Today Current Affairs 18th March 2016

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Pharmaceutical major Pfizer has appointed S Sridhar as its new Managing Director (MD) with immediate effect for a period of five years."The Board of Directors of the company has appointed S Sridhar as the Managing Director of the company, with effect from March 18, 2016 for a period of five years," Pfizer Ltd said in a BSE filing.Sridhar has worked as the Chief Financial Officer of the company for seven years and was appointed the Executive Director on the Board in May 2013.Prior to joining Pfizer, Sridhar worked as the Finance Director of Diageo India Pvt Ltd.

Actor Larry Drake, known for playing Benny on TV show L.A. Law, has died on March 17,2016. He was 66.Drake passed away, reports The actor played Benny Stulwicz, a mentally challenged law clerk, from 1987 until the TV show's end in 1994. The memorable role earned Drake two Emmy Awards, in 1988 and 1989, and a nomination in 1990. He reprised the role for the reunion film, L.A. Law: The Movie, which aired in 2002.Drake, who was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was also a series regular on the 1998 sci-fi TV show Prey and appeared in several films, including Darkman (1990) - as a ruthless villain - and its sequel; as a murderous doctor in Dr. Giggles (1992); Bean (1997); and American Pie 2 (2001).Later in his career, the actor lent his voice to animated TV parts, including the role of Pops in the Cartoon Network sitcom Johnny Bravo from 1999 to 2004. He also made guest appearances on Six Feet Under, Crossing Jordan and 7th Heaven, with his last credited TV appearance on Boston Legal in 2008.

The Supreme Court on March 18,2016, also allowed use of photos of the governors, chief ministers and central and state cabinet ministers or minister incharge of the department concerned in government advertisements.A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose allowed photos of governor, chief minister and cabinet ministers of departments concerned, both at the centre and in the states, while modifying their earlier order by which only the photos of president, prime minister and chief justice of India were permitted in government ads.The central and the state governments of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh had moved the court, seeking the review of its earlier order, contending that it was contrary to the federal structure.Pronouncing the order, Justice Gogoi said: "The exception carved out a (in the) judgment dated 13th May, 2015 permitting the publication of the photographs of the president, prime minister and chief justice of the country, subject to the said authorities themselves deciding the question, is now extended to the governors and the chief ministers of the states."The order further said that in lieu of the prime minister, the photograph of the cabinet minister/minister in-charge of the ministry concerned may be published, if so desired.Similarly, the order said: "In the states, similarly, the photograph of the departmental (cabinet) minister/minister in charge in lieu of the photograph of the chief minister may be published, if so desired.All other observations/directions in the judgment dated 13th May, 2015 shall continue to remain in force subject to the above modification."The apex court by its May 13 verdict had directed the government or its agencies to carry only the photos of the president, prime Minister and the chief justice of India only in their advertisements.Restricting the photos to three constitutional authorities, it had said that the government advertisements in connection with an event along with the photograph of a state or party functionary has a tendency of associating that individual with the achievements sought to highlighted and such media blitz has a "potential of developing the personality cult" around such state functionary Carving out the exception, the court on May 13 had said that the advertisements issued to "commemorate the anniversaries of acknowledged personalities like the father of the nation would of course carry the photograph of the departed leader".While not accepting the recommendation by the N.R. Madhava Menon committee for appointing an ombudsman, the court in its May 13 verdict had said: "We are of the view that for ironing out the creases that are bound to show from time to time in the implementation of the present directions and to oversee such implementation the government should constitute a three member body consisting of persons with unimpeachable neutrality and impartiality and who have excelled in their respective fields."The central government, while arguing its plea for the recall of the May 13 order, had said that in a federal polity, the position of chief ministers or union ministers was in no way less than that of the prime minister.

