GMB: Debbie McGee does the splits
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Critics once mocked Debbie McGee’s romance with her late husband, Paul Daniels, with an infamous clip on the Mrs Merton show back in the 1990s asking: “So Debbie, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?” Though it was a classic comedy line at the time, the 64-year-old former Strictly star has since fought against cruel age-gap stereotypes in a candid podcast interview.
It’s not give and take, it’s give and give!
Debbie McGee on relationships
Talking to Loose Women star Kaye Adams on her How To Be 60 podcast series, Debbie dismissed preconceptions about age differences, insisting that “chemistry is chemistry”.
Kaye had been discussing how 76-year-old musical great Cher had shocked the world by dating a man less than half her age.
“It sends everyone into a tailspin [saying] ‘How could this happen?’ – and in typical Cher fashion, she says ‘Love doesn’t do maths,'” she recalled.
Debbie – who was 29 at the time that she married a 50-year-old Paul – agreed with her sentiments.
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“Chemistry is chemistry and then it’s working at a relationship, and relationships are about giving the other person what they need,” she suggested.
She then shared her secrets on how to make intergenerational romances run smoothly.
“Me and Paul had ups and downs – everybody does – but we had this theory [that] it’s not give and take, it’s give and give,” Debbie added.
“When you get cross with a partner, it’s usually because you’ve expected something often that they don’t give you.
“You have to tell them and make sure they do it!” she chuckled.
Debbie confessed that she had a hatred of certain household chores – and that her husband stepped in to save the day.
“He put the rubbish out and made the beds, because I hate making beds!
“I know that sounds quite trite, but in a relationship it’s about the small things being so much more than big things,” the radio star exclaimed.
Kaye cautioned that it was important to be “wary” about getting into a “transactional mindset” and refusing to do things for a partner if they hadn’t done something.
“Then you can incrementally move apart from each other,” she mused.
Meanwhile, Debbie claimed the generation that she came from focused more on looking after each other than today’s youth.
“There’s a pattern of becoming successful without working at it, and just wanting money and a big house and car”, she lamented.
She added that she had got through bad days – including the comedown after her previous stint on Strictly Come Dancing was over – by doing things to help other people.
Debbie recalled that her husband had been equally conscientious about putting the work in for an important relationship.
On one occasion, when the pair had been working seven days a week on the legendary magic shows they created as a duo, Paul had still found a way to secretly snare a day off for her – and he then took her to Paris for a romantic lunch.
“Other men hated him because he did all sorts of things which were just so wonderful!” she joked.
Recalling another romantic gesture, she added: “He said ‘I wish I’d never married you and then we could do it again!'”
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