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Bertram Otto

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Bertram Otto

Known forPick pocket
CategoriesBooks by Bertram Otto

Bertram Otto was a magician and pickpocket who performed an oriental act under the name Ming Chow


Bertram Otto was a magician and pickpocket, who was active in the first half of the Twentieth Century. Working as Ming Chow he was one of the most successful and highly paid after-dinner entertainers in London. He wore full Chinese robes and make-up. During his act he spoke in pidgin-English and used three simple tricks as cover for his steals, depositing his loot in special pockets in his robes.

During World War Two, he worked for ENSA and was manager of a small touring show ('Lucky Dip') which travelled throughout North Africa and the Middle East.

He appeared on British television and extensively on the European cabaret circuit.

In his late forties, he turned his hobby as a railroad enthusiast into a business, exhibiting the world's largest model railroad at the World's Fair (New York) in 1964/65. He wrote 'The World's Largest Model Railway' (64 pages, c1960).

He kept on performing in later life and was an inspiration to British magician Geoffrey Durham who happened to live in the same street at him as a child.