It was while at Chiltern he interviewed a hypnotist. He challenged the hypnotist to hypnotise him on air, which he did. He began to study hypnotism and one book was written by an American co-inventor of NLP, Richard Bandler. McKenna began to carry out hypnotism tricks on his friends for fun and helped them overcome unwanted behaviours.
While maintaining his job as a DJ, he moved into stage work and then television shows. In 1990 he set up a training company. That same year he left Capital Radio and joined BBC Radio 1. During his time with the station, in addition to his regular pop music format show, he 'sat in' for absent daytime DJ's.
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NEW Paul 'Sits In' for Gary Davies lunchtime on 26 July 1991
He left Radio 1 in 1992 to concentrate exclusively on hypnosis. In 1993, his Celador series, The Hypnotic World of Paul McKenna, aired on ITV. This entertainment show featured audience members who volunteered to be hypnotised, to act in silly ways and participate in comedic sketches that sometimes included celebrities. He is regularly watched on television by more than 200 million people in 42 countries.
In 2000 Paul established Paul McKenna Training. He now uses his considerable powers of persuasion to improve the performance of top businesses.