Paul Daniels' son has jetted back to the UK following the news that his father is suffering from incurable brain cancer. On hearing that his 77-year-old father's condition has deteriorated Martin Daniels flew home from Brazil, where he has been performing in his own magic show in South America.
He reportedly told a friend: "I need to get back to be with my dad. The news has come as a huge shock to everybody and the family's focus is now on being there for Paul and supporting him through this time."
The legendary magician reportedly spent several days in hospital last week and only recently learnt of his diagnosis. At Christmas he appeared in Aladdin with wife Debbie McGee in Ipswich, but last month he cancelled a 41-date UK tour citing "unforeseen circumstances".
Today, (20 February), his agent Chris Davis announced the illness in a statement today. 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."
His wife Debbie McGee, 57, tweeted a link to the statement adding: "With great sadness pauldaniels.co.uk ."
Friends and fans of the entertainer have been sending messages of support to him and his family since the sad news was reported. Producer Johnnie Hamp, who gave Daniels his first break in TV told the Sunday People: "It's terrible news and I feel really gutted. Debbie will be distraught. You've got to feel for her at the moment. The last time I saw him we had a good old laugh and we've been in contact over the years all the time. I will be contacting Debbie but you don't like to get in touch with people at this point. For me he was the best magician certainly of his era without any doubt."
Mark Linsey, acting director of BBC Television, said: "We're sorry to hear this sad news and our thoughts are with Paul and his family." TV illusionist Dynamo posted s heartfelt message on his Instagram account. He wrote: "Just read this sad news! Sending my love and respect to Paul, Debbie and all the family! £MagicLegend".
The charity Macmillan Cancer wrote: "We're very sorry to read of Paul Daniels's diagnosis. We are sending our love to him and his family."
The magician and Debbie starred in The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran from 1979 to 1994 and was sold to 43 different countries. The magic show regularly attracted UK audiences of 15 million. He also presented game shows including Wipeout and Odd One Out and narrated children's TV show Wizbit.
The TV personality has rarely reported ill health, previously falling ill due to gallstones. At the time he told an interviewer. "Death isn't scary. It's just like going to sleep. It doesn't bother me because when your time's up, it's up."