|Born||Apr. 6, 1938
South Bank, Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England
Paul Daniels is one of the best known magicians in the world. But he is more than just a magician. Daniels is a family entertainer who incorporates comedy into his shows. A household name in the UK for decades and a part of every family’s weekend viewing for years, Daniels’ achievements spread as far and wide as New Zealand, Japan, and Germany. He has even entertained for the Royal Family on several occasions as well as many of the past UK Prime Ministers.
Paul Daniels was born Newton Edward Daniels on the April 6, 1938, but he used his stage name Paul for his shows and series – The Paul Daniels Magic Show – which ran from 1979 to 1994 on British TV. He was born in Yorkshire to Handel Newton and Nancy. His father worked in the theatre and cinema industry for some time.
Paul’s early life was normal. He attended a local grammar school and then went on to work as a junior clerk for the Eston council offices. He served his national service in Hong Kong and then went on to complete his training as an accountant for the government.
Daniels was interested in magic from an early age, and read his first book on the subject when he was on holiday in France when he was 11 years old. He was smitten with magic from that moment onwards, practising whenever he could and entertaining for youth clubs and small parties until he perfected his art enough to enter the world of the stage.
There are several things that make people remember Paul Daniels besides his magic. Measuring in at little over five feet tall and already bold at an early age, he claimed that his hair loss was an act of magic. After giving up work in his parent’s grocery store, he donned his famous wig and set to the stage to carve his career as a magician.
Working with his first wife, he used the anagram The Eldanis as a name, and then went on to perform with his present spouse where he became well-known for phrases like, “You’ll like this, not a lot, but you’ll like it.” A turning point in his up and coming career happened in 1969 when he managed to secure a summer job in Newquay as an entertainer and magician.
Although Daniels is known for his series, The Paul Daniels Magic Show, he also starred in Opportunity Knocks and For My Next Trick. His famous magic show ran on the BBC from 1979 until 1994, where a popular part of his show would be the “Bunko Booth.” This segment was designed to expose street charlatans as frauds.
Daniels won prize of Magician of the Year by the Hollywood Academy of Magical Arts in 1983. He starred in many shows alongside his present partner, Debbie Mcgee, and can be remembered for chopping his index finger off when a trick involving a circular saw went wrong on live TV.
He has also hosted shows such as Wipeout and Every Second Counts. In 2013, Paul and Debbie gave their farewell tour and retired from public view.