David Berglas and Ken Brooke – A Interesting Story by Pete Biro





David Berglas, one of the most famous performers in the world of magic was known for his incredible stunts and predictions. He got interested in magic in 1947 due to a chance meeting with Ken Brooke. Following the ends of the second world war, Berglas found out the US Army was looking for people to help with the “denazification” of Germany. Having been born in Germany, he enlisted and joined the US Army intelligence corps. In addition to his popular radio shows in England, Berglas worked as a technical consultant for many James Bond films, starting with Casino Royale in 1967 as well as the Batman film with Jack Nicholson.

ken in studio sized

One of his ways to gain popularity he did a number of stunts, much like David Blaine has done. He had arranged to do a prediction with one of England’s biggest newspapers and organized a meeting in the editor’s office to explain what he was to do. He said he would make a prediction of what would be the lead story on the front page of the next Monday morning edition.

Berglas showed the editor an envelope that he said the prediction would be in. Without knowing what was going to actually happen, the editor grabbed the envelope out of Berglas’ hand before he had a chance to do anything with it and threw it into a safe and locked it. Berglas had no choice other to thank him and leave.

Ken-home resized

This is a great photo of Ken! I’m sure he was listening to an audio tape about Magic!

Berglas, realizing he needed some advice and help, immediately went to Ken Brooke and explained the problem, telling him that the editor had thrown the envelope that he was going to gaffe for the prediction, into a safe before he had a chance to do the necessary. With the envelope locked in the safe, Berglas said he had to get his hands on that envelope during the night before the paper was printed to load the prediction. Ken realized the only way that they could do anything about it was to get into the office, crack the safe and load the envelope.

Ken new one guy that could help them find the proper person to do this job. That person was a cab driver named Franklin. (You might recall that when Channing Pollock retired, he taught Franklin his complete act, which Franklin performed for many years after).

Franklin had met Channing by being his cab driver when Channing performed at the Palladium in London. Franklin would pick him up every night at his hotel take him to the show, watch the show, then take Channing home.

Ken knew that Franklin would know a few guys that could get in and open a safe. This did happen, as Franklin got a hold of a guy who got into the office in the middle of the night, cracked open the safe, allowing Berglas to do the necessary, and put the envelope back into the safe, ready for the revelation the next morning. When the newspaper came out the editor opened the safe, took out the envelope and Berglas had successfully predicted the headline.

This was a rumor that I had heard, and finally, when I had an opportunity talk about it with David Berglas, I asked him about it he said it was true.