Debbie McGee: Strictly star left surprised after being told Paul Daniels story live on air

During her self-titled BBC Radio Berkshire radio show yesterday, Strictly Come Dancing finalist Debbie McGee, 60, interviewed former Showaddywaddy member Dave Bartram, 67. He told the host Paul Daniels had “saved” the band’s set at the Royal Variety Show, after technical issues sparked what could’ve been an awkward five minute slot. The singer recalled how the magician performed some tricks to fill the gap, but revealed he never got the chance to thank the late star. Revealing all, he told Debbie: “It was at the Royal Variety show in 1978…

Ah, that sounds like Paul. He could always fill a gap.

Debbie McGee

“For some reason with the guys behind the scenes, there was a revolving stage at the London Palladium. And for some reason they rewound it around the wrong way.”

Giggling, Dave added: “The show was actually live and it sheared about three of our cables.”

Startled by the story, Debbie interrupted saying: “Oh gosh,” prompting him to discuss further details.

The singer added: “So all we had was a guitar up and running and Harry [the host], who was introducing the band to come on for our great moment on the Royal Variety Show, fell into a bit of a panic and ended his link and walked off stage.

“There was this… well I wouldn’t call it a pregnant pause, it was longer than a pregnant pause… Mr Paul Daniels ran onto the stage and entertained the audience for five minutes to save the day.”

Sounding proud of the encounter, Debbie replied: “Ah, that sounds like Paul. He could always fill a gap.”

Dave added: “I never got to thank him but he really did save the day.”

Debbie thanked the singer for sharing his story, telling him: “That’s made my day.”

She and Paul were married from 1988 up until his death in 2016, just weeks after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The couple first met when Debbie started working as his assistant on his famous magic shows.

In a recent interview with Good Morning Britain, Debbie revealed Paul “hated” being alone as she claimed he would’ve moved on swiftly if she had died before him.

She said: “I’m sure if I had been the one that died, Paul would’ve been with someone within a month.

“We used to joke about it, I’d say, ‘Who’s going to wash your shirts? You can’t do that. You can’t cook’.”

“You know, [he] always wanted people around and fun and happiness and he would never cope with being in the house on his own.

“If I was out, he hated it.”

Debbie also insisted she is ready to date two years on from his death, telling the hosts: “It has to be the right person.”

She added: “I’ll come to a time that I’ll meet someone who’s probably very different to Paul.”

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