Entertainment

Saturday 25 February 2017

Magician Daniels diagnosed with brain tumour

Camilla Turner

Showbiz marriage: Paul Daniels with his wife Debbie McGee, who was his on-stage assistant before he married her Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
Showbiz marriage: Paul Daniels with his wife Debbie McGee, who was his on-stage assistant before he married her Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Paul Daniels, the magician, has been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour, his family has said.

A statement published on his website yesterday said: "We can confirm that one of our greatest magicians and entertainers of all time, Paul Daniels, has sadly been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

"On behalf of Paul, Debbie and their families, we thank you for your kind concerns and support at this sad time and ask that their privacy continues to be respected."

Daniels (77), discovered magic at the age of 11 and went on to perform at working men's clubs and seaside shows.

He made his television debut on the talent series Opportunity Knocks, coming second. From 1979 to 1994, he hosted The Paul Daniels Magic Show on BBC television.

He said he came up with his catchphrase "You'll like this . . . not a lot, but you'll like it" at a club in Bradford as a way to deal with a heckler.

Daniels married his first wife, Jacqueline, in 1960 and they had three sons.

After 18 years as a divorcee, during which he claimed, in his 2000 memoir Under No Illusion he slept with 300 women, he married his on-stage assistant Debbie McGee.

In later years, the couple, who live in Berkshire, participated in TV shows including Channel 4's Celebrity Wife Swap, in which he tried living with Vanessa Feltz. In 2010, he took part in Strictly Come Dancing.

The entertainer has courted controversy in recent years, with his candid admission that he could never have been entirely sure whether any of his groupies were schoolgirls or not.

He said of Rolf Harris (85), who was jailed for indecent assaults dating back to the Sixties: "I only know Rolf as an older man, in the past six years. And you couldn't wish to meet a nicer guy."

Telegraph.co.uk

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