As I explained in episode 174, I was Paul Daniels manager in the latter part of his career until I moved to the States in 2004.
Paul was the most brilliant man I have ever met. I would classify him as a true genius. His 15 years+ years of prime-time BBC shows were no accident. He had honed his craft over many years performing in the challenging environment of working mens clubs in the north of England. For example, he had an instant witty reply to anyone’s name or profession – literally hundreds of variations!
His show was also a platform for launching other magicians, and there isn’t a well-known magician on this planet who wouldn’t credit Paul for helping their career. You name them, they either had their big break by performing on Paul’s show, or at the very least being heavily influenced by it. They also recognize Paul’s skill. He was known among magicians for reinventing even the simplest trick. On the BBC show he would always come up with a different way to present a classic. His version of the cup and ball routine became a classic in its own right, as did his linking rings bit.
His ideas and energy were boundless, and at times I had difficulty keeping up with him, even though he was more than 30 years my senior. And even though I was his manager, in truth I was the one who was managed, or should I say mentored. I had a lot to learn in my early days, and he was extremely generous in sharing his knowledge and experience in the entertainment industry.
Paul was as down-to-earth as they come. His working class roots were always present, and I remember him being offered a fancy meal at a posh London hotel after a show, and he would say, “You know, I really just want some beans on toast, could you do that for me?!”
In the last 20 years, Paul spent much of his time supporting charities, without fanfare or self-promotion. He and his wife Debbie quietly supported countless organizations and individuals in need, and were delighted to do so.
Paul will be deeply missed, not just by me, but by millions of fans in England and
around the world,