the basket, leaving her now-headless body strapped to the board.)
Holly: (Her voice coming up from the basket) Stephen!
Stephen: Oops! (Turns to the camera) Has anyone got a sewing kit?
Holly: (Her now-angry voice still coming up from the basket) That's not funny!
This was the first episode to be recorded after Holly Willoughby's wedding to her fiance, Dan Baldwin.
In an interview where she talked about working with Stephen Mulhern on the show, Holly commented that when she first watched a playback of the guillotine illusion from this episode, even she found it hard to believe when she saw the blade fall and her head tumble into the basket. She stated that "If I hadn't actually felt the blade go through my neck and seen the basket apparently rush up to meet me as my head dropped into it, even I'd never have believed that he really had chopped my head off. Seeing my own headless body laying there on the guillotine was one of the freakiest things ever!"
This show's closing illusion, the Zig-Zag Girl, was invented by magician Robert Harbin in the 1960s. In the illusion, a lady (in this case Stephen's guest Jennifer Ellison) enters a tall vertical cabinet, and places her face, hands and foot through four holes in the front. Two blades are inserted through the cabinet, dividing it into three pieces, and the centre section is then slid to one side.
This show's closing illusion, The World's Largest Card Trick, was devised and first performed by magician Mark Wilson, and is basically a sawing in four using giant playing cards to divide the lady being sawed (in this case Caprice).
This episode's closing illusion, Modern Art, was invented by Jim Steinmeyer, and is a standing version of Sawing a Woman in Half.
The illusion where Stephen Mulhern saws Mischa Barton into three and removes her middle section is called the "Sawing in Thirds" or "Center Cut" illusion.
The trick where Mischa Barton threaded a length of dental floss through the hole in her pierced ear, tied it in a knot and then pulled it out without ripping her earlobe was originally performed by Jane Curtin on a 1990 Penn & Teller TV special. In order to perform the trick, Mischa had to have her ears pierced especially a few weeks beforehand. Having kept them pierced for the photoshoot for her 2005/6 Accessorize advertising campaign, she then let them heal up again, and didn't get them re-pierced until 2009.
This episode's closing illusion, Bikini Blocks, was actually a double version of an illusion called the Mis-made Girl.
According to Holly, when she took off her wedding ring so that Stephen could use it in a trick, it was the first time she'd taken it off since her husband had placed it on her finger during their wedding ceremony.
Stephen and Holly's performance of this episode's closing illusion, Heads Off, is sometimes voted by other magicians as one of the most baffling version ever performed. It usually relies on the use of identical twins, but as Holly doesn't have a twin sister, even magicians familiar with the illusion have trouble explaining how it was done.