The Little Blog of Horrors | Paul Daniels Magic World

The Little Blog of Horrors

Happy New Year. My New Year Resolution was to try to keep more in touch with friends and family, on and off line. The best laid plans…

Mostly I am writing this to let you know what really happened and not what somw journalist will create. What is here is not embellished but let it be a warning.

January 1st morning Debbie went off to Radio Berkshire and I tidied up my big shed. I decided to make a ‘sled’ for my table saw to make it safer. Remember that! Safer!
I already had most of the pieces cut and started to cut a ‘fiddly bit’. If you remember the sun was shining and streaming through the shed windows. VERY quickly and without any warning the piece of timber seemed to leap and pulled my left hand fingers into the teeth of the circular saw.
Without any conscious thought on my part my right hand hit the stop button and I rammed my left hand into the chest of my coat and somehow ran to the car, started it and set off for Henley. I must have looked a weird site doubled over with my face all screwed up from the pain and, I admit it, the pain.
In Henley I jumped out of the car and scared the hell out of the young woman driving the car in front asking her to move over at the lights. I can remember that I saw the lights go to green and I dived back into my car, mounted the pavement and went round her on the left to get on the road to Townlands Hospital where I dumped my car in the entrance and staggered into the front door.
They were brilliant ‘cos I had no idea what had been damaged or lost or where I was or anything.
My head was full of the pain and the possible end of the magic.
After reducing the pain they got me into an ambulance and we went off at high speed for a hospital near Slough. Again a great staff and I was able to let Debbie know where I was. She came. I should work harder at not upsetting her. I could hear phrases and words around me… ‘bone is shattered’ ‘ground up’ ‘nail gone’ ‘might be able to save the finger’. OMG… MIGHT…
A ‘long-timer’ went off on a phone around to try to get a hand specialist… difficult on New Year’s Day. One was in Switzerland… could get back for Thursday… he found one that would come over from Bristol and open the Hand Clinic especially. Two nursing staff turned out as well.
According to other doctors I got lucky getting him. They say he is the best. I went for the operation and gave permission for him to do whatever was necessary.
Despite the warning I was not expecting the pain I got from mr raised arm being injected in the left armpit and apparently I questioned his parents’ marital status. This numbed my fingers completely and they went to work. I concentrated on talking to the nurse to my right and tried to ignore my brain worrying about whether he was going to remove my finger, my hand, my arm. That’s not as daft as it sounds ‘cos I once had a poisoned knuckle on that hand and was told that if they had operated later I ran a risk of the poison spreading and losing the arm.
I kept up some banter and tried not listen to their techie talk about bones and stuff. It seemed to take forever until he asked if I would like to see what he had done. I’m a chicken when it comes to that sort of thing so I said no but couldn’t stop myself glancing to the left. MY ARM WASN’T THERE!!! It was to my left, on the table, still attached but when they numb the nerve your brain remembers the last position… in my case up in the air. Not the best moment in my life.
All bandaged up I was soon on my way home and I have had one check up since. Bad moments recur, the worst being full shock state one night which turned me into a gibbering wreck as I relived the moment it happened. This has given me a fuller understanding of shock. It’s not nice.
As I am a touch typist (I hate touch screens) getting any form of communication out there has not been easy and doing this blog has taken ages.
Tuesday will tell me more about what I will be able to do. I hope it will be the majority of what I did before, fingers crossed (oops… bad phrase)
BIg Lesson… don’t take short cuts with power tools…. you will finish up with bigger cuts.

27 comments to The Little Blog of Horrors

  • Russ Wilde
    January 8, 2012 at 11:29 am

    OMG Paul, I hope you make a speedy and full recovery.

    I do love this phrase; “apparently I questioned his parents’ marital status”.

    I remember having a nail removed from one finger as a child – a galvanised nail that is – and teaching the A & E nurses some new phrases too.

    I learned later that they had in fact heard it all before a hundred times over.

    Get well soon.

  • Lucy
    January 8, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Oo-er! Hope it all heals up perfectly!

