BAFFLING a pair of legendary illusionists has seen a North-East magician secure a spot on stage in Las Vegas.

John Archer starred in Penn & Teller: Fool Us, an ITV special that challenged magicians to leave the pair unable to work out how they pulled off a trick.

The 50-year-old left them amazed as he performed an envelope trick that has earned him an opening slot in Penn & Teller’s show at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

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The father-of-three said: “It was fantastic to leave them baffled and it will be even better to open for them in Las Vegas. I have performed on the outskirts of Vegas before, but this will be the first time I have played on the strip – I really can’t wait for it to happen now.”

The former policeman, who was forced to leave Cleveland Police for health reasons, has been working as a full-time magician for nearly 15 years.

He now travels the world performing his comic routine, which includes silly props and audience participation.

In 2008, he was crowned the Magic Circle’s stage magician of the year.

His act for the Penn & Teller special saw him dazzle audience members in a trick involving envelopes and wordplay.

He took five envelopes on stage, one of which contained £100, each of which had a word written on it and yet, after asking each of four audience members to pick an envelope, he managed to keep the envelope with the money himself.

He said: “I wasn’t quite sure whether I would fool them or not, because the trick I was doing has been done by other magicians using different methods, but I was doing it in a way that has only been around for about a year. When I showed them how it was done at the end, they were quite impressed, which is a great compliment from those two.”

He said this achievement ranks alongside his pride in being asked to perform at master illusionist Derren Brown’s father’s birthday party.