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Paul Daniels is a magician who was at the peak of fame in the UK in the the 1980's. Since then he has gone on to present game shows and other projects with his wife Debbie McGee.

Paul Daniels

Paul Daniels was born on the 6th of April 1938 to Handel Newton Daniels and Nancy Daniels, at 51 North Street, Southbank, Middlesborough, England. His parents were the managers of the local Hippodrome theatre, and this had an influence on him and his brother Trevor. At the age of 11 Paul found a book called "How to Entertain at Parties" which contained several card tricks. After he perfected these card tricks, he decided that he was going to be a magician and started performing his magic tricks at youth clubs and parties. Trevor, however, became an organist.

At 16, Paul Daniels left school and became a junior clerk in local government, later to become an internal auditor. Whilst in government service, he performed magic in the evenings at private functions.

National service came when Daniels turned 18, where he joined the first battalion, the Green Howards and was sent to Hong Kong. Whilst in Hong Kong, he entertained the servicemen with his unique comedy style and magic tricks.

Fresh out of the army, Daniels decided to leave his career in local government and decided to work with his parents in their new job at a local mobile grocery business which they now owned. He was very sucessful at this, so successful that he soon bought a shop of his own. This proved to be hard work though, as he was working in the shop by day and working as an entertainer by night. This was soon to change though when he was offered a summer season in Newquay as an entertainer, and he sold his shop to pursue his childhood ambition.

Opportunity Knocks

In 1969 Daniels had a big break by starring on "Opportunity Knocks", where he came second. A television executive called Johhny Hamp recognised Daniels' talent on this show and offered him a slot on a Granada television show called 9. It was whilst on this television show that Daniels coined his catchphrase "You'll like it, not a lot, but you'll like it".

By now Daniels had achieved plenty of experience in the entertainment field, and was a most accomplished magician, and was a member of the Inner Magic Circle.

Daniels went on to have a high rating television show called "The Paul Daniels Magic Show" on the BBC. His summer season in Great Yarmouth in 1979 was sucessful too, with Daniels being invited to perform at the Royal Variety Performance in 1979.

1980 was a busy year with Daniels having a summer season in Bournemouth, and the start of his own show in the West End of London. "It's Magic" at the Prince of Wales theatre ran for 14 months and was the longest running magic show ever to be staged in London amassing over one million pounds during its run.

Magician of the Year

As well as another summer season, this time in Blackpool, Daniels was presented with the Magician of the Year award by Hollywood's Academy of Magical Arts in front of a celebrity audience in Los Angeles in 1983. This was a major achievement for Daniels as it had never been awarded to a magician who was not from the USA before. He then came back to England to star in a one man show at the Prince of Wales theatre once again with a production called "An Evening with Paul Daniels". This was so well recieved that it Daniels toured with it through 1984 and 1985.

In 1985 the BBC entered "Paul Daniels Easter Magic Show" into the Montreaux International Television Festival in Switzerland. It won the Golden Rose of Montreaux, and because of this, a special showbiz dinner at the Dorchester Hotel in London was held. This was organised by the Variety Club of Great Britain and was filmed by the BBC.

In 1985 Daniels performed one of his most famous stunts in Northamptonshire at Silverstone race track. This involved Daniels being chained up in a sack and put into a wooden crate. This was lifted into the centre of the race track by a crane. The crate was then driven at at 120 mph by Jackie Stewart. When the crate was smashed to pieces by the car ther was no-one inside. The car parked and when the driver got out it was Daniels. Jackie Stewart then got out of the crane operator's cabin.

Next in Daniels' portfolio of entertainment programmes came Wizbit, a childrens television programme which starred an oversized rabbit. This programme was slightly surreal, combining fantasy with the occasional magic trick, all done with a heavy dose of pop music.

Other projects by Daniels include "Odd One Out" and "Every Second Counts", both prime time quiz shows for the BBC, and a radio show on BBC radio called "Dealing with Daniels". he has also completed a cabaret season at Las Vegas at the Tropicana Hotel and appeared on numerous American tv shows.

Daniels has three children from his first marriage. Paul Newton who is a courier, Martin Daniels who is an entertainer and Gary Daniels who works with computers, and installed computers into Middlesborough hospital.

His second marriage, on April 2nd 1988, was to his television assistant, Debbie McGee, who he is still married to.

His autobiography called "Under No Illusion" was released in 2001.

Daniels is now available for corporate entertainment events and after dinner speaking. He has appered on television commercials for Heineken beer with his wife, and owns a marketing company which designs and produce Paul Daniels gift sets.

Television credits

As well as these television shows, Daniels has made special appeareances on these shows


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