'Stay with me now'. We've all heard him say it and we've all watched him do it. But none of us can work out how he does it. Yet, despite the quite unbelievable number of missed goal scoring chances across the Premier League last weekend, the TV magician/entertainer/mentalist/match fixer Derren Brown just refuses to claim any responsibility for influencing the nation's strikers.
Clicking his fingers three times before speaking, Brown was dismissive. 'I can certainly tell you the number of fans who bought burgers without onions, but influence the score? No way (Keep looking at me)', he assured me.
Yet fans remain sceptical. How else could the misses be explained? First John Terry from 2 inches out, then Craig Bellamy from 1 inch out and then Ryan Babel with the ball actually on the goal line, all inexplicably failed to convert their chances. Things became all the more mysterious when it was revealed that all 3 players had been to the Scunthorpe Empire on the preceding Thursday to see Derren's show.
However, the players backed Brown. John Terry was adamant. 'Derren's a terrific geezer but by the time I got back to the Smoke, I'd forgotten all about what he did'. Asked to explain why he was partnered at centre back in the Hull game by the 6 foot gorilla from the show, Terry was dumbfounded. 'No' he gasped. 'I didn't see the switch on the night. Don't tell me the ape was on for the whole game? He was only supposed to come on as an impact player for the last 20'.
Babel and Bellamy would not be drawn. I caught up with them at an M62 rendezvous at Birchwood Services where I had to wait 24 hours as they both used what looked suspiciously like Brown's techniques to memorise the travel directions to all 44 Clubs in the Unibond Northern Premier League.
Derren Brown's nationwide tour continues with shows at all League 2 towns and cities over the next fortnight.