Debbie McGee is famous for being the assistant and the wife of late magician Paul Daniels. Following his death in 2016, the 60-year-old went on to compete in Strictly Come Dancing, where she reached the finals with dance partner Giovanni Pernice. But how much is the former ballerina worth? Here's everything you need to know about the TV star…
Who is Debbie McGee?
Debbie - real name Debra Ann McGee - was born in Kingston upon Thames in 1958 to parents Patrick McGee and Lillian Howes. When she was a child, Debbie attended Our Lady Immaculate RC Primary School in Tolworth, followed by Tolworth Girls' School, a secondary school also in Tolworth. From the age of 16, Debbie auditioned for and won a place at the Royal Ballet School. After graduating, she joined the Iranian National Ballet Company in Tehran. Aged 19, she became part of the Corps de Ballet and later a soloist. However, her ballet career was brought to an abrupt end by the Iranian Revolution.
Debbie and Paul were married for 28 years
Debbie's rise to fame
After returning to the UK, Debbie auditioned for a summer cabaret season - where she met her future husband Paul Daniels. "I went to a massive audition with about 1,000 girls, and they chose around 50 of us," Debbie previously told The Guardian. "Eight were put with Des O’Connor, eight were with Little and Large, and eight were with Paul Daniels. I'd never heard of him. I came home and said, 'I've got this contract for four and a half months with this guy called Paul Daniels, what does he do?' My parents said, 'Oh, he's a magician.' Well, I didn't like magic because I'd only seen bad magic." But Debbie fell for Paul from the very start. "We had an instant chemistry," she added. "He made me laugh."
READ: Giovanni Pernice reveals how Debbie McGee is coping following cancer diagnosis
Debbie later joined Dougie Squires's Second Generation troupe as a dancer, which involved touring Europe. After winter work in pantomime, she once again accompanied Paul for his 1980 summer season in Bournemouth. In the late seventies, Debbie was asked to appear in the BBC One series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which propelled her into the limelight.
The TV star appeared on Strictly in 2017
What is Debbie McGee's net worth?
Although Debbie's total fortune is not known, it has been reported that Paul left his wife just under £500,000 following his death in 2016. It was also reported that the late magician had debts of £1million. But thanks to Strictly, Debbie allegedly took £75,000 after making it to the finals.
READ: Debbie McGee reveals how Strictly has helped following husband Paul Daniels' death
Debbie's relationship with Paul
Debbie married Paul in April 1988, a decade after they first met in 1979 when they worked together on his Great Yarmouth show. The TV star sadly lost her husband Paul in 2016. The couple were married for 28 years, but Debbie revealed that the celebrity magician would want her to find a partner. "With him being so much older than me, we did talk about that," the dancer recently told the Sun. "He always used to say, 'But I know you'll cope'. And he said, 'I hope you do meet somebody else. I don't want you to be on your own for the rest of your life'. He always said, 'I know you'll cope.'"
MORE: Debbie McGee remembers beloved late husband Paul Daniels
Debbie's cancer diagnosis
Debbie was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer last October, but in January she underwent surgery to remove cancerous tissue that was found during a routine screening. The dressings were recently removed and Debbie has been given the all-clear; she will be monitored regularly to make sure the cancer doesn't return. The star will not have to have chemotherapy, but must now rest following her operation. "Stress, I think caused mine," she said of the cancer. "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. I've got a friend who lost her husband four years ago. She's younger than me but she got it (cancer) as well. We both discussed it and said stress."
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