Brought to you by the production team behind Derren Brown’s C4 specials, ‘The Happenings’ is every bit as engaging as anything we’ve seen from the ginger wizard. The format is clever, hosts Barry Jones and Stuart MacLeod are charming in a geeky, Brian Cox-y kind of way, and the all-important tricks – though sometimes tenuously linked to the theme of alien abduction – will have you rubbing your eyes like a shocked cartoon character.
The first of four, tonight’s episode sees our foppish conjurers head to the idyllic town of Stamford, where they set out to convince the locals that an ‘Independence Day’-grade alien invasion is about to kick off. They make crop circles appear out of nowhere, convince a gaggle of boozy birds that five hours have passed in a second, make maggots appear inside mobile phones and, for the climax, launch one unfortunate chump 100ft into the air in front of a group of his friends. Apart from the bit where Stacey Solomon shows up, thoroughly impressive.