Debbie McGee recalls seeing the Blackpool illuminations for the first time with her late husband Paul

Debbie McGee Strictly gave me confidence

As Strictly heads to Blackpool, Debbie McGee recalls fond memories of working there with her late husband Paul Daniels

Strictly Come Dancing star Debbie McGee has said she has fond memories of working with her late husband Paul Daniels in Blackpool as the hit BBC1 show moves to the seaside resort.

Debbie, who's arrived in Blackpool with her Strictly co-stars ahead of Saturday's show, warmly remembered having a great time with magician Paul back in the 1980s when they did a sell-out summer show together.

“I did a big summer show at the Blackpool Opera House with Paul in the 1980s and was sold out every night,” she told TV Times. “We had a wonderful time – Paul drove me along the seafront to see the illuminations for the first time”.

Debbie is now the warm favourite to win Strictly. So, how does she cope with the pressure? “I’ve always been a person who lives for today, especially since losing Paul. On the Monday morning we quickly mention last weekend, but then you have to just focus on a new dance.”

As to why Blackpool is such a special place for Strictly, Debbie has her own theory” “It’s a proper ballroom and not a TV studio, so there will be an extra atmosphere – [my pro partner] Giovanni says there’s a real buzz that you can’t describe until you experience it. I love anything showbizzy and glamorous, it makes me come alive, but I’m nervous about the big dancefloor – I’ve only got little legs.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday evening on BBC1 at 6.45pm.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!