IN THEIR day jobs as teachers Rhys Jones and Rob Hemmens have to conjure up ways of keeping their students’ attention.

But by night they entertain a different audience as Victorian time travelling magicians.

Their pupils at King Alfred’s School in Wantage were amazed after the duo won a trip to Las Vegas on a Saturday night television show.

But Mr Hemmens, who teaches chemistry and physics, said the two professions were not miles apart. He said: “Part of being a teacher is performance and delivery of something in an engaging and enthusiastic way.”

The double act attempted to outwit two top magicians on the ITV programme Penn & Teller: Fool Us, on Saturday, July 16 under stage names Rhys Morgan and Rob West.

And their card trick, which was performed to presenter Jonathan Ross, fooled the judges – winning them a trip to Las Vegas to perform later in the year, with the exact date to be confirmed.

Mr Hemmens said: “We knew the trick could fool them, but we didn’t believe that we would fool them. We went in there to give it our best shot and, thankfully, nailed them. It probably won’t sink in until we’ve landed in Vegas.”

The Didcot housemates, both 24, have been practicing magic together for more than four years after meeting at Oxford University.

Mr Jones, who teaches maths and physics, said: “As a teacher, it is always great to have something to show you are a real person and have something outside of school. It makes you real to them.

“Quite a few people know already, but we have quite a few members of staff and pupils coming up to us and asking ‘Were you on TV?’.”

The pair have been teaching at the secondary school since September and also run a magic club there every Tuesday, although Mr Hemmens admitted life as both a teacher and magician was “very tiring”.

He said: “Both jobs are fairly work intensive. Especially when there is two of you it needs to be very slick and very well rehearsed. So we don’t have a great deal of free time.”

They will be performing their new show, Morgan & West: Crime Solving Magicians, at the EdinburghFring during the summer.

Pupil Lucy Hall, 12, said: “You wouldn’t really expect one of your teachers to be famous and on TV.”

Georgia Jones, 12, added: “When I saw the magic I thought it was amazing – neither my family nor I could work out how they did it.”

Headteacher Simon Spiers said: “They are two inspirational teachers and they have bought a little bit of something else to the college.”