I was a teenage shoplifter, admits Derren Brown: Illusionist opens up about making items vanish from stores such as Harrods and how he confessed to his parents

He‘s Britain‘s most celebrated master of illusion. And as a youngster, Derren Brown already had a way of making objects vanish – on shoplifting sprees.

Speaking on Radio 4‘s Desert Island Discs today, Brown, 48, reveals: ‘It was never anything expensive. But I remember looking around my bedroom once as a teenager and everything in my room I had stolen.‘

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The star, who eventually confessed his crimes to his parents, says stealing from shops including Harrods was partly down to necessity. He adds: ‘I loved the gadgets, they were too expensive to buy so I would steal them.‘

But he also believes the shoplifting sprees filled a void which his later career would take care of. Brown, pictured, said: ‘This is before the magic thing took off. It was the joy of the misdirection and the fun of pilfering and not being seen.

‘It was joyful, but terrible and I am not condoning it.‘

Desert Island Discs is on Radio 4 today at 11.15am.