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20 December 2011

Steve Legg - Editor

Steve Legg - Editor

Steve Legg is an evangelist from Littlehampton in West Sussex who has travelled the length and breadth of the UK and internationally for the last 25 years using a daft mix of comedy, trickery, mystery and escapology to communicate the gospel. He has also written 13 books and these days devotes a lot of time to running Sorted Magazine. Originally from Bournemouth, he became a Christian as a teenager at a Boys’ Brigade camp. Steve loves a good curry, never misses Eggheads on BBC2 and plays badminton every day.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I saw Paul Daniels make an elephant disappear on his Saturday night TV show and that's what I wanted to do from a very early age. One rainy Saturday afternoon I picked up a book on magic at a local library and have been hooked ever since. I left school at sixteen and worked for Barclays Bank for five years and then went full time as a travelling evangelist using magic and escapology to communicate the gospel message.

Being an escapologist - dream come true?

Totally. It's taken me to 20 countries over the years and it's a thrill to make people laugh but also think about the things in their lives that tie them up and stop them being free. It's taken me into schools, colleges, universities, prisons, theatres, arenas, radio and television. It really is a dream come true.

How did you become editor of Sorted?

I was chatting to another dad in my children's playground one day and he mentioned that his 10-year-old son's mates were bringing copies of Nuts and Loaded into school. He was moaning that there were never any really good Christian role models featured in lads' mags so that got me thinking, and Sorted was born. Some four years on and Sorted is available in WHSmith and we give away thousands of copies to the brave guys serving in HM Armed Forces, and in terms of circulation we're catching up with Loaded.

What do you love about your job?

For me it's all about reaching people with the gospel. I'm in my forties and I've come to realise the obvious - I can't reach everyone, everywhere - but Sorted can extend the reach quite significantly. We're now available in 16 countries. We have free copies available in airport departure lounges and tube and rail stations. Our iPhone and iPad apps reach to the ends of the earth. It really is an amazing adventure.

What biblical personality inspires your work?

Ananias was an ordinary bloke that God used to bring Saul to Christ. Here was a major persecutor of Christians who was travelling to Jerusalem to intimidate, imprison and murder believers when God met with him in a blinding vision. Our hero, Ananias, was minding his business at home when God told him to go to a specific address and place his hands on Saul to restore his sight. In spite of his fears and worries, he was ready and available and pitched up at the house in Straight Street to pray for Saul and speak about Christ. Saul changed immediately, changed his name to Paul and became the greatest missionary of all time.

Media highlight of the year so far?

The media discovering that the world will hold them accountable when they act in an inappropriate way. It's been happening all year - The News Of The World Scandal, the increasing debate on the sexualisation of children. These discussions are important and we should all be part of them.

What is your vision for the media?

For Christians to be at the forefront, producing amazing programmes, scripts, movies and magazines and for broadcasters to be coming to us for comment, opinion and asking us to go on their shows as spokespeople.

Best escape ever made?

Dangling upside-down from the top of a 40m high crane while trying to extricate myself from a straitjacket in Perry Park, Birmingham in front of a crowd of 30,000. And I don't really like heights.

What would you do with £1m?

We're currently fundraising so we can give away 250,000 copies of Sorted during the 2012 Olympics. We have the infrastructure in place in tube and rail stations so £100k would mean this could happen and reach a million with an amazing magazine. One million quid would mean we could keep this going for the next two years.

Proudest moment in your work so far?

Producing the hit kids Christmas cartoon, It's a Boy! We raised £250,000, had a movie premier at the world famous Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square and the following day sent a free copy to 25,199 Primary Schools.

This is shortly followed by the first time that I walked into a newsagents and saw Sorted sitting next to Loaded on the shelf. It's so great to have produced a real alternative for men.

Any professional faux pas you want to share with us?

These are too numerous to mention, but I once pulled my shirt off with my straitjacket live on Dutch TV.

Tell us a joke

I bought some HP sauce the other day. It's costing me 5p a month for the next two years.