A TECH company boss hired a magician to cheer up his staff on their first virtual meeting.

Burnley based +24 boss Dave Walker hired magician Jason Rhea to perform magic tricks for his team of creatives and web developers as a surprise.

The coronavirus outbreak saw Mr Walker send his staff home for three weeks in order to best protect them.

He said: “Obviously these are unprecedented, unsettling times.

“My team and I have lots of good natured banter in the office, laughing and joking whenever we can.

“It is so important to try and keep that team spirit intact.

We’re lucky that we can work remotely, but obviously it’s not the same, and you end up losing that vital, happy work atmosphere.”

For their first week at home, Mr Walker wanted to do something special to lift spirits, and even asked everyone to bring their children and pets to watch too.

He said: “Jason was absolutely brilliant, but the reaction on everybody’s face when they realised what was going on was truly magical.

“Like so many people and businesses, most of Jason’s bookings have had to be cancelled.

“It not only helped my staff but also gave Jason an opportunity of work that he had definitely not expected.”

+24 Account Manager Amber Corns from Burnley brought her three daughters into her study to watch the magician.

She said: “My daughters have been with my mum, so I can work in peace, but Dave asked us all to make sure that they were home for our weekly team meeting.

“I knew he had something special planned, but I was amazed when it turned out to be a magician.”

Mrs Corns watched the performance with her daughters, 16-year-old Jaxx, Hunter, seven, and Violet, five.

She added: “Hunter and Violet absolutely loved it.

“It was a big surprise and a really welcome relief from what’s going on at the moment.”

During the 30-minute performance, Lancaster magician Mr Rhea performed a number of illusions and card tricks to a delighted team and their families.

Mr Rhea said: “This is the first time I’d ever done my magic on a live stream.

“It was challenging to think of the right tricks to perform, and work out how to get good audience interaction, but it went really well.

“Obviously all the work has dried up at the moment, so I’m looking at new avenues to perform. I was delighted to get the call from Dave asking me to spring this surprise on his staff.”