Goa government on 17 March 2016 classified the country liquor,Feni as Heritage Spirit of Goa.  Feni is the form of spirit produced exclusively in the coastal state.Feni is the first liquor product in the country to obtain such status and got its Geographical Indication (GI) certification in 2000.It used in various cultural traditions, cuisines and is well known for its medicinal value also. Hence, the Government opined not categorise it as country liquor as it is presently defined under the Goa Excise Duty Act, 1964 and proposed to bring an amendment to the Act.Feni is a brew made from coconut or cashew fruits and is synonymous with the Goan ethos and identity.

March 18,2016 : India began exporting diesel via rail to Bangladesh with the rollout of first consignment from Siliguri.A goodwill rail rake consignment carrying diesel from Siliguri marketing terminal of Numaligarh Refineries Ltd (NRL) was flagged off .The goodwill rail rake consignment for supply of 2200 tons (2700 kilolitre) diesel of BS III (of Euro-III) Grade with 350 PPM sulphur content" will travel by rail from Siliguri to Parbatipur storage depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) in Bangladesh. From Siliguri, the 42 wagons (each with a capacity of 64 kl) rail consignment will travel over 516 km (253 km in India and 263 km in Bangladesh) on the existing railway line via Rangapani, Singabad, Rohanpur to reach Parbatipur on March 19. The present consignment is a symbolic gesture of friendship and cooperation that exists between India and Bangladesh .During the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in June last year, NRL and BPC signed a Sale-Purchase Agreement for construction of a pipeline from Siliguri to Parbatipur for supply of diesel to Bangladesh. It was agreed to jointly work towards implementation of this 'Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline', a 135 km pipeline project (5 km in India and 130 km in Bangladesh) with a capacity to carry 1 million tons per annum from Siliguri terminal to Parbatipur depot of BPC. Diesel would be moved through rail till the pipeline is constructed. The export of petroleum products from India to Bangladesh is also in line with the 'Neighbourhood First Policy' of Government of India to boost bilateral trade between the two countries and sub-regional cooperation with in SAARC .

Cisco will set up an internet of everything (IoE) Innovation centre in Visakhapatnam to drive regional innovation and will enable partners and start-ups to build solutions around IoE and engage in rapid prototyping.The innovation centre is one of the initiatives proposed by the company in an MoU signed with Andhra Pradesh government on  March 18,2016.Among other initiatives, Cisco will also invest in an advanced Technology centre of Excellence and Research Lab in the Institute of Digital Technology at Tirupati, focused on cyber security, smarty city and manufacturing solutions.The MoU was signed as a part of the inauguration of India's first statewide broadband project-AP Fiber Net, in Visakhapatnam in the presence of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Cisco executive chairman Irving Tan among others.The government has developed an aerial fiber grid called AP Fiber Net using the existing power line poles at a cost of little over Rs 330 crore. The government proposes to provide a broad band connection at Rs 149 per month for an 15 mbps to all the households in the state.This broadband connection can be used for multiple services like voice calling, TV and internet. Cisco has collaborated with the state government to design and implement AP Fiber Net.As part of the initiative to boost research, Cisco will sponsor and collaborate with Andhra University in Visakhapatnam on a 12-month research programme to identify and explore the possibility of developing and customising digital technologies and solutions for rural Andhra Pradesh, company said.The company has also announced plans for the expansion of Cisco Networking Academy in 70 colleges to train around 10,000 new students in the state.

Aiming at effective use of space technology in remote sensing and graphic information system (GIS) based applications, Railways is set to join hands with Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).An MoU will be signed between Railways and Isro, under Department of Space, tomorrow for developing applications in the field of remote sensing and GIS.The MoU will enable use of space technology tools in providing passenger information for all trains, indicating next station/stoppage, real-time train-tracking, survey of new rail route alignments particularly in hilly and difficult terrains.It will also aid in conducting track vulnerability studies, mapping of assets, audio-visual warning to road users at unmanned level crossing gates and introduction of web-enabled rail user-centric services.Currently, Railways is using space technology for providing connectivity to Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters and unreserved ticketing system at remote and non-rail head locations.Besides this, the technology is used for emergency communication using satellite phones from disaster sites, Global Positioning System (GPS) for various applications like remote monitoring of locomotives, passenger information system in Mumbai suburban trains and synchronised clocks and Wi-Fi facility in select Rajdhani Express trains.

