A magical time for Martin Daniels

Last time Martin Daniels was at the Guild Hall in Preston more than 20 years ago, he was with his dad, the late Paul Daniels. But now on his own, he promises a very funny show, with a few magic tricks thrown in for good measure.

Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 3:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 5:44 pm
Martin Daniels

As the son of the late Paul Daniels, Martin had grown up with magic.

Whilst his two other brothers spent time in the amusement arcades, he was learning the art with his dad.

He said: “I used to visit my dad wherever he was in the summer season and I always stayed around in the backstage wings, soaking it all up.

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Martin Daniels

“I was always interested in the industry.

“I started in 1979 when I was only 15 or 16. I was at a small summer show in Newquay, with a 20 minute slot in a variety show. I grew in confidence and I started telling jokes. I ended up doing more than the time limit and so as I liked the jokes, I cut out a trick.

“I was getting good responses from the audience and other comedians were saying I should focus on comedy.

“My dad’s manager had lined up a few gigs. I got £10, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but other lads in my year were doing apprentices for £22 a week, and I was earning £50 to £60 a week.

Paul Daniels

“When I told my dad, he said I had worked in every social club he had refused. He and his manager had made a list of the toughest clubs to test me and see I was committed.

“It worked out well for me in the end, but it could have destroyed me.

“From there, things got easier and I signed with a manager. I started performing at concert halls which was much nicer.

“I didn’t want to be famous - I wanted to be a performer. I feel I have made it on my own. I have nowhere to hide on stage. I have been doing this for more than 30 years now.”

Martin Daniels

Since then, the 52-year-old has forged a successful career.

He presented Game for a Laugh with Jeremy Beadle, and also featured on Lingo and Les Dennis’ Laughter Show, as well as being a presenter on CITV.

The father-of-two has also toured with performers of the calibre of Jane McDonald, Lenny Henry and MC Hammer, and has made five appearances on The Royal Variety Performance.

One of his biggest appearances to date was taking part in the VE Day Concert in Hyde Park attended by the Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Anne and Princess Margaret.

Paul Daniels

Martin is also a published author, having penned a book entitled Cunning Stunts – The 50 Best Pub Tricks and Brain Teasers.

He has graced the stage at the Guild Hall many times and the last time was with his dad more than 20 years ago.

But he is looking forward to returning.

He said: “My time at Preston was such a great success, they asked me back so soon!

“I had avoided working with my dad so many times as I wanted to do it on my own. He said he wanted me to come with him so we could support each other on and off stage. But it was great working with him. I had done eight TV series on my own by then and felt fully established.

“I’m sure I will remember the sights and smells when I return and it will remind me of my dad. But when I am on stage, it will be a different kettle of fish. “I love being a one-man show - there are no restrictions and I can perform how I like.”

Paul Daniels died in March this year, after a short battle with a brain tumour.

His death is still raw, as Martin and his family are getting used to life without him.

He said: “We are doing the best we can. It is odd going to his house and realising he won’t be there. When something happens that I think my dad would love to hear, I remember he is not here to tell.

“It still smacks you in the face, but it is not all consuming.”

Martin Daniels Comedy Show is at the Charter Theatre on Friday August 5.

The show starts at 7.30pm. For tickets, at £12.10 visit http://www.prestonguildhall.com/events/view/280