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The Woodville Halls in Gravesend welcomed legendary magician Paul Daniels ahead of this year's Easter panto

You’ll like this, not a lot, but you’ll like it.

Legendary magician Paul Daniels was joined by his wife, the 'lovely Debbie McGee', to launch this year’s Easter panto.

The Woodville is welcoming the star who is joined by Steve Hewlett, the ventriloquist who shot to fame with his puppet versions of Sinita and Simon Cowell on ITV1’s Britain’s Got Talent.

The threesome will be starring in Alice in Wonderland which is running at The Woodville on April 4, 5, and 6.

The cast of the Easter panto
The cast of the Easter panto

On Tuesday, a photo call was held at the Windmill Street venue.

“Funnily enough,” Paul said, “Debbie was nagging me for a little holiday. I told her we are going to sunny Gravesend.”

And magic still plays a big part in the 75-year-old’s life: “I’m actually going to finish making a new trick tomorrow. I might use it in Alice in Wonderland.

“I often help people out with their technical problems with magic tricks, especially stage productions. Producers will often come to me for a little help with magic effects and illusions. I like it.”

Unfortunately, a generation of children are now unable to get the Paul Daniels magic set, a must have for children in the 80s and 90s.

Paul said: ”I sold the rights to that years ago. I wish I hadn’t really. The company I sold them to stopped selling them and replaced them with their own brand.”

Paul Daniels and the lovely, Debbie McGee
Paul Daniels and the lovely, Debbie McGee

And on the changing face of magic for the new generation, he added: “I know David Blaine, Dynamo and Derrin Brown. They are all really nice guys. Magic on the television has gone very ‘street’, it’s a shame because the public are losing out by not seeing a more theatrical show.

“The trick is only the beginning, I look at some of their stuff and I do think ‘why’? of course I’ve looked at a lot of the stuff I’ve done and thought the same thing.”

Over the years, Paul has entertained Princes William and Harry, The Sultan of Brunei, The Sultan of Oman, Prince Rainier of Monaco, Barry White, John Major and now it is Gravesend’s turn.

Tickets are £17 for adults and £12 concessions.

To book, call 01474 337774 or go to www.woodville.co.uk

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