Comedy magician Robbie James casts spell to scoop entertainer of the year title

Ipswich magician and entertainer Robbie James celebrating his success Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich magician and entertainer Robbie James celebrating his success Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Talented comedy magician Robbie James is celebrating after beating more than 5,000 contenders to be named as East of England Best Entertainer of the Year.

Robbie with his rabbit Domino, who appears in some of his acts Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Robbie with his rabbit Domino, who appears in some of his acts Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Robbie, who lives in Ipswich, grew up in Norfolk and performs all over the region, will now go through to the UK finals for the prestigious title, awarded by entertainment booking agency Book International.

“I just feel so honoured,” he said. “If I went on to win the national award it would honestly be an absolute dream come true, but, if I don’t, I am already so over the moon.

“I’ve worked so hard over the years and it finally feels like it’s paying off now”.

The region’s 2020 awards ceremony was held online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Half of the final votes came from people voting for their favourite act online, and the other 50% from four expert judges, including Keith Donaghy, the CEO of Book Entertainment.

Ipswich magician and entertainer Robbie James has won the title of Entertainer of the Year in the Ea

Ipswich magician and entertainer Robbie James has won the title of Entertainer of the Year in the East of England. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant


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Robbie said: “I was so nervous, sitting on my sofa watching the winners announced. When they said my name, goodness knows what my neighbours must have thought, as I was screaming for joy.”

The entertainer grew up in Cromer and then moved to Norwich as a teenager, before going to Spain in 2015 to work as an entertainer for Thomas Cook.

MORE: Magician to launch socially distanced parties

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Robbie’s act includes singing as well as comedy and magic. He has presented shows at Stonham Barns near Stowmarket and also appeared at many other theatres, venues, weddings and parties across the region.

Ipswich magician and entertainer Robbie James has won the title of Entertainer of the Year in the Ea

Ipswich magician and entertainer Robbie James has won the title of Entertainer of the Year in the East of England. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

He told his parents and close friends about his award, but then invited a group of friends to meet in his local pub. “I told them we were celebrating something, but didn’t tell them what until they got there. The celebration was all socially distanced, of course!”

A date for the UK final has not yet been decided because of Covid-19 restrictions, but Robbie is hoping it will be a live ceremony rather than online.

Robbie’s partner, Tom Macdonald, was named as Suffolk Barber of the Year in the 2019 iGuy Magazine Awards – so friends have been joking they will have to get a trophy cabinet.

During lockdown, Robbie presented a free online children’s show on Saturday mornings to help youngsters let off energy. This has now finished because children are starting to have more live events they can go to. “I thought it was best to stop while it was still popular- we had so many lovely comments from people,” he said.

Robbie with his rabbit Domino, who appears in some of his acts Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Robbie with his rabbit Domino, who appears in some of his acts Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

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Robbie will be one of the first entertainers in the country to host socially distanced children’s parties, after completing a training course in Covid-19 prevention. He is currently taking bookings for the parties, featuring Domino the rabbit, which will be launched in August.

He is also looking forward to doing more live events as soon as possible, and is hoping to put on shows at a holiday park in Felixstowe..

For more details, search for Robbie James Entertainer on Facebook or visit his website.

Ipswich magician and entertainer Robbie James celebrating his success Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich magician and entertainer Robbie James celebrating his success Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

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