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The International Brotherhood of Magicians

18 Mar

UK's Paul Daniels Dies at Age 77

Category: Broken Wand   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK

 Paul Daniels, 77, of Berkshire, England, died March 17, 2016 from brain cancer. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1980-2000). Born in the South Bank area of Middlesbrough, his interest in magic began in his youth when he read a book “How to Entertain at Parties,” and began performing tricks for his friends and family before branching out to local youth clubs. As a short and shy child, magic give him the confidence to step forward.

While he did his national service, he performed magic for his fellow soldiers. After the service he joined his parents in their small grocery business, but continued to perform at local clubs in the evenings. Soon he opened his own grocery store. He married Jacqueline Skipworth in 1960, and they performed as The Eldanis (an anagram of his last name).

His big break came in 1969 when he was offered a summer session in Newquay. Encouraged, he sold his grocery shop and became a full-time entertainer. After appearing on the talent show Opportunity Knocks, a television executive gave him a regular spot on The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club and his television career took off. The following year he joined the BBC with The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran for fifteen years. A segment of that show was Bunco Booth, in which he exposed unscrupulous tricksters.

In 1988 he married his long-time stage assistant, Debbie McGee. He had a six-week run in The Magic Man in London in 1994, and created and staged special effects for several stage shows such as Phantom of the Opera and Cats.

In recent years he even appeared on such television shows as The Farm, X Factor: Battle of the Stars, and Strictly Come Dancing.

Survivors include his wife, Debbie; and three sons from a previous marriage, Martin, Paul and Gary. The Daniels family has set up a fundraising website for several charities, including the hospital which treated him. 

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