MAGICIAN Paul Daniels has died from brain cancer.
The 77-year-old entertainer passed away yesterday (Thursday) morning at his home in Wargrave.
: ORGANISATIONS from across Wargrave have paid tribute to Paul Daniels.
The magician moved to the village in 1998 with his wife and the couple made dozens of appearances at community and charity events free of charge over the years.
Graham Howe, president of the Wargrave Festival, said Daniels brought “enthusiasm and passion” to whatever he got involved with.
He said: “Paul was known for his charisma and humour but privately he had all those plus he would listen to what you were saying.
“He really helped us in the early stages when this [festival] committee came together in 2004.
“We did not know what we were doing and helped and gave us advice. He helped one of the local parent teacher associations to establish the regular comedy night.
“He was always willing to listen to what we needed. He would help with details and be professional in his approach without making you feel overawed by this guy who was a massive entertainer.
“To us as a community he was more than that because of his willingness to channel his enthusiasm and passion into whatever we asked him to do.
“Debbie and Paul were very much a couple in love when we saw them.
“They have been fantastic contributors to us and we would be happy to give Debbie and the family support in whatever way they need, just as they have supported us over the years.”
Daniels has raised at least £12,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution with his shows at the festival.
Michael Porter, chairman of the Wargrave branch of the charity, thanked the magician and his wife for supporting the RNLI since 2003.
He said: “We were very sad to hear the news about Paul.
“He was a great supporter of the RNLI with his shows and our car boot sales. He and Debbie were an absolute pleasure to work with.
“We want to express our deepest sympathy to Debbie and all members of the family.”
Daniels did about four shows for the organisation at the biennial festival with each raising between £3,000 and £4,000.
Mr Porter added: “The highlight of Paul’s shows was always the audience participation but I knew many people who took great care to sit as near to the back as possible.”
: PAUL Daniels’ publicist has given a statement on the magician’s death overnight.
It said: 'One of our most beloved entertainers, Paul Daniels, has passed away at the age of 77.
“The TV star, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour earlier this year, passed away peacefully at home with Debbie at his side in the early hours of this morning.
“Debbie and the family would like to thank everyone for their support and asks that their privacy be respected at this sad time.”
One of Daniels’ sons Gary, a fitness presenter, also confirmed the news on Twitter.
He tweeted: “It is with incredible sadness that I can confirm that Dad, Paul Daniels, passed away over night.”
Thousands of people have paid tribute to Daniels on social media since the news was announced this morning.
DJ Mike Read, who lives in Henley, has also paid tribute to Daniels. Both are former employees of the BBC.
He tweeted: “Paul Daniels a magician and illusionist with a passion for, and a pride in, his profession.”
Daniels was a contestant on the 2010 series of Strictly Come Dancing where he was partnered with Ola Jordan.
She described her dance partner as “amazing”.
“Just heard the devastating news about my amazing dance partner Paul,” she said. “It was a pleasure and honour to work with you. RIP.”
Jordan added: “You are in my thoughts a prayers.”
His wife Debbie McGee, 57, and son Martin, 55, were with him.
Daniels was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour in February after visiting hospital following a fall at home.
It was thought he had suffered a stroke until a scan revealed the tumour.
Daniels, who was born in Middlesbrough, wanted to become a magician from the age of 11 when he read a book about entertaining at parties and he began performing as a hobby.
His big break came in 1979 with the launch of The Paul Daniels Magic Show on BBC1, which ran for 15 years.