Belfast Telegraph

Debbie McGee undergoes breast cancer surgery

She shot to fame alongside late magician husband Paul Daniels, and was back in the spotlight during the 2017 series of Strictly.

Debbie McGee said she believes stress over husband Paul Daniels’s death may have brought on the disease (Ian West/PA)
Debbie McGee said she believes stress over husband Paul Daniels’s death may have brought on the disease (Ian West/PA)

Debbie McGee – who rose to fame alongside magician husband Paul Daniels – has revealed she has had surgery to treat breast cancer.

McGee, 60, had two tumours removed last week after cancerous tissue was found in her left breast, she told The Sun.

The TV and radio star found fame as Daniels’s assistant before they married in April 1988.

The couple had been married for 28 years, and were together for a decade before that, when Daniels died of a brain tumour at the age of 77 in March 2016.

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Daniels and McGee were married in 1988 (PA)

She told the paper she thinks the stress of losing her husband may have brought on the disease, which was diagnosed at an early stage in October.

She said: “Stress, I think caused mine. I’ve never been through the stress I’ve been through since I lost Paul.

“Grief hits you in so many ways you’re not expecting.”

McGee turned heads during the 2017 series of Strictly, reaching the final with professional partner Giovanni Pernice.

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Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice during the live show of Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/BBC)

Her foray into the BBC Saturday night hit show followed on from Daniels’ appearance in 2010.

Speaking at the time, she said: “The last time I danced was over 35 years ago.

“I’ve never had any experience in this type of dancing, but I learnt ballet and modern tap when I was a child and I did dance for a few years – but that was 35 years ago, so now it’s like starting from scratch.”

She said her appearance on Strictly made her “genuinely happy” for the first time since her husband’s death.

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Debbie McGee started her career in ballet (Ian West/PA)

In her youth, McGee won a place at the Royal Ballet School and went on to join the Iranian National Ballet Company in Tehran, but the overthrowing of the Shah by Ayatollah Khomeni in the 1979 Revolution meant she had to return to the UK.

She first met Daniels after being chosen to perform on stage in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, for a summer show and returned for a second summer in Bournemouth.

The West End followed and the couple performed together in It’s Magic, which ran for more than a year in the early 1980s.

It was then that the producer of The Paul Daniels Magic Show asked her to consider becoming his full-time assistant on the BBC programme.

PA

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