How the British press helped fake the end of the world

TV illusionist Derren Brown returned to our screens on Friday night with his latest offering, Apocalypse. The show’s aim was to persuade one man that the world had ended as a  result of a meteorite shower and teach him some valuable life lessons.

As unbelievable as the concept seems, Derren Brown had one very powerful tool in his arsenal which ensured his ‘victim’ was left with no doubt that a meteorite shower was a real possibility – the British press.

By involving the victim’s favourite radio DJs, hacking into his phone and inserting news articles into the apps that he frequently uses, and mocking up fake national newspaper covers, Derren Brown gave his ‘end of the world’ illusion the one thing that it desperately needed to succeed –  credibility.

Who wouldn’t trust the radio DJs that they listen to every day, combined with news sites that they visit regularly and sources as believable as NASA and the BBC? By intercepting the victim’s trusted sources rather than hijacking him with new ones, Derren Brown seemed to truly convince his mark that the end of the world was nigh. Very impressive.

The second part of the show is scheduled to air this Friday and, if it sounds like your kind of thing, I’d recommend you catch up on part one before then. Personally, I can’t wait to see whether he pulled it off.


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