Debbie McGee says Strictly gave her ‘a different sort of strength’

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Strictly star Debbie McGee has credited the dancing competition with giving her the confidence in her abilities as an entertainer she had not experienced when husband Paul Daniels was alive.

The TV star, 59, said she had not realised how much the magician took responsibility for making sure their show was a success.

She told the Press Association: “When you work with a partner for so long, and he was a very strong person, I never had the responsibility if something went wrong, not that it did.

Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee (Matt Crossick/PA)

“In my head I wouldn’t have that responsibility that if it isn’t working, I have to worry.

“He could always make it right and I knew that in the shows, whatever happened, we would win.

“So I didn’t realise it until Paul died that psychologically that actually was in my head, until I suddenly was out there on my own and I’ve got that responsibility, I’ve got to entertain those people and make sure it’s really good.

Debbie McGee and Paul Daniels (Ian West/PA)

“What Strictly did was give me that confidence, actually yes I know I can do it.

“I think I’ve always known (I’m strong and powerful) but I think it has given me a different sort of strength.”

McGee will reunite with her professional partner Giovanni Pernice for the Strictly Come Dancing live tour when it kicks off in Birmingham on January 19 before visiting Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Belfast, Glasgow, Nottingham and London.

Debbie McGee in rehearsals with Giovanni Pernice (Ellis O’Brien)

While she has not stopped working since Strictly wrapped in December, starting a stint in panto the day after the final, her dance partner Pernice said he embraced the Christmas break.

He said: “I was in Italy in Sicily with my mum, food every day, I gained like four kilos in four days but it doesn’t matter, it’s already lost again.”

For information on the tour visit

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