Debbie McGee: Strictly has given me my sparkle back after Paul’s death

Strictly Come Dancing has given Debbie McGee her sparkle back, the former magician’s assistant revealed.

The 59-year-old is one of the favourites for this year’s glitterball trophy after a run of impressive performances alongside partner Giovanni Pernice.

Her appearance on the show comes 18 months after the death of her husband, magician Paul Daniels.

“When Paul died I completely lost my sparkle and I laughed but I wasn’t happy and Strictly has given me the clear feelings of happy back,” McGee said.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Strictly Come Dancing’s Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice (Strictly Come Dancing YouTube/BBC)</figcaption>
Strictly Come Dancing’s Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice (Strictly Come Dancing YouTube/BBC)

She added: “If it had been last year it wouldn’t be the same because I was still very upset with my grief and feeling much weaker as a person.

“So it came at the right time, … it had been 18 months and I had done some other jobs that were slowly getting me back to being Debbie.”

McGee said she could feel Daniels’ presence when she performed and also revealed her biggest fan is her 80-year-old mother.

“Her and my dad always used to dance at parties and weddings. They loved jiving, they were really good jivers,” she said.

She’s just loving watching us dance, it’s wonderful for her.

“She loves it and she watches it about four times in the week as well.”

McGee said she had her “fingers crossed” she would be asked to take part in the Strictly tour alongside Pernice and revealed she would be going straight into pantomime rehearsals when she leaves the show.

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