7th meeting of the Governing Board of the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC) was held on 15 March 2016 in New Delhi. The meeting was chaired by the Union Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan.During the meeting, Dr. Vardhan highlighted the achievements and progress of IGSTC in accelerating the bilateral Science & Technology collaboration.India is investing approximately 14 million euro for the construction of an India focussed beam line and access to the synchrotron facility at PETRA-III in DESY at Hamburg, which will be ready for inauguration later in 2016.India is also an equity share holder with investment of 36 million euro in the construction of the international Facility for Antiproton-Ion Research (FAIR) at Darmstadt.Innovative projects on affordable biomedical devices, lab-on-chip for water pathogen detection and nano-materials for adsorption of uremic toxins for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients have been initiated.The IGSTC was established under an agreement between India and Germany in October 2007 and started operation in 2011. It is registered as a “society’ under Societies Registration Act, 1860 in India.Presently IGSTC is supporting joint industrial R&D projects in following priority areas:(a) Advanced manufacturing (Make in India) (b) Embedded System and ICT (Digital India) (c) Sustainable Energy / Environment Biotechnology / Bio-economy (Food Security) (d) Bio-Medical Technology (Healthy India) (e) Water & Wastewater Technology (Clean India) In 2015, a Joint Declaration was signed between India and Germany for the extension of tenure of the bilateral IGSTC for a period of five years beyond 2017 till 2022. It also provided for enhancement of funding allocation from 2 million Euros per year to a maximum of 4 million Euros per year by each side.

The 10th Asian film awards were presented on 17 March 2016 in Macau, China. 'The Assassin', a movie about a highly trained female assassin bagged prizes for, best actress and best director.The movie took home more than half of the prizes, eight out of 15 trophies, at one of Asia's leading film awards.Hong Kong Action Choreographer-director Yuen Wo-ping and Japanese Actress Kiki Kirin received the Lifetime Achievement Award on the occasion.List of winners of the 10th Asian Film Awards :Best Film: The Assassin,Best Director: Hou Hsiao-Hsien for The Assassin,,Best Actor: Lee Byung-hun for The Inside Men,Best Actress: Shu Qi for The Assassin,Best Newcomer: Jessie Li for Port of Call,Best Supporting Actor: Tadanobu Asano for Journey to the Shore,Best Supporting Actress: Zhou Yun for The Assassin,Best Screenplay: Jia Zhangke for Mountains May Depart,Best Cinematography: Mark Lee Ping-bing for The Assassin,Best Production Design: Hwarng Wern-ying for The Assassin,Best Original Music: Lim Giong for The Assassin,Best Editing: William Chang Suk-ping, Chu Ka-yat, Liao Ching-sung, Wong Hoi, Philip Yung for Port of Call,Best Visual Effects: Prasad Sutar for Bajirao Mastani,Best Costume Design: Lee Ji-yeon and Shim Hyun-seob for The Throne,Best Sound: Chu Shih-yi, Tu Duu-chih and Wu Shu-yao for The Assassin,Lifetime Achievement Award: Yuen Wo-ping and Kirin Kiki.Asian Film Awards (AFA )was inaugurated in 2007, the Asian Film Awards (AFA) celebrates excellence in Asian cinema through the annual presentation of awards to the many diverse talents and films that make up the dynamic film industries of the region.Held in Hong Kong for seven years, the 8th moved to one of Asia’s fastest growing entertainment hubs, Macau.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on 17 March 2016 intimated Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that Vijay Mallya had resigned from his post as the Director of Royal Challengers Sports Private Limited (RCSPL).Following this, an official from the RCB, Russell Adams was named as the new Director of RCSPL and also assumes the role of being the vice-president of Commercial Operations and Cricket Academy at RCB. The intimation was was followed the BCCI's insistence on clarity regarding the ownership of RCB.Vijay Mallya has been the owner of RCB since 2008, with the franchise failing to win the IPL a single time. It has been five days since he left India for the United Kingdom with the allegations of being loan defaulter by various Banks of India.

