This is a magic book. Not only does it contain detailed workings of the tricks that Alan used throughout half a century of performing magic professionally, but it also reveals Alan's constant sense of wonder at his world. In my experience of him, he never tired of travelling and never tired of being with magicians. He enjoyed the practical things of life and was as adept tinkering under the bonnet of a car as he was on the internet when trying to locate a source of Edwardian gas mantles or old Polaroid cameras and films, both items which he used regularly when performing.

As befitted a man who chose "Sophisticated Sorcery" as his bill matter, Alan was always well dressed on stage as well as off. His working suits were well-built and it showed. His props were well-maintained and his whole presentation with or later without Anne was immaculate. From the moment he walked on, he carried the authority that conveyed to the audience that they were in good hands for the next few magical minutes. Anne's contribution should never be overlooked as she managed to look suitably surprised or amazed at witnessing the same bit of magic that she had lived with in rehearsal and on stage for many years.

Alan's career and mine ran in parallel and obviously we didn't often get to work together. When we did, it was usually with me as compere and Alan doing his spot. We did appear on the same TV programme and on one show presented the Harbin vanishing radio together. Arthritis had made it difficult for me to lift props so Alan carried the apparently heavy old radio and I held the box until the radio was in and then passed it to him to do the vanish. On two occasions I asked Alan to do the Electric Sawing Thru illusion for me for the same arthritic reason, and that is how he came to saw the eminent conductor Barry Wordsworth in halves live on radio in an edition of "Friday Night is Music Night" which I wrote and presented. This was followed later, at St David's Hall in Cardiff, with a similar broadcast called "Spellbound" with the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra.

Alan and Anne were in great demand to perform and lecture at magic conventions and must have travelled thousands of miles attending such gatherings. I didn't attend very many conventions but we did appear at a SAM convention in Las Vegas which I remember mainly because of Alan having first to locate a pet shop and later get a cab across town to purchase the goldfish for the Aerial Fishing. Alan then kept them alive in the wash basin in the bathroom of his hotel suite.

For me, the most memorable of our appearances together was in 1976 when we were asked to do a three night run at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow with Robert Harbin in an evening called "Kings of Magic". Robert Harbin was the one magician both Alan and I respected most of all, so the chance to be with him for half a week was rewarding to both of us. I still treasure the image of Bob and Alan walking up the middle island of Sauchiehall St (you could then), with the two of them in deep conversation, uninterrupted by Bob folding many origami figures and handing them to lucky recipients in the procession of children following us.

Many years later, Alan realised that despite half of show business having turned out for Harbin's memorial service, there was no gravestone or tangible memorial to him, so together one day in 2001 we went to Golders Green Crematorium where Bob's ashes had been scattered and set up a plaque and an entry, complete with The Magic Circle logo, in the book of remembrance.

It was no surprise to me that Bob left nearly all his props to Alan, knowing I am sure that Alan would restore the damaged ones and rebuild them if necessary, so that those wonderful illusions could continue to be presented for another few decades. Not only presented, but presented in the manner that Bob himself would have approved of, with time taken to explain what was going on and great courtesy to any assistant helping, rather than the Wham Bam showing often offered by younger magicians.

In 1997, the Magic Castle in Hollywood decided to stage a British week and Alan and I went over, together with Terry Seabrooke and Nick Einhorn. Billy McComb was already there. I cherish still the memory of Alan frying eggs and bacon for all of us one morning in a hotel room by the pool, and of the many gags we played on each other during that week. At the end of that week, both Alan and I received Honorary Life Membership of the Castle and the Academy of Magical Arts and Sciences. In 2003, Alan was awarded a Performer's Fellowship and in 2013 he was named for a Lifetime Achievement Fellowship. Although he knew of the award before he died, sadly he was unable to pick it up personally despite having made plans to do so.

The last appearance Alan and I made together was at The Magic Circle when we recorded a short piece to camera for a tribute to our chum, Billy McComb, at the Magic Castle. No rehearsal, but with the ease of years of friendship we just sat and did a ten minute piece in one take.

Enjoy this book for the secrets and practical details of the magic, but enjoy it too for Alan's constant curiosity and wonder. I never knew him leave The Magic Circle premises without him having been to the library to choose a book or two to take home. He never stopped learning his magic and never stopped watching and was even still happily being baffled by new pieces of magic. I am sure this volume will help many young Alans, and Annes too, in the future.