Five foot five and bald as a coot, Paul Daniels is an unlikely sex symbol. Oh wow. Breaking News in the Daily Mirror. Paul Daniels is 5’5″!!! No mention here that the journalist is about 5′ in high heels. Why not? Bald as a coot!!! No mention here the journalist, who appears to be really nice, has a moustache. Yet the Yorkshireman who was once the recognisable face of BBC magic firmly believes his own trickery. No I don’t. The title on my blog pages is a JOKE!!! For crying out loud, how could I possibly think I am a sex symbol? This is like the editor of the Mirror believing what he prints is true!
Forget the killer blow comedian Mrs Merton once dealt the miniscule performer when she asked wife Debbie McGee: “What first attracted you to millionaire Paul Daniels?” No mention here of the fact that I told the writer both Debbie and I loved the gag, especially as at the time ‘Mrs Merton’ had just married a millionaire and when Debbie and I met, I wasn’t.
He is saggy, teeny, and talks in an infuriating sing-song voice that leaves you praying he’ll do a vanishing act. Surely they didn’t have to come for an interview to know this? I wonder which bit of me is saggy?
But in a cringeworthy interview, he insists he is an “international sex symbol” and has bedded 300 women in his thirties alone. Ah, cringeworthy? I think we were together for about an hour. The photographer was laughing constantly, so was the Wicked Witch, who even said at the end she’d had a great time. The story of the 300 women was brought up by her constantly, but there is no mention here of my answers.
“Feel, feel,” he says flexing his biceps and grinning like a wide-eyed clown. This came from her asking about the body builder bit. More comedy. She laughed. “That’s just from push ups, I’ll say no more. In-ter-national Sex Sym-bol.”
He is an entertainer after all but Paul, 72, is adamant. “I’ve had 300 lovers, but I didn’t necessarily make love to all of them. “The trick is making women laugh. I laughed all of them into bed…magic.” Not quite what I said at all. Wicked Witch and editor imagination working overtime here. I did say that Debbie and it, who have been together 31 years now, laugh all the time and Debbie was attracted to me because I made her laugh.
Sitting in a London office surrounded by bags of crisps, he is on a mission to charm the public to vote for his flavour in the new Walkers ad. OH! So that was why we met. I was beginning to wonder. If this is journalism reporting the news, it’s hit the bottom of the ‘get your facts right list’.
In the new advert launching 12 World Cup flavours, teeny tiny Paul represents Japanese Teriyaki chicken flavour alongside compere Gary Lineker, 49, and Melinda Messenger, 39, and former Hollyoaks actor Will Mellor, 34, who both support French Garlic Baguette. This girl is really hung up on her height and laying it onto me. If she had bothered to mention it during the interview I would have told her how it makes no difference to me ‘cos I worked out when I was 32 that how you look in terms of weight or height really doesn’t matter at all and I could have helped her with her complex.
“Chick-in Teriyaki, chick-in Teriyaki,” he says mesmerisingly, waving his stumpy freckled fingers over my eyes. “Will’s great, a really nice guy, but terrible legs, don’t vote for him.” All jokes. All said in fun. All jokingly promoting ‘my’ flavour…which is very nice by the way… try it..
Paul is hardly the nation’s first choice lothario. AT LAST something I agree with… but are we wandering away from why we are here again???? His glory days were over when he was dropped from BBC schedules in 1994. Now he is an itinerant magician again, and the faint sadness of the once very famous clings to him. Blimey, now she is proving she knows nothing about the entertainment business. Mind you, being half French and half Italian, that is hardly surprising. I never stopped being a travelling entertainer, like most of us in this business. In fact, as I told her, TV was never my main source of income and I only did at most 10 magic shows on there per year. He does pantomime, personal appearances, special effects for theatre and takes his magic around universities. He has performed magic for the Sultan of Brunei, The Queen and legendary singer Barry White.