Meir Dagan, former Chief of Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad, passed away on 17 March 2016 due to cancer. He was 71.Dagan served as Director of the Mossad from 2002 until his retirement in 2011.Meir Dagan born on 30 January 1945, Dagan was recruited into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in 1963.In the early 1970s, he commanded an ad hoc undercover commando unit, known as Sayeret Rimon, whose task was to combat the increasing violence in the Palestinian territories. In 1971, he received a Medal of Courage for tackling a wanted terrorist who was holding a live grenade.During the 1982 Lebanon War, he commanded the Barak Armored Brigade, and was one of the first brigade commanders to enter Beirut.In the 1990s, he held a series of high-level positions in the IDF command, eventually reaching the rank of Major General. He retired from the army in 1995.Later, he served as a counterterrorism adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.He also initially served as a National Security Adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who appointed him Director-General of Mossad in August 2002.As Mossad director, he was responsible for intelligence, counter-intelligence, and counter-terrorism activities outside of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.Under his watch, Mossad tripled its recruitment efforts, launching a website where people can apply to join.Mossad is the national intelligence agency of Israel.It is one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Aman (military intelligence) and Shin Bet (internal security).Mossad is responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations, and counterterrorism.It is also responsible for bringing Jews to Israel from countries where official Aliyah (immigration of Jews from the Diaspora to the Land of Israel) agencies are forbidden, and protecting Jewish communities.

Songkran festival, often referred to as the world's biggest water fight festival, was in news in the third week of March 2016. The festival came in news after the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration decided to impose a curfew during the festival season that will be celebrated in April 2016.The Songkran festival is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year's Day from 13 to 15 April. The word "Songkran" comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti literally "astrological passage", meaning transformation or change.It coincides with the rising of Aries on the astrological chart, the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia. The festive occasion is in keeping with the Buddhist/Hindu solar calendar.The curfew was imposed to show solidarity with farmers hit by drought. In form of solution, the Bangkok authority cut festival days down from four to three and imposed a curfew.At present, Thailand is facing its worst water shortage in two decades, with 14 out of 76 provinces hit and large swathes of agricultural land at risk.Thailand has entered its annual dry season, which typically runs from March to May, meaning the drought is likely to get worse.

AirAsia India on 17 March 2016 announced the appointment of Amar Abrol as its chief executive officer with effect from 1 April 2016.Abrol will succeed Mittu Chandilya, who led AirAsia India from 1 June 2013 and ends his contract on 31 March 2016.Besides, AirAsia India also announced the appointments of Ankur Khanna as the Chief Financial Officer and Kiran Jain as the Head of Commercial.He was graduated from Delhi University and is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.He has over 20 years of experience, was most recently the CEO of Tune Money, a start-up that aims to deliver low-cost financial products in South East Asia.He spent 19 years with American Express, leading diverse teams across multiple markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, UK, India and Malaysia before joining Tune Money in 2013.

