Strictly Come Dancing favourite Debbie McGee, 61, has admitted she once warned her late husband Paul Daniels to “be careful” or she would “steal his applause” after they bickered ahead of one of their performances together. The star, who worked alongside her other half as his magician’s assistant, got onto the subject while discussing how she had the ability influence the audience’s reactions during the couple’s magic shows.
Debbie divulged: “I understood the timing of performing and as a magician’s assistant, I actually do lectures now for magician’s assistants, because so many magicians don’t understand this.
“An example would be, you as an audience member think that this sort of stereotype of the magician’s assistant going, ‘Ta da’ and putting their hands out to feature the magician is just kind of a bit corny.
“But actually, there’s a lot more to it and it doesn’t have to be the old fashioned hold your hands up in the air or point at the magician.
“But it’s very important that you look at the magician and you don’t move at the end of a trick because as soon as the assistant starts to move, the applause of the audience will go down because they will think, ‘Oh, they’re going into another trick.’”
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Debbie went on to say she cheekily threatened to take Paul’s applause away from him when she felt “more powerful” in their partnership after they tied the knot in 1988.
The radio presenter continued: “I worked with my husband for 38 years and in the end, after we were married and I had a little bit more power in the workspace, if we had an argument I’d say, ‘Be careful because I’ll kill your applause tonight!’
“I knew my job and I had to learn that but I understood that part of it from my training as a dancer and being taught by somebody who really knew about performing.
“So that’s just a tiny snippet of how important an assistant’s role is if they really know their job.”
Debbie said she asked her parents: “‘What does he do? Is he a comedian or something?’
“And they said, he’s a magician.
“And I went, ‘Oh’ Because I hated magic.”
Debbie lost Paul when he died after being diagnosed with a brain tumour aged 77.
The star previously said while speaking to Cancer Research UK after his death: “From diagnosis, he died four weeks and five days later, so there wasn’t time to think about what was happening.
“We just had to get on with the situation and look after him.
“It wasn’t until after he died, that the huge realisation kind of washed over me.
“I am out here, on this earth, on my own.”