Celebrity interview: Uri Geller

The spooks want to know what powers Uri Geller has.
The spooks want to know what powers Uri Geller has.
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It would be a very lucky fly indeed to land near renowned mystifier Uri Geller when he’s in discussion with the top brass he’s secretly been working with for the past 30 years.

While some might be party to a few squabbles, the lucky insect to crash a gathering with Geller might overhear peace negotiations between warring nations, and at the very least see a bit of spoon-bending.

“I was asked a few years ago to go to a meeting between the head of the Israeli Red Cross, Magen David Adom, and the Muslim Red Cross, the Red Crescent,” says Geller who became famous in the 1970s for being able to bend spoons just by gently stroking them.

“We had a major problem in that Isreal and Palestine have never been accepted into the International Red Cross because they’ve been fighting all these decades.

“After three years of negotiations I found myself in a meeting in Geneva. Everyone was arguing and it was going nowhere and then I suddenly thought, ‘Hang on, I know what I’m going to do.’

“So I picked up a spoon and started stroking it. The spoon started bending and I put it into the hand of the chief Palestinian negotiator, who started freaking out.

“It was surreal, but guess what? They signed and Israel and Palestine were accepted into the international Red Cross. These are the positive tasks I can do. I can bring Arabs together with Israelis, Jews with Muslims, it’s kind of my task now.”

That ‘task’, working covertly for intelligence agencies and the military on three continents, is about to come to light in a new documentary, The Secret Life Of Uri Geller, to be shown on BBC Two.

In it, the acclaimed director Vikram Jayanti, who won an Oscar for When We Were Kings, speaks to a number of high-ranking officials who admit that they have employed Geller to help with operations.

The documentary also details the CIA-funded scientific research conducted on Geller over the years to test his abilities.

Although Geller has dropped hints about his involvement with intelligence agencies throughout his career, he says the prospect of a full-scale exploration into his secret work left him both excited and apprehensive.

“For 40 years I’ve been quirky, bizarre, strange and unusual,” he says. “Many people don’t believe in what I do and when they see this film, I think they’ll get a shock at how many tests I’ve gone through.”

“I’m a positive thinker and I think this is why I’ve been successful throughout my life,” he says.

* Secret Life Of Uri Geller is on BBC Two on Sunday, July 21

PARTNERSHIP: Rob Cowling and Paddy Sturman of Irwin Mitchell with Robin Hawkes of West Yorkshire Playhouse. Photo: Anthony Robling.

Five-year sponsorship deal for Leeds’s £14m West Yorksire Playhouse redevelopment