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Debbie McGee thanks Paul Daniels fans for messages of support

Paul Daniels with his wife Debbie McGee in March 2009
Eleanor Bley Griffiths, Press Association

PAUL Daniels's wife Debbie McGee has thanked fans for their "wonderful messages" in the wake of the magician's diagnosis with terminal cancer.

The 77-year-old fell at home and was rushed to hospital suspected of suffering a stroke, although he was later diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, his son has said.

Ms McGee, whose father is from Derry, wrote on Twitter: "I wish I could answer all your wonderful messages individually but there are so many. They are all appreciated so much.

"Paul and I had no (idea) of how people felt. Truly amazing. Thank you."

Mr Daniels's son, Gary Daniels, one of his three children by his first wife Jacqueline Skipworth, has also been calling his father with messages of support.

Ms McGee wrote: "My youngest stepson Gary has phoned every day since his Dad took ill and he has now lost his voice. Missing your calls so get better soon xxx"

Another of the entertainer's sons, Martin Daniels, said the family do not know how long his father has left.

He told the Sunday Mirror: "There's no treatment which can help him. Doctors haven't said how many weeks or months he might have - and we haven't asked.

"He knows things are not in his hands now and we are living in the knowledge every day is a bonus.

"It is unbearably difficult. He has said before 'When It's your time, it's your time' and that's how he is trying to face up to things."

Martin (52), who is a magician himself, had to cut short a tour in Argentina after receiving a call from Ms McGee (57).

The entertainer remained upbeat while undergoing tests in hospital which later revealed he had a "rapidly growing" brain tumour, his son said.

"A couple of days after I arrived to see Dad in hospital he was up and walking about trying to cheer up all the other patients," he said.

"He said to me 'Right, I am going to have a wander round now and see if everyone is all right'.

"He went round the beds saying hello, making jokes. He sat at the nurses' stations. He was doing a little ditty by the door to the ward saying 'Roll up, roll up, visiting time is over folks'."

Mr Daniels, who is said to be "lucid", is now at his Thames-side home surrounded by his family, said his son, adding that the support of his fans had given them "tremendous strength at what is a very difficult time".

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