A CHANGE in career proved just the trick for an award-winning magician who swapped the civil service for sleight of hand.
Sarah Lloyd worked for the Inland Revenue before deciding to become a full-time magician under the stage name Magic Myrtle.
Her daring move has paid off after she conjured up success in the Martin Duffy Children’s Entertainer of the Year awards last week.
The contest, organised by the Newcastle Magic Circle, saw three acts showcasing their skills before an audience of spellbound youngsters at Mortimer Primary School in South Shields.
The finalists were judged by Martin Duffy, a South Tyneside magician who is a former president of the Newcastle Magic Circle, Pam Appleby, the deputy headteacher of the school, and Mortimer Primary pupils.
With the help of her trusty companion, Henry the puppet dog, Sarah proved a hit with her mix of mesmirising magic and comedy.
Sarah, the only female member of the circle, was delighted to pull victory out of the hat.
Mrs Lloyd, 34, married to David, 41, said: “I’ve been interested in magic since I was a child. I absolutely love it. I was really surprised but delighted to win the award.
“My last job was working as a civil servant for the Inland Revenue but I always hoped I could make a career out of being a magician.
“I have been a full-time magician for the last six or seven years. It really helped when I joined the Newcastle Magic Circle.
“I was the only female member, and still am, but that has never been an issue. Everyone has been really helpful.
“It’s a very friendly group. The only thing they want to know is that you love magic.”
Mrs Lloyd, from Turner Avenue, in South Shields, was inspired to take up a life of wonder by witnessing Paul Daniels on TV as a youngster.
She added; “I was a child in the 80s when he was on TV all the time.
“He was absolutely brilliant and having seen him in the flesh a few times since, I was amazed again.”
Sarah is kept busy with children’s parties, nursery and school shows throughout the year – and loves the chance to cast a spell on youngsters with magic in their hearts.
She added: “When you are working with the children you never know what you are going to get. Every show is different. I love the interaction.”
n For more information on Sarah’s sorcery, visit www.magicmyrtle.co.uk.