Debbie McGee is an English television, radio and stage performer best known for her work and relationship with Paul Daniels.
At the age of 16 Debbie McGee attended the Royal Ballet School. She then joined the Iranian National Ballet Company in Tehran and, at 19 years old, became part of the Corps de Ballet. Unfortunately, her ballet career was cut short by the Iranian Revolution.
It was the Bernard Delfont Organisation that found Debbie a job performing on stage with magician Paul Daniels. She met Paul in London in 1979 at rehearsals for his summer show.
After winter work in pantomime, Debbie joined Paul again for his 1980 summer season in Bournemouth. She then performed in his London stage show It’s Magic, which opened on 10 December 1980 and which, by the time it closed 14 months later, had become the longest running magic show ever to play in the West End.
Debbie McGee achieved fame through TV appearances with Daniels. After seeing her on stage in the West End, BBC producer John Fisher asked Debbie to appear in the BBC One series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which began in 1979. The series was a huge hit and regularly attracted audiences of 15 million in the UK and was sold to 43 countries.
Paul and Debbie were married in Buckinghamshire in April 1988.
Television and Film
McGee appeared on comedian Caroline Aherne’s talk show The Mrs Merton Show in 1995; Aherne’s character Mrs Merton asked McGee “what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”, a joke which a poll later ranked as Britain’s second-best one-liner. The couple later joked about the quip, with Daniels saying “when Debbie and I got married, I certainly wasn’t a millionaire and the other funny thing was Caroline had just married a millionaire so we thought that was hysterical”. Calling the continuing popularity of the joke “lovely”, McGee credits the appearance on Mrs Merton for kickstarting her own fame, saying “after Mrs Merton people started to really recognise me. It gave us great publicity.”
In August 2017 it was announced that Debbie McGee would be appearing as a contestant on the fifteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing. Her professional dance partner was Giovanni Pernice.