Debbie McGee on grief, cancer and her early career

Debbie McGee on grief, cancer and her early career

Why Debbie McGee thinks her cancer was caused by grief


Debbie McGee has opened up about her breast cancer scare. The 60-year-old TV star had surgery last week to remove two tumours after doctors found cancerous tissue in her left breast during a routine screening.

Debbie believes her cancer was triggered by stress and grief after her late husband Paul Daniels died from an incurable brain tumour in 2016 at the age of 77. She told The Sun: "Stress, I think caused mine. I've never been through the stress I've been through since I lost Paul.

"Grief hits you in so many ways you're not expecting. It's not all about sadness."

Speaking about her ordeal, Debbie revealed a close friend of hers, who lost her husband four years ago, has also been diagnosed with cancer and both of them believe the stress from the death of their spouses is to blame.

Debbie was diagnosed in October and after successful surgery this month feels like the "luckiest person in the world" as doctors have given her the all-clear.


And although Debbie still misses Paul, she feels that she is finally moving on from her devastating grief. She said: "I'm fine now. I've really got to a really good place. I just think the last two and a half years were so, so stressful. I'd never dealt with anything as big as that before."

Debbie McGee reveals what life is really like without late husband Paul

We all know how difficult the grieving process can be. After losing a close loved one, there are good days and bad, and everyone deals with the process differently and it seems this is the same for Strictly star, Debbie McGee.

Following the sad loss of her husband, magician Paul Daniels, Debbie admits sometimes she feels so upset she feels like she “can’t cry anymore”, admitting she still breaks down when talking about Paul.

Paul died in 2016 aged 77. The couple were married for almost 28 years before his sad death which left Debbie devastated. When talking about her emotions following his death, Debbie says she often gets upset in private.

"I'm not very good at crying in front of people so, most of the time, I can choose my moments when I recall Paul and think about him. That's usually somewhere where I'm on my own, a hotel room or at home, and the floodgates open. I get to a point where I actually think I can't cry anymore, and you have to say to yourself, 'Right, pull yourself together, go and have a cup of tea. Occasionally, someone will say something and you can't help it, you just cry. You're emotional."

In order to distract herself from Paul’s passing, 59-year-old Debbie has taken on many projects, such as Strictly Come Dancing. She believes this has really helped her deal with her grief.

“I've got the closest family anyone could have, I've got lovely friends, but you need something else to think about.”

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Debbie McGee’s early life

Born in Kingston-upon Thames to Patrick McGee and Lillian Howes, she has two younger siblings, a sister called Donna and a brother named Robert. Her parents ran a corner shop until her father began working for a large manufacturing firm making gold rings and other jewellery.

At age 16, Debbie won herself a place at the Royal Ballet School and after graduating she joined the Iranian National Ballet company. Her career here was brought to a bitter halt following the Iranian revolution when she was forced to return to the UK. Her talent for ballet certainly showed in Strictly.

It was shortly after this she joined Paul Daniels as his assistant, a role which would remain until his sad death. During this period, she became the first female member of the magic circle and went on to win the same services to British Magic award Paul once won.

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