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I have always been a fan of ventriloquist dolls – their eerie lifelike realism, animated by the ventriloquist, but when did they first begin. Was the dummy a simply tool to hide the stage fright of their handler, or was it a careful created artform to which audiences had never witnessed.

Are ventriloquists more prone to psychological problems or I have just watched Magic too many times. Anyway I shall be watching the programme on BBC 4 tonight.