  • Colin Jackson
    January 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Paul,
    Sending you healing thoughts from here in Lowestoft.
    Wishing you a speedy recovery and a swift return to what you do best.
    Hope that your mum didn’t get too big a shock!
    Happy (rest of the) New Year to all of you.
    Colin Ingunn Maria and PaulJørgen.

  • Bill's Blog
    January 8, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Paul
    Yes Townlands hospital is brilliant – we are so lucky to have this wonderful place in Henley. I wonder if that young lady you scared at the lights has got over the encounter yet! Hope you recover quickly Paul and your magic fingers amaze us all again soon. (And that’s not meant to be as rude as it sounds!)

  • alpalmer123
    January 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Be carefully in future . Hope you make a speedy recovery.

  • Pete Biro
    January 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    NO NO NO… so sorry… hope all heals up. You do have a great nurse in Debbie.
    Prayers and love to you from the colonies.

  • The Cardman
    January 8, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    The ultimate nightmare for a magician – damaging your hand – has become a reality. I hope that the news is good and that all your digits are present and accounted for. Keep smiling Mr D.

  • Diva of Deception
    January 9, 2012 at 12:48 am

    So sorry to hear about your accident – thank goodness you were able to get to help quickly. Hope your healing process is swift and you are back performing again before too long. In fact I need to ask you about doing a talk, lecture, performance for TMC’s Ali Bongo Memorial Evening please so will email in a few days when you are feeling stronger.

  • RG9
    January 9, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery and, in future, stick to cutting Debbie in half!

  • Mark Lee (Chairman of the Tax Advice Network)
    January 9, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Paul – I had no idea about this when I tweeted that ref to the motor racing illusion you did being replicated on ‘The Magicians’.

    So pleased you were upto typing this summary, lesson, warning. Good of you to share.

    With all best wishes for a speedy recovery and the full return of your manual dexterity.

  • Philip Partridge Comedy Magician
    January 9, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Wishing you a speedy recovery Paul.
    Philip Partridge

  • Ringmaster
    January 9, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Sorry to hear of your accident hope you get better soon and over the
    mental shock as well as the physical injury.
    It will be good to see you doing what you do best entertaining as soon as possible.

  • magichampion
    January 9, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Heavens, that must have been a terrible experience. I often work on building new props with my power tools and have always feared this might occur. I hope all will be fine and that you will have a speedy recovery…

  • gordon
    January 9, 2012 at 11:31 am

    GWS matey. At least Sooty wasn’t involved in this one !!!!

  • Stacy
    January 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Oh no!

    That’s dreadful, I hope it can be fixed. I’ve only ever met you once and I wanted to get your autograph but I was too star struck to ask! I was hoping to come to another show in the new year and get it right this time…

    Please be sure to inform us of a speedy recovery!

  • Allan
    January 9, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Hope you’re on the mend soon. Thanks for the timely warning. There’s probably some jokes about a cut and restored finger routine in there somewhere. I’ll leave it to you…

  • Steve Valentine
    January 10, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Inna and I are thinking of you and wishing a speedy full recovery. Pete’s right, you have a wonderful nurse in Debbie, please take care

    Steve , Inna and Evie rose

  • Paul Gordon
    January 10, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    My thoughts are with you. Swift recovery… Paul Gordon

  • illusiongenius
    January 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Dearest Paul,
    I hope you will be OK. I too have suffered a champagne bottle exploding in my hand, requiring tendon surgery and losing the last digit of my right little finger. I’ve had 5 operations on my hands, a gunshot here, a infection there. Not fun. Serious stuff. But the study of the hands is fascinating and for a time I thought seriously of becoming a hand surgeon. I only wish I could help you.
    Lotsa love,
    Ben, An & Stubby

  • Paul e Watts
    January 14, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Hi Paul – what a bumber for the start of the year! I know the feeling well – y’know when something has happened and you’ve no idea how serious it is.

    Not so long back I had a plate-glass door crash over my back. Shards of glass shattered and cut into my right hand. I remember, on the way to the hospital, feeling complete numbness – my fingers wouldn’t move. I thought I’d never be able to do magic again, never type with 2 hands etc etc.

