TV and radio star Debbie McGee smiled with nostalgic delight when a fan posted a photo of a pin from a brain cancer charity bearing the face of her late husband, TV magician Paul Daniels. The pair had enjoyed an intense relationship after marrying when she was 30 and he was 50, but he sadly died of a brain tumour back in 2016.
@GemmaLeeWrites alerted Debbie to her find on Twitter: “Look what arrived! Found this gorgeous #pin in support of @braintumourrsch through @thedebbiemcgee.”
She added jubilantly: “A little magic for the lapel!”
Debbie replied with the simple sentiment: “That made me smile.”
Had he survived, Paul would now have been 83 years old – and Debbie remembers him fondly.
However, the weeks leading up to his death had been harrowing, with both of them in tears of anguish.
“This cruel disease stripped him of everything within a few short weeks to the point where he collapsed on the bathroom floor and I held him as he wept and asked me what was happening,” she explained.
Debbie noticed something wasn’t quite right when he was rehearsing for a pantomime back in 2015 – and her fears were soon proved to be tragically correct.
“Time was short – we had been given a prognosis of two months,” she explained while discussing his diagnosis.
However, his decline proved even swifter than that.
Sadly, Debbie recalled that “in the end we had just one month and five days”.
She agreed to tell her story to the charity Brain Tumour Research in the hope of raising awareness and funds for future sufferers of the condition.
Seeing the pin with her husband’s face emblazoned across it seemed to have given her hope that her goal was being reached.
Meanwhile, she addressed her husband again earlier this year on Good Morning Britain, while in conversation with Susanna Reid and Ed Balls.
She had been asked if she believed in the supernatural.
“No, not at all, Ed, the opposite!” she fired back immediately.
“I can’t have lived with a magician for 38 years and believe in things like that. So I’m really happy to act!”
In spite of that, she revealed candidly that she still feels her husband’s presence at times.
“I think when you have had somebody in your life for that long… that they become a part of you,” she explained.
“You do feel like they are still there. When something goes wrong in the house, Paul is always there.”