Surat is the cleanest railway station in the country, followed by Rajkot and Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), according to an Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) survey released on March 18,2016.The Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi's railway station ranked poorly in terms of cleanliness as it stood at 65, among the 75 A-1 railway stations (those earning revenue more than Rs. 50 crore) surveyed. The survey, conducted based on feedback from around 1.34 lakh passengers, is a part of Mr. Modi’s pet project ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan’.The idea is to make the entire rail network clean, including stations, tracks and other railway premises. We decided to do a survey to bring out the present situation.his is a beginning to bring all the stations at par. We will also launch major [passenger] awareness programme,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said while releasing the Preliminary Report on Assessment of Cleanliness Standards of Major Railway Stations.The survey was conducted at 407 railway stations, which included 75 A-1 stations and 332 A-category stations. Around 40 per cent of all the stations surveyed fared ‘average’ in terms of cleanliness.Among the A-category stations (those with revenue between Rs. 6 crore and Rs. 50 crore), Beas (Punjab) followed by Gandhidham (Gujarat), Vasco Da Gama (Goa), Jamnagar (Gujarat), Kumbakonam (Tamil Nadu) and Nasik Road (Maharashtra) were among the cleanest railway stations.The survey was conducted in January-February this year and passengers were asked questions on 40 cleanliness parameters.IRCTC will soon submit the final report to the Railway Ministry that will include responses from railway staff and non-railway service providers.

The India Meteorology Department (IMD) has indigenously developed Drishti, an instrument that will provide real time visibility information to pilots. The instrument will help pilots in quick decision-making during critical landings and take-offs of aircraft particularly during foggy or rainy days.Drishti, an instrument indigenously developed by the surface instruments division of India Meteorology Department (IMD), Pune, has enabled in transferring the crucial visibility updates to the pilots, who can now use this real time information that will be updated every minute. It is a transmissometer that takes in account the real time weather parameters like wind speed, humidity, temperature conditions, etc., along the runway in order to calculate the visibility distance offered at that particular runway. The need for this instrument was felt as airports in north India are severely affected due to fog during the winter months.Elaborating about the advantages of Drishti, Deputy Director General (surface instruments) RR Mali Earlier, due to the poor visibility, the aircraft operations would often get disturbed, affecting passenger traffic during winter and monsoon seasons.However, this situation has changed drastically and now with the real-time information also being available, pilots can make quick decisions. Most of the airports in north India including those at New Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi, Lucknow, Amritsar and Kolkata in the east now have this specialised facility, aiding the pilots for smooth navigation along the runway. After getting introduced first at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in New Delhi in 2015 on a trial basis, the instrument was, in a phased manner, installed at locations that often experience fog. At present, there are 10 instruments at Delhi, three each at Jaipur, Varanasi, Lucknow; one each at Amritsar and Kolkata. The proposal for setting up this system in airports in south India is on the cards.

Online System to automate all the operations of FCI depots launched by Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in New Delhi on 17 March,2016.Capturing data online on a real time basis, the system will bring total transparency in the working of FCI. It would help in better monitoring and supervision to reduce leakages and losses.The project is being implemented in the FCI owned 553 depots and subsequently FCI hired godowns will be also brought under the ambit of the project later. The system will bring automation of the entire process from entry and exit of foodgrains at FCI depots. It would eliminate usage of manual registers and would help in better monitoring and supervision as would reduce leakages and losses.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Wednesday said the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)Business Travellers’ card that will ensure seamless movement of businessmen within the South Asian region will be launched by May.The SAARC Business Travellers’ Card, an initiative designed to enable easier movement of South Asian businessmen to India, will be launched within the next two months,” he said while addressing the 42nd SAARC Standing Committee Meeting in Pokhara, Nepal.In an official statement issued here, Jaishankar highlighted the need for greater connectivity within the SAARC region.He said that the speed of regional connectivity has to be “hastened” particularly in those areas that are central to the SAARC developmental agenda.The SAARC Motor Vehicles Agreement and SAARC Railways Agreement. Finalisation and implementation of these agreements will realise a long standing dream of seamless movement of passengers and cargo through the entire region.He added that India was focussing on projects in areas such as rail and road building, power generation and transmission, waterway usage and shipping through regional, sub-regional, trilateral and bilateral arrangements.Jaishankar also hoped that the much-touted SAARC Satellite may be launched by the end of the year, which is aimed at supporting applications in the area of health, education, disaster response, weather forecasting and communications.the SAARC Knowledge Network would provide a unified high speed network backbone for knowledge related institutions in the region.This will bring together all stakeholders scientists, researchers and students to work closely for faster development.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) will fund construction of as many as 250 toilets in government high schools in Andhra Pradesh, with emphasis on Yerpedu, Madanapalle and Tamballapalle mandals in Chittoor district.The construction of 250 toilets would be completed by March 2017 or even before.For the year 2015-16, various PSUs and corporate sectors, including the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation and TCS came forward to provide as many as 1,440 toilets in schools and majority of them were completed.Student teams of Sri Padmavathi Mahila University based at Tirupati are assisting the FICCI project by conducting surveys and identification of schools in rural areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated World Sufi Forum in New Delhi. The four-day event is being organized by All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), the apex body of Sufi Dargahs in India.More than 200 Indian and International delegates, including Sufi Shuyukh, scholars, academicians, spiritual leaders and masters of Sufism are going to participating at the event. The meeting is expected to debate on how Sufi teaching can prevent global terrorism. It will also debate on how to guide the Muslim community away from sectarian division. The debate on role of women in Islam will be also conducted in the international conference. In this conference it is expected to come out with a declaration against extremism and Wahabism.

The Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is set to join the league of the most prominent world leaders at the World famous Wax Museum Madame Tussauds in London.Recently, Modi figured in the Time Magazine’s Person of the Year’s list which gives him enough support to figure in the museum.He is currently the second most followed politician on twitter after President Obama also confirms the intense interest the public have in him.His wax figures will be dressed in his signature Kurta with a jacket, and will be featured making a traditional Namaste gesture.Wax museum in London with branches in a number of major cities.It is a major tourist attraction in London, displaying waxworks.It is named after Marie Tussauds who was born in 1761 in France.She created her first wax statue of Voltaire in 1777.Today, the museum incorporates London Planetarium and has expanded to Amsterdam, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin and Washington D.C among many others.It has the wax sculptures of some of the most famous dignitaries like Adolf Hitler and Nicki Minaj.

Federal Open Market Committee of US Federal Reserve on 16 March 2016 release an implementation note with a decision to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25 to 0.5 percent.The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation.And it also decided to maintain its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. It anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way.The US central bank last raised rates in December 2015, saying it expected to raise rates four times in the year 2016 but at present it expects to raise rates just twice.The Committee met in January 2015 and suggested that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace despite the global economic and financial developments of recent months. Household spending has been increasing at a moderate rate, and the housing sector has improved further; however, business fixed investment and net exports have been soft.A range of recent indicators, including strong job gains, points to additional strengthening of the labor market. Inflation picked up in recent months. However, it continued to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run objective, partly reflecting declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports.

India on 17 March 2016 signed loan agreement of 35 Million dollars with the World Bank for Madhya Pradesh Citizen Access to Responsive Services Project. The objective of the project is to improve access and quality of public services in the state.The project has been designed as a result based financing programme, under which funds will be released on achievement of agreed results.To improve access and quality of public services in Madhya Pradesh through implementation of the 2010 Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act.To deliver key results in terms of improving access to services and citizen outreach, simplification of Government services, performance management and strengthening the capacity of implementing agencies.The project size is 50 million dollar, of which 35 million dollar will be financed by the Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded out of State Budget. The duration of the project is five years.

Famous magician Paul Daniels passed away on 17 March 2016 due to brain tumour. He was 77.Daniels was best known for his BBC TV series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran from 1979 to 1994.Daniels was born in 1938 in South Bank, Middles brough, where he began his career as a magician and entertainer.A major turning point in Daniels' career came in 1969 when he was offered a summer season at Newquay.He made his television debut on the long-running talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1970.Later, he was given a regular spot on a show The Wheelt appers and Shunters Social Club for Granada Television.In 1982, he was awarded the prestigious Magician of the Year Award by the Academy of Magical Arts. He was the first magician from outside the US to receive it.