“I never thought I would get Simon Cowell to say I now believe in magic,” says 2015 Britain’s Got Talent runner up Jamie Raven. Since appearing on the show last year, the 32-year-old’s career as a magician has spiralled - he has headlined in the sell-out West End show The Illusionist, which broke box office records, made several TV appearances and now is touring with his own show.

“I never in my wildest dreams thought you could earn a living doing magic, for me it was just a hobby,” says Jamie, who studied economics at the University of Bath. “I went to university not really knowing what I wanted to do in life - I thought if I got a degree it would make me slightly more employable.

“While I was there I got lucky, I met an events planner. One day the magician they had booked cancelled, so he called me and asked if I could do it. I said yes, but didn’t have a suit. So he said ‘I’ll pay you £50 and give you a suit’, I thought it was amazing, I was 18 and that was my first pay cheque.”

After graduating Jamie says it was then he started working professionally as a magician, but his passion for performing tricks stemmed from when he was a child.

“When I was ten, we were on a family holiday and a magician came over to our table and showed us some tricks. Afterwards, he kindly taught us them and that was it. One was with this rope, where you snap your fingers and it stands up straight, like a snake charmer - I still have that rope.

“After that I slowly started to increase my repertoire. By the time I was 18 I had joined The Magic Circle.”

Speaking about the magicians’ premier organisation, the Tottenham fan from Ascot explains that there are three circles: the first is member of The Magic Circle, where you have to audition to get in; second is associate of the inner magic circle, where you have to take an exam and the final one is member of the inner Magic Circle, which Jamie describes as like the “knighthood in the magician world”.

“There are only 200 people in the last one and I am honoured to be one of them,” he adds.

Jamie was awarded the accolade after his appearance in the ITV reality TV show, which he says was “equally the most nerve-wracking, terrifying yet most rewarding experience,” of his life.

“The thing about Britain’s Got Talent is you are only given a few minutes. Usually, when you come and watch the show, for example there is a routine.... I don’t call them tricks, I call them routines... I do one on coincidences and the whole thing lasts up to 15 minutes and there are about four or five ploys.

“But that would not be suitable for Britain’s Got Talent, for the audition you only have four minutes and for the live shows it is three minutes.

“The routine I did in the live show - where I was producing random objects, the judges chose and the trick with the money inside the lemon - I would usually spend at least ten minutes on. Then there is the fact you are performing for a camera and you want everyone in the audience and those watching at home to get the same experience.”

The illusion Jamie performed in his audition, is now one of his favourite routines, “that little stick man on the back of those cards changed everything.

“I worked on that every day for six months, changing things, working out what could possibly go wrong,” says the London-born magician. “It takes a long time to prepare the devices and illusions. You start off with an idea, then you have to work out how your are going to do it and that takes a long time, then you have to practice it, which takes even longer and then to stage it.

“You also work out all the possible things that could go wrong and make sure the audience won’t even know it has ended differently.

“It hasn't happened to me in a long time,” Jamie admits. “But, when I first started out, I was working at a wedding and I borrowed a ring and the first trick is that it vanishes and reappears on my car keys and that was great. Then it vanishes and appears inside an envelope inside my wallet… I had done the first part and it was fine, then I won’t tell you why, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get it into the wallet in time so instead I vanished it again and it was on my shoelace. Hopefully it all goes well in my live shows.”

Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, WD17 3JN. November 9, 7.30pm. Details: 01923 571102