I had the privilege of interviewing Paul Daniels back in 2013 when he was preparing for his First Farewell Tour with Debbie McGee. Paul, I, have to say was a bit of a legend to me, I had memories of watching his magic show on TV back in the late 1970s/early 1980s.
It was quite thrilling when the phone rang and both Paul and Debbie were at the other end of the line, discussing their forthcoming show, how they met and Paul’s career on television. Paul, of course, was honest when he gave me his own take on his TV success back in the 1980s:
“Television is the theatre on the wall or on the stand in your living room, if you’re doing workingmen’s clubs you have one set of performance rules, if you have cabaret clubs it’s different again. Come television time, I would get American guests for example and they’d go “We’ve got 16 million viewers!” and I’d say “Whoa! you’ve got four! They’re sitting 12 feet away from you on a settee” Once you perform to that technique you become a much better television presenter.”
I can’t pretend to say that I knew Paul Daniels, but in a way, I did know him through the medium of the TV set of which he came into our homes every Saturday evening in the 1980s as our family, like so many others, united in watching his latest magical performance – and that WAS magic! Thank you Paul!