Tuesday 12 December 2017

Debbie McGee ‘nervous’ to dance with a man following Paul Daniels’ death

The magician competed on the show in 2010.

Debbie McGee (PA)
Debbie McGee (PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Debbie McGee has said she is “nervous” to get up close to a man again on Strictly Come Dancing, following the death of her husband Paul Daniels.

The magician’s assistant, 58, described herself as “the grandma” of the series because she is the oldest contestant this year, and denied that her ballet background has given her an advantage over her co-stars.

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Strictly Come Dancing

Asked about her background, she said: “I don’t think so because I’m the oldest this year, so I’m the grandma, and I haven’t danced for 35 years and when I trained I trained as a ballet dancer which is very rigid and different to this.

“I did do some commercial dancing, but I gave up when I was 23. I’ve never done anything since.

“I’ve sat around studios and things, so I think if I was big and fat people wouldn’t say that, but because I’ve got older and stayed slim – because I’m a magician’s assistant I had to get in boxes, so I couldn’t get fat – the advantage is I’m used to walking on stage.

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Strictly Come Dancing Launch 2017 – London

“I think that helps, going back to my dancing days a long time ago, I know how to pick up steps, I probably will pick them up faster.

“I think the show has changed, when it started it was much more that nobody had ever danced, but over the last few years it’s a real mixture of people, and it makes it a really interesting programme.”

Daniels, who died in 2016, competed on the show in 2010.

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2009 Tric Awards – London

McGee said: “He had such a good time and I hadn’t realised what he’d really been through.

“He used to come home and talk about how lovely everybody was, but I didn’t quite understand it and now I do. ”

Asked how she felt about getting up close to man again, McGee said: “Yeah I’m nervous.”

She added: “Paul, when I first worked with him, used to get quite nervous. He was the ultimate pro and thought about every inch of the show and when the curtain went up in the studio he always believed we are human animals and if we’re having a good time then so are the audience.”

Strictly Come Dancing launches on BBC One tonight at 7pm.

Press Association

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