Paul Daniels – 1938 to 2016

Another of the greats of our industry has left us – the legendary British magician Paul Daniels passed away in his sleep due to a brain tumour. Thankfully, according to his wife of 28 years and on stage assistant Debbie McGee, said Paul did not know he was dying in his final days.

He was in, what the consultants said was, a happy, confused state. He knew who everybody was, but his brain wasn’t processing new information [due to the tumour],” she told the BBC.


Paul’s death is just the latest in what’s been a tragic two months as the magic industry has mourned the loss of so many greats including Tihany, Bob Brown, J C Doty, Jim Patton, Jerry Mentzer, Tom Mullica and only last week Irene Larsen. (Dai Vernon’s son just passed away a few hours ago).

Newton Edward Daniels, known by his stage name Paul Daniels, was the most famous of them all. An English magician and television performer who achieved international fame through his television series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran on the BBC from 1979 to 1994. Literally hundreds of the top working magicians today have been influenced by Paul Daniels.

Lance Burton said “Paul was very kind and generous to me and we became friends. He attended my show in Las Vegas and even gave me a joke, which I used for 20 years. We lost a great magician and world-class entertainer today.”

In fact one of Lance’s very first TV appearances that helped him launch his stellar career, was on this episode of ‘The Paul Daniel’s Magic Christmas Show (1985)

The Paul Daniels Magic Christmas Show

The Paul Daniels Magic Christmas Show 1985… by oldtvshow


This was the secret of Paul’s success – even though he could present every style of magic, he was never afraid to share the stage with colleagues and let the spotlight shine on them. His generosity was legendary and endeared him not only to other magicians, but also to the public. Something he may well have picked up from his TV magic predecessor David Nixon.

Paul on The David Nixon Show (1975)


Later in his career, as is the way of the world, the British tabloids grew tired of Paul and as his star began to wain journalist Louis Theroux filmed a one-hour documentary with broadcaster Louis Theroux which catapulted Paul and Debbie back into the spotlight and made the nation see just how in love the couple were.

And after years of the pair being dogged by that infamous question from comedy chat show Mrs Merton (“What was it that first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”), it was finally put to bed by their touching, if eccentric, love story.

When Louis met Paul and Debbie


Paul even took on a challenge to see if his magic and talent would stand on it’s own without his fame attached, and went to the USA to for another documentary where he tried to start a career as the great ElDani.’

Paul Daniels In A Black Hole


Paul has presented so many diverse routines and illusions throughout his career that everyone has a favourite piece. Grab something to eat and get ready to be entertained. Hopefully you’ll find your favourite among this tiny selection of some of Paul’s classic effects.




Good Trick/Great Trick

Chimpanzee’s Tea Party

Chop Cup Routine

Chop Cup Routine 2014

Rabbit from a Hat


Paul’s Levitation Box


Bewildering Blocks


Electric Chairs


Billiard Balls


Paul Daniels Linking Rings at FISM 1988


Magic Kettle

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