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TGtS Meets...Paul Daniels & Debbie McGee

Showbusiness' favourite magician Paul Daniels and his glamorous assistant Debbie McGee chatted with TGtS about success, magic and why their 'First Farewell Tour' certainly isn't going to be their last.

The two of you have achieved an incredible amount during your career. Have you achieved everything that you set out to do?

Paul: No not yet, I want to live to be about 110 and star in a movie.

Debbie: I'd love to be in a play.

Paul: Sadly the one play that we've been offered in the last couple of days is a one man show...

What can audiences expect from your new tour?

Paul: Laughter! Since opening the show, we've had some really positive feedback. Even my manager's been in touch to say he loved it - so if he says it’s good, it must be good, because he hardly ever sticks around to watch my shows. It's very funny. 

The content of the show is totally different to anything that we've ever done before, so fans needn't worry about us performing old tricks. 

Debbie: It's a fabulous show and we're having so much fun doing it, which I think audiences can really tell. 

What’s the reasoning behind the name of your tour?  What made you call it ‘the first farewell tour’?

Paul: Well, I thought to myself, if it's been good enough for the Rolling Stones over the last 40 years, it's good enough for me - they've been doing farewell tours forever.

Do you have a favourite magic trick to perform and why?

Paul: I don't have one particular trick that's my favourite, I actually do love all forms of magic - just as long as they're done well. 

Debbie: Paul's a bit of an oddity in the sense that he performs so many different types of magic, from illusions, to close-up magic, stage magic to cabaret style magic. So it really would be impossible to choose just one.

What's your opinion on the magicians and illusionists on television today? 

Paul: I take my hat off to anybody trying to make a living in this game. I get asked a lot if I think that magic’s gotten sexier or cooler over the years, but to tell you the truth, it hasn't changed one bit. Beard lengths, costumes and hair-dos change of course but the actual magic itself doesn't change. 

Debbie: Production values increase, but at the end of the day, they're just more expensive smoke and mirrors. 

Do you have a favourite magician?

Paul: Modesty prevents me naming myself. My lovely wife Debbie is now doing magic in the show but I like her...mainly because I like her. 

Debbie: Magicians are a bit like musicians, they all have their own styles and we like them for different things. We've probably got about 10 magicians that we really like, but they're all totally different to one another. 

What's it like working with your spouse?

Paul: It's great, it gives us something to talk about when we get home. Working together you know your partner's job, problems and schedule. Instead of it being 'my' day at work it's 'our' day at work and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Debbie: He's only saying that because I'm sat here! 

What's the key to your success?

Paul: You mean apart from me being an international sex symbol and bodybuilder? I try to present magic with a happy attitude, people come to my shows expecting a massive party and that's exactly what they get. A positive attitude has certainly been my secret to going all of these years.

Debbie: I like that we're a team, I think that having one another has played a massive part in our continued success. 

What advice would you give to aspiring magicians?

Paul: Never leave your money in the dressing room - that's spoken from experience. My best bit of advice is just be yourself. Don't copy Dynamo or Derren Brown. You're the best version of you that there is, so just be yourself. 

Debbie: That's the exact same advice that Paul gave to our son Martin and he's doing alright for himself. So I can assure you that it that it works. 

What's been the highlight of your career?

Paul: You wouldn't be able to find a web page big enough! Even taking our new show out for the first time and it being so successful was a career highlight. 

Debbie: We love to work and love making memories. We've just had a couple of days off and we already can't wait to get back on road.

Looking back would you have done anything differently?

Paul: I'm not a guy for looking backwards, I'm very much a looking forward to tomorrow kind of chap. 

Debbie: I agree, it's all about living in the moment. 

You’ve been on everything from Strictly to Wife Swap. What’s been your favourite TV experience?

Paul: Away from the magic, it has to be Strictly because I've always wanted to learn how to dance and was absolutely thrilled when the BBC approached me to do the show. 

Debbie: It was great fun watching him take part, of course I was his number one fan!

You can catch Paul and Debbie at the Wyvern Theatre on Sunday 6th October. 

Wyvern Theatre Swindon

Wyvern Theatre Swindon

Wyvern Theatre Swindon offers an excellent mixed programme of concerts, comedy, dance, drama, musical theatre and local amateur productions.

Theatre Square, Swindon, SN1 1QN

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