Paul Daniels

Paul Daniels

Biography

Paul is a well-known British magician and television performer. He achieved international fame through his enormously successful TV series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which began in the late 1970s and ran for fifteen years.

Being married to his glamorous assistant Debbie, twenty years his junior, has certainly kept him young. However, at the age of 72 and with no prior dancing experience, he'll certainly need to have some tricks up his sleeve and pull something magical out of the bag if he wants to impress the Strictly judges!

I'm totally the wrong size and shape to be a dancer - I'm not elegant at all!Paul Daniels

Career

Paul's interest in magic began at the age of 11 when he read a book about entertaining at parties. He was hooked on magic from then on, and began performing as a hobby.

After his National Service, Paul developed his magic skills in working men's clubs, whilst still working at his parents' grocery business during the day. All his spare time was spent on developing new tricks, techniques and ideas.

In 1969 Paul was offered a summer season at Newquay - it was at this point that he decided to take the plunge and become a full-time performer. The following year, Paul made his TV debut on Opportunity Knocks and came second. He was seen by TV producer Johnnie Hamp, who gave him a regular slot on The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club, hosted by Bernard Manning.

In 1979, Paul switched to the BBC and began his long run of The Paul Daniels Magic Show which ran until 1994. Regular features in the show included 'The Bunco Booth', exposing the confidence tricks of street charlatans and 'Under Laboratory Conditions' replicating instances of the paranormal that defied scientific explanation. The 1985 Easter edition of the show won the Golden Rose of Montreux.

In 1980 Paul starred in his own West End show at the Prince of Wales Theatre for 14 months, breaking box office records.

He has also performed many times in Las Vegas and in 1983 was presented with the Magician of the Year Award in LA - the first magician outside of the US to win the title.

He also hosted popular quiz shows for the BBC in the 1980s including Every Second Counts, Odd One Out and Wipeout.

Paul and his wife Debbie have taken part in various TV shows such as Louis Theroux's When Louis Met ..., Channel 5's The Farm, ITV's The X Factor: Battle of the Stars and in Celebrity Wife Swap where Paul tried living with Vanessa Feltz.

Background

Paul was born in Middlesbrough. His dad was a cinema projectionist at the local Hippodrome. His mum is still alive and well at 95 years old.

His first job was as a junior clerk in the treasurer's office of Eston Council. He did his national Service in the 1st Battalion, The Green Howards and was posted to Hong Kong.

He married his first wife, Jacqueline in 1960. They had three sons, Gary, Paul and Martin. Martin had a brief TV career (as presenter of Game For A Laugh, amongst other shows).

Debbie McGee was told she would be auditioning for the Paul Daniels show. She got the job, and whilst rehearsing for the show in a church hall in London Paul sat down beside her and the romance blossomed soon after.

Paul married his second wife, Debbie in April 1988. It took nine years of on and off dating for Paul to propose and when he did he said 'I'm not very tall, I'm not very good looking, but I promise you one thing - it'll never be boring!'

Trivia

Many people do not know that Paul has designed special effects for stage and screen including Cats, Phantom of the Opera, the film of Return to Oz and many more. He was also commissioned by the English National ballet to create magical effects for The Nutcracker.

His catch phrase ("Not a lot') came about by accident when he was dealing with an insistent heckler at a gig in Bradford. His favourite magic to watch is any levitation trick.

Paul drives an Isuzu Trooper with the personalised registration plate that reads 'MAG1C' and owns a magic and fancy dress shop in Wigan with his son.

Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee posed in their underwear as the Beckhams in 2009's Closer Magazine.


Are you a fan of Paul and Ola?

Why not join in the discussion at Paul & Ola's Blog page - the home of "Team Pola"!


Dancing partner

Ola Jordan

Paul Daniels will be dancing with Ola Jordan.

 

Our Celebrity Dancers

Pro Dancers Showdancers


Paul's progress

Week 3

Rumba

16/40

Paul and Ola finished last on the combined Public and Judges' leaderboard, and were the second couple to leave the series.

Week 2

Foxtrot

21/40

Week 1

Cha cha

16/40

Judges' comments

Alesha Dixon comments on Paul's progress

High point

"Liked the magic, liked the lunges."

Bruno Tonioli comments on Paul's progress

Low point

"It didn't flow. Nothing in the dance flew."

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