THE Man in black sitting to my right on the sofa hands me a pen and a notepad.

“Write down the name of a person you’re close to,” says, Darren Sarsby, with a knowing smile. “And then under that write the last three digits of their mobile phone number.”

I don’t that many mobile numbers by memory. Who does? But I do recall one.

The numbers are written down and I hand back the pad. Meanwhile, Andrew Murray, man in black number two who was sitting to my left, has already moved five or six yards away. And all the time I’ve been writing down numbers he has had his back to us.

After a few seconds, North London-born Murray concentrates hard, his eyes twist - and he calls out numbers. “Two, zero, one,” he says, to my astonishment. “And the name on the piece of paper is . . . Fiona.”

What? How can he know this? They’ve already asked me to check them for wires and devices. This is quite incredible. The experiment is repeated. This time, I’m asked to come up with the name of a celebrity and whisper the name very quietly into Sarsby’s ear. Murray, still yards away, could only hear this if he were born on Krypton.

He takes a moment. “I believe it’s a man. I think he’s an icon of sorts. . . .”He writes on his own little notepad. He shows me the paper with the word YIN on it.

Ha! The name I’d whispered to his stage partner was Billy Connolly. That’s brilliant, as Connolly himself would say.

Later on, I listen to a recording of the interview four or five times. I can’t hear any code words being used. In fact, few words are spoken. And there couldn’t have been visual signals used. Even Superman didn’t have eyes in the back of his head, if Andrew is in fact an alien.

But then I shouldn’t be surprised at the success of the double act. The men in black are in fact mind-reading duo DNA, finalists on Britain’s Got Talent, June 2017 in which Murray (45) and Sarsby (31) amazed Amanda Holden and stunned Simon Cowell senseless. Which is no mean feat.

They’re now touring the UK and clearly excited at the idea of appearing in Glasgow. But although television success made them instantly famous, success, they reveal, has been borne out of years of hard graft, sacrifice and, at times, desperation.

“Just before we landed BGT we were on the verge of giving up,” admits Sarsby. Murray concurs. “At one point we were only working every three-four months. There were times, we’d be talking, desperately, at three in the morning, trying to come up with ideas. We really couldn’t work out how to come up with an act. And yes, we’ve had the bad shows, the times when we thought about giving it all up.”

The duo reached the point of performing free gigs to rooms full of drunks, trying to get noticed, trying hard to work up an act. But they were going nowhere fast. Then they were offered the chance to speak to the producers of Britain’s Got Talent. However, Sarsby turned it down. “I was going on holiday on that date,” he recalls. “However, the real truth was I didn’t feel the act had what it takes.”

Murray however believed they were ready. He felt his partner had royally blown their chance and the pair didn’t speak for some weeks. “There’s still a hex on him,” he says, in a voice which suggests he may not be completely joking.

But it all worked out. The act continued, the worked the London pub scene ‘till they dropped and BGT came back, offering a slot in a year’s time. At this point, both felt ready. And they were. They reached the finals and achieved huge public acclaim.

However, all of that had come about after eight years of playing all over the country, trying to hone the act. And before then each had worked for years as magicians.

“I’ve never had another job,” says Essex-born Sarsby. “As a boy I loved learning new tricks and I joined the Young Magic Circle. Thankfully, a children’s magician named Papalarny took me under his wing and became the closest thing I have to do a dad.”

Sarsby became the local go-to children’s party magician. “I loved the world of magic. But I was getting to the age where people I went to school with were having kids, and I’d be lugging my gear around their houses. It began to feel awkward. When I met Andrew I realised I wanted to stop blowing up balloons.”

Murray’s magic experience began at summer camp when he shared a room with a boy who was immersed in card tricks. “Then I found a great magic shop in London and my dad would take me every weekend,” he recalls, smiling. “I’m still excited by magic. I’ve never grown up, really. I loved to study it. I have a huge library of material.”

The pair found themselves on the same bills regularly and became friends. “We would get talking about magic and how much it meant to us and we realised we had a natural affinity,” says Murray. “ He adds with a wry smile; “We also agreed working as a musician is quite a solitary life.”Sarsby concurs; “We both wanted to get away from the close-up magic, with cards and coins.”

By this time, Murray had an idea in mind for an act. “I had come across the story of a Victorian husband-and-wife act who’d go out to huge houses and mind-read. “The woman was blindfolded and the man would take objects from the audience and she would name them.

“When I mentioned this to Darren he was as excited as me. We just had to come up with the way to perform it.”

But there was a problem with learning the secrets of mind-reading. “A telepathy act would take their secrets to the grave,” says Murray. “That’s why so few people do this act. You really have to learn your own techniques.”

They did. And when the BGT opportunity came along again they grabbed at it. The climax, the changing t-shirt colours, sold them to the world.

As a result of the television appearance, the pair haven’t stopped working since. (They also plan to set up their own YouTube channel.) Does the demands of being a double act grate?

“We used to go on holiday but the last few years everything has gone into our work,” says Murray. “But now I have to make time for the two kids from my previous marriage so I have to make time for them. I have to spend time with my girlfriend.”

Sarsby agrees; “We have a healthy balance in our lives.”

The pair may not go to the cinema together now but the matching black outfits suggest they go shopping together?

“We have to be as one,” Sarsby grins.

The pair even laugh in harmony, suggesting they can read each other’s minds as well.

DNA, Oran Mor, Glasgow, February 27.