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Paul Daniels Succumbs to Brain Cancer


Paul Daniels and Debbie McGeeIt is with deep regrets that we now confirm that Paul Daniels passed away overnight. On February 20, 2016 The Magic Compass reported that had been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor.  His wife, Debbie McGee, who has worked with him throughout his career, was at his side when he passed away. Daniels was 77 years old at the time of his passing.

The legendary magician had canceled his appearances and spent his final weeks at his home telling his son: ‘When it’s your time, it’s your time’. One of his three sons is Martin, (who is also a magician) later described how a meteor flashed in the sky over the house in the moments after his father’s passing, tweeting: ‘My dad passed away and meteor flashes in the sky. What an exit.’

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Another of his sons tweeted this.

In addition to Debbie McGee, who was Daniel’s wife as well as his on-stage assistant, Daniels is survived by three sons from a previous marriage – Martin, Paul and Gary.

Paul Daniels (whose real name was Newton Edward Daniels) was born April 6, 1938. He was an world renowned magician and television performer. He achieved international fame through his television series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran on the BBC from 1979 to 1994. Here is an interview that was originally broadcast in 1998.

Daniels developed his magic skills in working nightclubs, making his TV debut on talent series Opportunity Knocks. He then took over the prime Saturday night slot with his BBC show, which started in 1979. Daniels was known for a string of catchphrases, including the line: “You’ll like this… not a lot, but you’ll like it.”

Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee in the 80sThe producer of BBC1’s The Paul Daniels Magic Show in the 1980s, John Fisher, said: “Having worked with him on close to a hundred shows, I never ceased to be amazed at his capacity for mastering new and often technically complex material week after week, a challenge non-existent in the lives of the old masters of magic on the halls. Moreover, he displayed an instinctive ability to entertain in a way few of the great hocus-pocus giants have matched.”

Magicians throughout the word are sharing their grief. Dynamo tweeted that he was devastated and that Daniels was a great inspiration to him.

Dynamo reported that he didn’t see many of his BBC shows because he was too young but says he watched everything on video. “He was the first working class magician to have mainstream success.”

Here is a video from one of his earlier shows.

The Magic Circle said Daniels had “been an inspiration to many magicians” and is of “legendary status” in the world of magic. In a statement, it said: “At the height of his career The Paul Daniels Magic Show on BBC One pulled more than 20 million viewers – that was more than one third of the British population regularly tuning in on a Saturday night to watch a magician make them laugh and witness feats of wonder such as his famous Chop Cup routine. “In this day and age of fragmented media platforms, no other magician is likely to be able to achieve such a TV ratings record.” It added that “the magic world owes Paul a huge debt”.

No magician enjoyed more success on English television than Paul Daniels. From the moment he launched on the ITV network, and later switched to the BBC, his magic shows always topped the ratings. A book on TV facts calls him the most successful TV magician of the 20th century. His creativity and his wide knowledge of magic enabled him to produce consistently stunning shows, never rivaled in spectacle, covering the full range of the world of entertaining magic, from small, ‘close-up’ effects, to enormous illusions.

Supporters have been directed to a Go Fund Me page established with the sole intention of raising money for future research and to provide support to those organisations that supported Paul. They have reported that money raised will be split between the organisations and charities. That page can be found by clicking here.

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