Chester magicians share their memories of Paul Daniels

Daniels has been described as 'the face of British magic and entertainment'

Saughall magician Stephen Cooil with Paul Daniels

Chester tributes have been paid to Paul Daniels following news of the magician's death at the age of 77.

The entertainer, who passed away from a brain tumour at his Berkshire home in the early hours of Thursday, (March 17) had only revealed he was ill last month and last week returned from hospital to spend his final hours at home.

During his illustrious performing career which spanned five decades, Daniels visited Cheshire on various occasions, including a stint at the Crewe Lyceum in late 2014 with his wife and on-stage assistant Debbie McGee.

Paul Daniels who has died aged 77

Chester magician Stephen Cooil who lives in Saughall, contacted The Chronicle to share his experience of meeting Daniels at The Magic Circle Centenary celebrations in July 2005.

He said Daniels was always highly regarded in the magic world.

"My childhood was spent watching the gentleman of magic, David Nixon on the television and when David sadly died at an early age, there was a void left," he said. " I had seen Paul working before he made his first TV appearance and it was very clear that he had what it takes to become a big name.

"He was very involved in the performance side of things at the Centenary celebrations and he went down a storm with all the magicians who attended, and they came from all parts of the world. He may not have had a show on TV for some years but he has always been highly regarded in the magic world. He was due to appear at a magic convention for children's entertainers near Oswestry in May, where I was looking forward to seeing him again. Sadly this is not to be.

"Rest in peace Paul and thank you for all you did to promote the art of magic. My thoughts are with Debbie and the rest of the Daniels family," added Stephen.

City-based magician John Holt, who performs at events all over the UK, said that Daniels was instrumental in paving the way for all magicians and changed the way everyone perceived the concept of magic.

Speaking to The Chronicle, John said: "Through his TV show, Paul Daniels was the face of British magic and of entertainment.

"His show changed the way the British public thought about magic. Everything great that has happened in magic is possible because of Paul.

Chester magician John Holt paid tribute to Paul Daniels

"Many people feel that they wouldn't be working in showbusiness if it wasn't for him. I can't think of many magicians who weren't introduced to magic via a Paul Daniels magic set. He inspired, and will continue to inspire, generations of magicians for many years to come."

Daniels once said of his career: "Magic is all I ever really wanted to do. Once I found it I just enjoyed it. It was my blood instinct. I think about magic, more or less, eight hours a day; reading about it, coming up with new ideas for tricks and trying them out.

"It's great that I have been able to combine my work with my hobby and magic is such a wide-ranging hobby."

Do you have any fond memories of Paul Daniels? Did you ever meet the legendary magician? Please let us have your comments in the box below.

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