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Debbie McGee reveals how Strictly has helped following husband Paul Daniels' death: 'I feel genuinely happy'

The Strictly star has been partnered up with Giovanni Pernice

Debbie McGee
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
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It's been over a year since she lost her husband, Britain's beloved magician Paul Daniels. And during an appearance on Thursday's Lorraine, Debbie McGee revealed she feels "genuinely happy" for the first time since Paul passed away - all thanks to Strictly Come Dancing. The 58-year-old, who has been partnered up with Giovanni Pernice on this year's show, admitted she signed up for Strictly because she was struggling to deal with her loss. "After he did Strictly with Ola [Jordan], he always wanted me to do it too," she told host Christine Lampard. "Now, I keep pinching myself because I can't believe how lucky I am to have been offered it. I have enjoyed every second so far."

STORY: Debbie McGee on late husband Paul Daniels, and what advice he would give her for Strictly

Debbie, who was married to the celebrity magician for 28 years, added: "This is the first time since I lost Paul that I feel genuinely happy. I am always giggling and having a good time. Before, there was always this knot in my stomach but the last three weeks on Strictly have been amazing. Everyone is so lovely. They make you feel so good and wanted. They make you feel like they really want you on the programme." The TV personality also praised Strictly professional Giovanni, claiming they have an "incredible" connection. "We feel very comfortable in each other's company," she continued. "We have the same sense of humour, we laugh a lot but we also have the same work ethic and are really focused. I know what he means without saying anything - and I think that explains just how well we get on."

Paul and Debbie wed in 1988

Earlier this month, Debbie told HELLO! Online how she thought her late husband would have given her "constructive criticism" during her time on the show. She shared: "He'd tell me to enjoy it, but he was very good at constructive criticism. He'd listen to my radio shows and when I got home he'd give me notes. So I'm sure if he was alive and watching me on Strictly he'd have his notes at the end saying like, ‘Oh, you didn't look down at the camera'."

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