Magician and entertainer Paul Daniels has been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

A statement released by his publicist this morning confirmed the illness, and called for his family's privacy to be respected.  

The statement said: “We can confirm that one of our greatest magicians and entertainers of all times, Paul Daniels, has sadly been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

“On behalf of Paul, Debbie and their families, we thank you for your kind concerns and support at this sad time and ask that their privacy continues to be respected. There will be no further comments at this time.”

Mr Daniels, 77, achieved international fame through his BBC series The Paul Daniels Magic Show which ran from 1979 to 1994. 

One of Britain's most celebrated entertainers, he famously married his assistant Debbie McGee in 1988.

She tweeted the statement this morning, adding “with great sadness”.

Mr Daniels, whose real name is Newton Edward Daniels, was well known for his many catchphrases, including: “You'll like this ... not a lot, but you'll like it.”

Born in Middlesbrough in 1938, Daniels' interest in magic began at the age of 11 when he read a book about entertaining at parties.

After his National Service, Daniels developed his magic skills in working men's clubs. He has three children with his first wife Jacqueline, who he married in 1960.

The magician appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2010. 

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