Derren Brown, the illusionist/hypnotist on Channel 4's Mind Control television show, claims he will use his mental powers to convince a heterosexual male of his homosexual tendencies. The Sun reports Brown is confident the trick can work either way - that is, he can persuade a gay man to become attracted to women. Brown declared his homosexuality four years ago.
The 41-year-old said: "I was thinking about this the other day. It would be interesting, wouldn't it? To take a gay guy and make him straight and a straight and make him straight." And some of his more outrageous hypnotism attempts include trying to make people rob a security van and to "kill" actor Stephen Fry.
However, he continues to stress that his tricks and sleights of hand are not about controversy.
"Controversy has never interested me for its own sake. It's always been about doing stuff that feels dramatic," he said.
Last year, in a two-part episode titled Apocalypse, Brown made a contestant believe he was one of the few survivors in a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland.
But perhaps his most insane show was in 2003, when he played Russian Roulette on television. Russian Roulette is a potentially lethal game of chance in which only one bullet is loaded into a six-chambered revolver and contestants take turns shooting at themselves, without being aware of whether or not there is a bullet in the chamber.
Channel 4 aired the show live but it later emerged that Brown may have used a fake revolver. Apart from his shows, Brown has also appeared in Channel 4's Deal or No Deal, where he won a jackpot of £250,000.
In an interview with Radio Times, Brown admitted his sexuality bothered him. He even joined a little-known evangelical movement - Living Waters - which professed to be able to make gay men think like heterosexuals.
"[It was] More interesting than 'Read your Bible and all your problems will go away', it had a bit of depth and psychology to it, but it was just based on a false premise. I wasn't denying it in myself but I had built up quite an austere, eccentric persona - I used to wear a cape, have long hair, that sort of thing. That's an easy thing to do if you're not relaxed about the whole sex thing."
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