debbie mcgee paul daniels

Debbie McGee defends marriage to Paul Daniels amid age gap concerns

The Strictly Come Dancing star responded to Martin Lewis' tweet

Sharnaz Shahid

Debbie McGee has defended her marriage to the late Paul Daniels in response to Martin Lewis' tweet on Thursday evening. The former Strictly Come Dancing contestant, who was married to the celebrity magician for 28 years, revealed that people initially expressed some concerns about her being "far too young for him" when they met. "I suffered from this for so many years," she tweeted. "The people who make stupid comments have probably never been in love."

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Debbie McGee and Paul Daniels were married for 28 years

The TV star added: "It took a long time before people accepted that I married Paul because I loved him. Great show tonight." The tweet comes as money expert Martin - who has been married to Lara Lewington since 2009 - was quick to fight back after a Twitter user referred to his wife as a gold digger in a now-deleted message. "I know you think it's a joke, but actually it's offensive both to me and my wife - you're accusing her of being a gold digger," he told the user. Martin added: "We've been together for 15 since way before MSE was owt big. And the mutual support and love we give each other is part of where we both are now."

READ: What is Debbie McGee's net worth?

Earlier this week, Debbie confessed that Paul had kept her at arm's length when they first met. Speaking on her podcast, Spill the Tea with Debbie McGee, the 61-year-old shared: "When I met Paul, it was about the fourth day of rehearsals because the dancers start first. I can remember it as clearly as if it was yesterday because we were rehearsing in a studio above or beneath a church in Shepherd's Bush and I'm always early. So I was sitting outside on the wall and Paul's always early, so he came and the studio wasn't open and nobody else had arrived. So we actually had some banter before everyone else arrived and we just clicked."

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The celebrity couple met in 1979

"But I was much younger than Paul and so he all the time was keeping me at arm's length," she continued, "He thought I was far too young for him because I was 20 years younger than him." Debbie was 29 when she married Paul, who was 50 at the time, back in April 1988.

MORE: Debbie McGee's sweet reunion with ex-Strictly partner Giovanni Pernice

On 2 April, Debbie paid a heartfelt tribute to her late husband Paul as she marked their 32nd wedding anniversary. Sharing a rare picture of the magician on Twitter, she wrote: "32 years ago today it was warm and sunny and I married this very special man. I miss him every day but always thankful I had him in my life." Debbie sadly lost her husband four years ago after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

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