Debbie McGee admitted she was ‘afraid of getting hurt’ after Paul Daniels death

Pilgrimage: Debbie McGee leaves ‘memory’ of Paul Daniels

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Debbie is a guest on Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel at 7.55pm on BBC One. Michael McIntyre’s gameshow sees three contestants hope to answer their way to a fortune, with the guidance of seven celebrity experts. The celebrities joining the comedian this week are Strictly Presenter Claudia Winkleman, grime artist Big Narstie, comedian Alex Brooker, presenter Gabby Logan, Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing, Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant and of course, Debbie.

Debbie is best known as the assistant and widow of the late-magician Paul.

The pair were a fixture on television from 1979 until 1994, with Debbie starring as Paul’s assistant in The Paul Daniels’ Magic Show.

They married in 1988 at the height of their acclaim, yet in 2016 tragedy struck after Paul died just two weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

In a 2018 interview Debbie opened up about her grief, two years on from her husband’s death, and revealed that she was “afraid” of beginning a new relationship over a fear of “getting hurt”.

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She told the Mail Online: “When you love someone, and they die, that love doesn’t die too. 

“You still have it, but what do you do with it? Where does it go? You want it to go somewhere.

“I’m not very trusting. I haven’t had that sparkle with anyone.

“Not that I’m against the idea. 

“If I walk into the hotel lobby and meet someone today, then great, but if I’m honest, I’m a bit afraid of that idea.

“I’d like it to happen but I’m afraid of getting hurt.”

Debbie bounced back from her personal tragedy to appear in the 2017 series of Strictly Come Dancing, where she and partner Giovanni Pernice made it to the finals.

The pair lost out on the Glitterball trophy to Holby City’s Joe McFadden and dance partner Katya Jones yet Debbie’s flawless dance routines in the wake of tragedy warmed the nation’s hearts.

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However, she recalled her mental health taking a turn after the highs of Strictly.

She said: “It didn’t come immediately after Strictly.

“I did panto afterwards ‒ God knows how I got through that, but I did. 

“Then I went on tour with Strictly, then around March ‒ a difficult month because Paul died in March, his birthday is in March, our anniversary is in March ‒ I got home, and I just stopped.

“I didn’t want to get out of bed. I couldn’t make a cup of tea.

“Part of it may have been sheer physical exhaustion, but there was more to it.”

She added: “I changed. My brain had changed.

“I’ve always been the most optimistic person. 

“If I’m feeling low I can look in the mirror and say, ‘Come on Debbie, let’s do this. Put on your make-up and smile’.

“Suddenly I couldn’t”.

Earlier this year Debbie revealed she was finally happy again after five years of sorrow, and told The Mirror he was ready to meet someone new.

Watch Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel at 7.55pm on BBC One.

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