After more than 40 years of tricks, how does Paul do it – well, that’s magic…
Magician Paul Daniels and assistant Debbie McGee will perform at the Swan in November with new tricks as well as old favourites on the billing. Brian Claridge caught up with the pair, who are on a UK tour
S IWITH all their tours, Paul and Debbie are playing to sell-out audiences throughout the country with their new show, which you can catch at Wycombe Swan on November 13. So what can Buckinghamshire audiences expect? ask the couple, who have entertained generations of fans on television and in live performances with their unique act of magic and comedy.
“Debbie and will be performing a selection of our favourite magic as well as a number of new tricks that we have never performed in public before,” says Paul. “They include two old favourites – my signature illusions as it were, but everything else in the act is new.”
The popular magician, who jokingly refers to himself as ‘magician, comic and international sex symbol’, is as much of a live wire in real life as he is on stage, according to wife Debbie.
“We’re really looking forward to performing at the Wycombe Swan,” says ‘the lovely Debbie McGee’, as Paul fondly refers to her on stage.
“The great thing about the tour is that it’s never the same twice as the audience is different each night,” she adds. The couple were married in
I1988 and live in a beautiful riverside home by the Thames in Berkshire.
Paul makes most of his own props and his DIY skills came in handy during the floods last winter when neighbouring properties were submerged.
Thanks to Paul’s skill and ingenuity, their home was not seriously affected as he had built a system of gates and pumps – even though their garden was under water for several weeks.
Paul started performing magic tricks at the age of 11 and has gone on to develop illusions for several London West End shows, including Cats and Phantom of the Opera.
Both he and Debbie like to go to Las Vegas to see the big magic shows and Paul has an extensive collection of books and artefacts.
“Lots of people contact Paul if they need to know anything about the history of tricks and illusions,” says Debbie.
The couple have not stopped performing since they burst onto our screens on the BBC in 1979. The Paul Daniels Magic Show topped the ratings. Their last two nationwide tours, Hair Today Gone Tomorrow and From Legend to Leg End, enjoyed critical acclaim and sold out in many venues across the country.
With more than 40 years in the business and acclaimed around the world, Paul is the only magician to receive all top awards of the famed London Magic Circle, and even New York and Hollywood have honoured his magical achievements.
Paul says he usually knows how another performer does a trick, but occasionally even he is baffled.
“Then I break it down, bit by bit, and eventually will work it out,” he says. “And take my hat off to anyone
IIwho could stump me,” smiles Paul in his charismatic way.
Do any of his acts ever go wrong ask? “Not that the audience would be aware of thankfully,” sighs Paul.
“When I’m creating a show, plan the routines and also the get-outs: so if anything goes wrong, have a get-out plan, which you have to have in this business.”
ask them how they cope with all the travelling on their UK tour.
“Travelling can be tiring. However, we stay in lovely hotels, eat nice food and love exploring different areas of
IIIIthe country, which more than compensates,” says Debbie. With their boundless energy and enthusiasm, they’re likely to be entertaining and mystifying us with their special brand of magic and comedy for many years to come.
See their show on November 13 at 7.30pm at the Wycombe Swan. Call the box office on 01494 512 000 or book online at www.wycombeswan. co.uk.
Tickets £18.50, concessions £15, under-16s £12, family of four £50 (minimum one adult).
Lead characters Millie and Jimmy, played by Georgia Clarke and Jonah Halton