Magician Paul Daniels has terminal cancer, it was revealed this morning.
A statement from his publicist said: “We can confirm that one of our greatest magicians and entertainers of all times, Paul Daniels, has sadly been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.
“On behalf of Paul, Debbie and their families, we thank you for your kind concerns and support at this sad time and ask that their privacy continues to be respected. There will be no further comments at this time.”
Born in Middlesbrough in 1938, Daniels’ interest in magic began at the age of 11 when he read a book about entertaining at parties.
After his National Service, Daniels developed his magic skills in working men’s clubs.
In 1969, he was offered a summer season at Newquay and decided to become a full-time performer.
The following year, Daniels made his TV debut on talent series Opportunity Knocks, and came second.
He was seen by TV producer Johnnie Hamp, who gave him a regular slot on The Wheeltappers And Shunters Social Club, a variety show on ITV hosted by the late Bernard Manning.
In 1979, Daniels began his long run on BBC One’s The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which lasted until 1994.
In addition to performing magic, Daniels also hosted popular quiz shows for the BBC including Every Second Counts, Odd One Out and Wipeout. He also narrated the children’s TV show Wizbit.
Daniels married his first wife, Jacqueline, in 1960. They have three sons together.
He wed second wife Debbie McGee in 1988. McGee was Daniels’ on-stage assistant from the start of his run on the BBC.
Daniels is also well known for his “You’ll like this ... not a lot, but you’ll like it” catchphrase.
He said he first came up with the line at a club in Bradford as a way to deal with a heckler.
In later years, Daniels and McGee participated in various TV shows including Channel 5’s The Farm, ITV’s The X Factor: Battle Of The Stars and Channel 4’s Celebrity Wife Swap, in which Daniels tried living with Vanessa Feltz.
Daniels also took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2010.
BBC broadcaster Tony Blackburn has led the messages of goodwill to magician Daniels.
In a message posted on Twitter, the radio DJ wrote: “Such sad news about Paul Daniels who is a lovely and talented man. my thoughts are with you Debbie.”
Paul Chuckle, best known as one half of children’s entertainers the Chuckle Brothers, tweeted: “@ThePaulDaniels all our love to you mate !!!!!!!”
Comedian and broadcaster Iain Lee tweeted: “I interviewed @ThePaulDaniels. I felt he was waiting for the gag, the punchline. There wasn’t one. I genuinely adored him.”
On Twitter, The Sun’s showbiz journalist Dan Wootton said the news was “very sad”.
Presenter Jennie Gow tweeted: “Very sad news about @ThePaulDaniels - grew up spellbound by him.”
Illusionist Dynamo, real name Steven Frayne, posted his thoughts on his Instagram account.
The Bradford-born TV personality wrote: “Just read this sad news! Sending my love and respect to Paul, Debbie and all the family! #MagicLegend”.