Debbie McGee talks about life without magician husband Paul Daniels with Cancer Research UK.

Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee on the BBC's The Paul Daniels Magic Show 1985

‘Getting out into my garden just makes me feel better and forget things. I just forget my grief.… being on my own, the best thing that works for me is just to keep really, really busy. The only emptiness I feel is the lack of him, rather than a lack of things to do with my life.”

Debbie McGee has opened up to Cancer Research UK in an emotional and candid film where she talks about life on her own and how she is coping each day after the sad death of her husband, magician Paul Daniels, earlier this year.

Paul was diagnosed with a brain tumour in February and died at their home in Berkshire. Since his death, Debbie explains her need to keep busy at home and continue doing the things she loves to distract herself from her grief. The film includes poignant moments where she describes her life without Paul.

Magician Paul Daniels and wife Debbie McGee on Granada TV's Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes

Debbie spoke to Cancer Research UK to support the charity’s ‘Right Now’ campaign. The campaign shows the reality of day-to-day life for those affected by cancer, bringing together stories of patients and their loved ones, researchers and medical staff. Right Now provides glimpses into the lives of the individuals and families coping with the profound impact that cancer has had on them, as well as highlighting the importance of research.

‘Paul made me laugh every day, from the moment we got up we laughed. He was lots of fun to be around and I miss him terribly. I wanted to support Cancer Research UK’s campaign because I think it’s important to show how cancer can affect us all, from someone being diagnosed to another coping after losing a loved one. I hope that by sharing the reality of my grief it will encourage others to share their story and support the campaign.’ – Debbie McGee

Debbie is supporting Cancer Research UK’s campaign to beat cancer sooner. Cancer is happening Right Now, and you can do something to help right now. Visit to find out more.

Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee on ITV's The X Factor Battle Of The Stars in 2006

Paul was born Newton Edward Daniels in Middlesbrough, in Teesside, and first ventured as a professional into the world of showbiz via the tough North East workingmens clubs.

In 1970, eleven years after his first social club act performance, his routine had been seen by television executives and he was urged to audition for Thames Television’s talent show Opportunity Knocks – where he made his broadcasting debut. He was later signed up to appear on fellow ITV series The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club from Granada in Manchester, appearing as a regular across its later series. He also guest starred on The David Nixon Magic Show (ITV/Thames TV) and was later given his own ITV series, Paul Daniels’ Blackpool Bonanza in 1978 (Granada TV).

It was 1978 that he was lured over to the BBC where he first presented and performed magic in For My Next Trick. The following year the series was re-branded as The Paul Daniels Magic Show running until 1994. In the gaps between the TV series’ Daniels also continued to work live with summer season stage shows across the UK. In 1979 during rehearsals for one such gig he met future second wife Debbie McGee who would later become his main assistant in both the stage and television shows. They married in 1988.

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