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Daniels threatens disappearing act

The magician Paul Daniels came a step closer to performing his threatened disappearing act yesterday, now that the country has a Labour government.

Mr Daniels, 58, said before the election that he was considering leaving Britain, citing possible rises in income tax levels under Labour. He was in artistic company with Lord Lloyd Webber, who also stated he was ready to flee the UK.

Yesterday Mr Daniels fuelled speculation that he might leave by saying he was selling his house.

"I have to say I am a bit worried and a bit sad, and I am not looking forward to the next Budget," he said. "I'm selling my house now and I might well leave, you never know. I would hope to get work wherever I was."

He added: "Last time Labour were in power they did some terrible things."

The magician is taking a break from television work and is starring in his first West End straight role in Moliere's The School for Wives, which opened last night at The Comedy Theatre.

But Daniels insisted that his days as a magician are not over.

"As a magician I am also an actor, so performing on stage in any form is all part of the same job to me," he said.