Magic is the art of deception, and Reverent Bill Wishart of St Martin's Church, Edinburgh, is a master of pulling the wool over people's eyes. Quite literally: His tricks almost all involve knitting needles.

The 52-year-old magician, who performs under the stage name "Bill's Ministry of Magic," won this year's Harry Kidd Cup for parlor, stage or stand-up comedy magic after he impressed judges of the West Lothian Magic Circle with his comedy magic routine, The Blades of Death. In the routine, he performed tricks with titles like "The Crochet Needles of Doom," "Knitty Knitty, Bang, Bang," and the "Disecto Arm Chopper."

bills ministry of magic

Wishart is the very image of a minister-turned-magician, performing all his tricks in a sparkling waistcoat accompanied by a podium with his stage name spelled out in Comic Sans. Just looking at him is giving me flashbacks to my days in the Boy Scouts. 

"It's wonderful that the judges, distinguished fellow club members with many years' experience of magic, enjoyed my act enough to award me the trophy," Wishart told the local media. "To say I'm chuffed is an understatement." 

Wishart is also a keen guitar-player, and often plays gigs with his church band, "Yo Stooshie."