Middlesbrough born magician Paul Daniels diagnosed with terminal cancer

Paul Daniels has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Paul Daniels has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

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British magician and television performer Paul Daniels has an incurable brain tumour, it has been confirmed.

A statement from Daniels' publicist confirmed the news to the world today.

Paul Daniels with his wife Debbie McGee

Paul Daniels with his wife Debbie McGee

It said: "We can confirm that one of our greatest magicians and entertainers of all times, Paul Daniels, has sadly been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

"On behalf of Paul, Debbie and their families, we thank you for your kind concerns and support at this sad time and ask that their privacy continues to be respected.

"There will be no further comments at this time."

The magician was due to perform in the North East in May, at the Chris Cross Quayside Cabaret Club, but the shows have now been cancelled.

Chris Cross said: "It's such a blow for me.

"The man who made me want to do what I do and who has been a great inspiration has been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

"Paul is a show business legend and a national treasure. Goodness know how he hasn't been honoured with an OBE yet."

Born in Middlesbrough in 1938, Daniels' interest in magic began at the age of 11 when he read a book about entertaining at parties.

After his National Service, Daniels developed his magic skills in working men's clubs.

In 1969, he was offered a summer season at Newquay and decided to become a full-time performer.

The following year, Daniels made his TV debut on talent series Opportunity Knocks, and came second.

He was seen by TV producer Johnnie Hamp, who gave him a regular slot on The Wheeltappers And Shunters Social Club, a variety show on ITV hosted by the late Bernard Manning.

In 1979, Daniels began his long run on BBC One's The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which lasted until 1994.

In addition to performing magic, Daniels also hosted popular quiz shows for the BBC including Every Second Counts, Odd One Out and Wipeout. He also narrated the children's TV show Wizbit.

Daniels married his first wife, Jacqueline, in 1960. They have three sons together.

He wed second wife Debbie McGee in 1988. McGee was Daniels' on-stage assistant from the start of his run on the BBC.

Daniels is also well known for his "You'll like this ... not a lot, but you'll like it" catchphrase.

He said he first came up with the line at a club in Bradford as a way to deal with a heckler.

In later years, Daniels and McGee participated in various TV shows including Channel 5's The Farm, ITV's The X Factor: Battle Of The Stars and Channel 4's Celebrity Wife Swap, in which Daniels tried living with Vanessa Feltz.

Daniels also took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2010.