He claims he is a “tomorrow man” but he is quick to cast his mind back to the Sixties. Not true. Wicked Witch once again dragged back to the same old rubbish.
“I met these women doing my shows in my thirties,” he says. “In my lifetime, I am 72, I know, I know, I don’t look it, Actually Dahling, I think I DO! women were afraid of sex, of getting pregnant. It was the biggest disgrace, you were called a tart, the lowest of the low. Then along came the pill and women just decided they could have all the sex they wanted forever and went to bed with everyone.” Anyone who lived through these times knows that is what happened in the sexual revolution. I also said that anyone doing that nowadays in these times of Herpes and Aids is crazy. I am by no means the only one who has said this stuff and at a time when this nation is going through the biggest political news stories for years I have to wonder why the Mirror needs to regurgitate the same old, old, stories.
The son of a cinema projectionist, Paul got the magic bug at 11 when he picked up a book containing “a mathemagical trick”. He went professional on the club circuit and got his big TV break in 1979 with his own BBC television series, The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran for 15 years.
He divorced first wife Jackie, who bore him three sons, because he claims “she had an affair with a dancer”. By not printing the whole story, the Mirror is doing Jackie a GREAT disservice. Jackie, together with her husband Mal, and Debbie and I are all good friends and we don’t need this crap. Oddly enough it was the Mirror who did a HUGE destruction job on the day of Debbie and I’s wedding and made my Mother cry. Hey… we are still together, so that didn’t work either.
Then The Lovely Debbie McGee, his former assistant, came along.
They dated for ten years before they married. He was 50 and she was 30.
He brags about their sex life.
“We have sexathons,” he grins. “That’s how we both keep fit.” DAILY MIRROR FICTION. I HAVE NEVER EVER SAID THAT.
Last year Paul and Debbie, 51, recreated an image from an Armani advert that featured footballer David Beckham and his wife Victoria.
They wanted to prove they still have what it takes after they were both snapped looking baggy and plump on a beach in Barbados. Other pictures taken the same day show that Photoshop must have come into play, as I recall…. but she doesn’t. Anyway, there’s an oddity here. The WW is saying we aren’t well known, aren’t famous any more…. .and I don’t understand… if we are NOT, and I would be quite happy if we weren’t… why the hell is all this interest and attacking going on????
He also retaliated by putting up pictures of Debbie’s bikini-clad cleavage on his on-line blog. Doh… it was a picture of Debbie in a bikini…. don’t other husbands take pictures of their wives?
“All women have boobs, you have boobs. Go on, show me,” he says nodding at my chest.
I am speechless and stare at him agog.
“You’ve gone red,” he declares, almost surprised. “Well, why shouldn’t I put up a picture showing how great she looks?” OH, I get it now. The Wicked Witch is allowed to attack me, but can’t take it back.
I change the subject and ask him to show me a trick.
He whips out a two pound coin, flips it over and a heart appears in the centre. “Look, that’s for you,” he says. Then he flips it over and the heart vanishes. He cackles. Fascinating. The heart did not ‘appear’. the heart did not ‘vanish’. As for ‘cackles’… I think once again the WW is laying her laugh on me… I find it all very odd. Just to put the record straight… someone at a party gig a few nights previous had drawn a heart on a coin… the COIN vanished…. the Wicked Witch raved about the trick…
I tease him and ask him if he uses magic on Debbie. “I’m still doing magic, every night,” he winks. Pure Fiction. The question was NEVER asked. I did say that I am out doing shows most nights.
Paul Daniels stars in the current Walkers Flavour Cup ad. I ‘star’? I thought I was unknown.
This is why people in my business avoid interviews, especially with rags like the Daily Mirror, and why people email me and Twitter me and Facebook me and tell me they have stopped buying newspapers. Journalism used to be an important and honourable profession. Isn’t it sad that we can no longer trust them? The reason I stopped buying them because if they lie so much about Debbie and me, how can I believe what they write about anyone else?
Don’t buy the Daily Mirror.