    Apart from extensive superficial damage I had severed a tendon in a finger and partly severed the tendon to my thumb. Thanks must go to a brilliant surgeon who repaired everything and after extensive physio and some months later the hand was back to normal. Still doing close-up, still typing etc. These guys can do amazing things!

    Like you I tried to banter to lighten the seriousness of the occasion. I asked if I’d be able to play the piano afterwards. The surgeon said ‘No reason why you shouldn’t’ and I replied ‘That’s great, ’cause I couldn’t play it before’! (Old Tommy Cooper joke!).

    Hope everything returns to normal quickly and you get back to doing what you do best.

  • Nic Castle
    January 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Hi Paul, I hope you are feeling better. It is amazing what the doctors can repairs. I am sure the future is bright, the future is…….magical. All the best andget well soon.

    Nic Castle

  • Vegas Lupe
    January 15, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Dear Paul,

    We are so sorry to hear about your accident on the table saw. It is a woodworker’s greatest nightmare.

    Norm says he has been using one for so many years, and each time he uses it the thought comes that he could loose a finger on it. Because of the danger, and because I also like to dabble with power tools, we purchased a SawStop last summer. This saw stops immediately upon hitting flesh. Norm is still getting used to it, and I can sleep at night.

    We really sympathize with the accident and we wish you a speedy recovery. Given your disposition and sense of humor, we are sure you will be on the mend and come out of this terrible experience with flying colors.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Debbie.

    Much love to you both from Norm and me,


    PS. Norm plans to call you soon.

  • Almost American
    January 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Wow – sounds as though you were very lucky!

    I second the comment about the SawStop saw – well worth the investment! I was wondering if you have insurance against injuries like that damaging your hands so badly that you couldn’t work anymore? You know – like the models who insure their faces or legs?? 😉

  • A Magic Life
    January 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    The Saw Stop is a brilliant idea but not sold over here…

  • Almost American
    January 22, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    I smell a marketing opportunity for someone then selling SawStop saws in the UK – tho’ I appreciate you’re too busy with your business to take it on Paul!

    BTW, random Paul Daniels story – back in 1985 I had just moved to the US to do a Master’s degree and a guy in my dorm asked me one day if I had ever heard of a magician called Paul Daniels in the UK. I was amazed he’d think I wouldn’t know of you – turned out he had sold you a magic trick of some kind, but really didn’t know how well known you were in the UK! He then proceeded to ask me if I’d like my own private magic show . . . I was a little nervous, but it turned out he wasn’t trying it on – he really did do an hour-long magic show for me! I guess he needed to practice! I don’t even remember his name now.

  • Stephen
    January 23, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Hi Paul

    Sorry to hear about this terrible accident and wish you a speedy recovery, you have a great sense of humour when in fact it could of been really serious,

    Power hand tools are very dangerous even in professional hand,

    I have been a professional tradesman for 20 years both on site and with in a workshop I have witnessed some nasty accidents in my time and I will agree shock is an after effect and to be truthful brings a fear of the tools.

    I have a keen interest in health and safety and have created a multi functional work station which removes all the risk associated with hand power tools and lets the DIYer with limited skills produced quality professional work in a total safe enviroment ,

    It is a 7-1 workstation and give’s the mobile tradesman the advantages of workshop machinery instead of improvising on a daily bases with power hand tools

    As a fan from an early age and from your home town , I would love to offer you a professional workstation Paul , As I understand that props will be needed and I would be happy in the knowledge ,that when you get back in the shed/workshop you have a safe enviroment and peace of mind to complete a project

    You will find yourself in the workshop a lot more then before as this piece of kit is really special Paul and will be a gift from me and my company as your an inspiration for Middlebrough on a whole.

    May you continue for many years to come.

    Best Wishes & Thoughts


    P.S Once you use it Paul , you will say “Its Magic”

  • Almost American
    February 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    There’s definitely a marketing opportunity for the Saw Stop saws in Europe – apparently none of the major manufacturers were interested in them here in the US!