The TV star was diagnosed with a brain tumour earlier this year.
A statement from his publicist read: “[He] passed away peacefully at home with Debbie at his side in the early hours of this morning.
“Debbie and the family would like to thank everyone for their support and asks that their privacy be respected at this sad time.”
Paul entertained UK audiences for decades.
His hit TV show, The Paul Daniels Magic Show, regularly attracted audiences of 15 million in the UK, and was sold to 43 countries.
One of the most popular magicians of the 20th century, the late star’s success was unrivalled in the magic and entertainment world.
Born Newton Edwards Daniels in Middlesbrough in 1938, he became interested in magic as a young child. But it wasn’t until 1969 that he became a full-time magician when he performed a summer season at Newquay.
The following year, Paul came second in talent show Opportunity Knocks, which led to him being offered a regular slot on the ITV variety show The Wheeltappers And Shunters Social Club.
In 1979, The Paul Daniels Magic Show hit UK screens on the BBC, and the magician became a household name.
Famous for his self-deprecating humour, his catchphrase was: “You’ll like this … not a lot, but you’ll like it.”
It was at auditions for the hit show that he met his second wife, Debbie McGee. At this point, he was separated from his first wife Jacqueline, with whom he had three sons, Paul, Martin and Gary.
When Debbie met Paul, she was a soloist in the Iranian National Ballet in Tehran who had been forced to flee the country when the 1979 Iranian Revolution broke out.
After auditioning, the successful ballerina was initially disappointed to be selected for The Paul Daniels Show in Great Yarmouth.
“I had no idea who he was or what he did. People told me he was a magician, and my heart sank,” she told The Guardian in 2014.
“Then I saw him on TV at a friend’s house, on the quiz show Blankety Blank. He was very funny – he took his jacket off and had a Superman T-shirt on and red knickers over his trousers. I was in hysterics,” she added.
The couple married in 1988, and she continued to be his magic assistant on the show until it was axed in 1994.
Paul also presented game shows in the 1980s and 90s such as Wipeout, Every Second Counts and Odd One Out. He also participated in various TV shows including Channel 5′s The Farm, BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing, ITV’s The X Factor: Battle Of The Stars and Channel 4′s Celebrity Wife Swap, in which Paul tried living with Vanessa Feltz.
His wit, charm, and magic skills earned him a reputation which meant that he performed to Princes William and Harry, Prime Ministers John Major and James Callaghan, Prince Rainier of Monaco and others.
Paul was famous for his close-up magic and entertainment shows, but was less known for his special effects work. He designed the special effects for the stage productions of Cats and Phantom Of The Opera, and was commissioned by the English National ballet to create magical effects for The Nutcracker.
In his later years, Paul and his wife toured the country with magic and comedy shows, entertaining old fans and new generations alike with his skills.
It was on February 20 2016 that news broke of his illness.
The statement, released on his website, 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.”
In 2013 he told The Guardian: “Death isn’t scary – it’s just like going to sleep. It doesn’t bother me because when your time’s up, your time’s up. Some people can’t take that.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe