Ayatollah now that’s magic for the Daniels
HARDLINE Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini unwittingly played cupid to legendary magician Paul Daniels and Debbie Mcgee.
Dancer Debbie was working in Iran but had to flee in 1979 when Khomeini came to power.
A plane ticket to escape Tehran and the Islamic revolution cost Debbie all her savings so she urgently needed work in the UK.
She said: “I had to pay ten times what a plane ticket should cost to get home.
“They were closing the airport that day. They threw me in an office and said I couldn’t get on the plane.
“After about an hour this guy stamped my passport and said ‘Run!’”
She auditioned to be assistant to Paul, famed for his catchphrase: “You’ll like this… but not a lot.”
She said: “We had an instant chemistry. He made me laugh.”
The couple had an on/off relationship at first but married in 1988.
Paul died two years ago of a brain tumour aged 77. Ex-strictly contestant Debbie, 60, said he is the love of her life.