Strictly’s Debbie McGee reveals secret battle with breast cancer

She underwent surgery last week

Debbie McGee

by Alex Ross |
Updated on

Strictly Come Dancing star and performer Debbie McGee has revealed she underwent surgery last week, after being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 60.

Debbie, who appeared on Strictly alongside professional dancer Giovanni Pernice in 2017, opened up about her diagnosis, admitting doctors found cancerous tissue in her left breast. The 60-year-old revealed the stress of losing her husband, magician Paul Daniels, may have started the disease, adding that she was first diagnosed in October.

Debbie told The Sun, "Stress, I think caused mine. I've never been through the stress I've been through since I lost Paul. Grief hits you in so many ways you're not expecting."

“Although I’ve had mammograms every two years, I never thought for a minute I’d ever have it myself. It scared me to death. They were talking about full mastectomy, taking flesh from my thighs. That was really scary given my dancing — and I was all on my own."

She then added, “I just think I’m the luckiest person alive because I had a mammogram and it showed up and it’s early, I won’t have any scarring or anything. It’s just incredible and the only reason for that is because I’ve had regular checks.”

After finding the cancer earlier, Debbie revealed the good news that they have been removed successfully, without the need for any chemotherapy.

The TV host found fame as Paul's assistant, with the pair going on to get married in 1988.

Debbie was left heartbroken in 2017, when Paul sadly died at the age of 77 after suffering from a brain tumour.

Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee
©Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee © Getty Images

Following the heartbreaking death of her husband, Debbie signed-up to appear on hit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, being partnered with Giovanni Pernice.

Speaking at the time, Debbie revealed the show was helping her come to terms with losing her beloved husband, saying, "This is the first time since I lost Paul that I feel genuinely happy. I am always giggling and having a good time. Before, there was always this knot in my stomach but the last three weeks on Strictly have been amazing. "

Debbie impressed the public at home, getting all the way to the final!

Gallery

Strictly Come Dancing Winners

Natasha Kaplinsky1 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 1 – Natasha Kaplinsky

Natasha was our first EVER Strictly winner. The television presenter graced our screens in 2004 alongside her dancing partner Brendan Cole.She won the show dancing the Quickstep (36 points), the Samba (31 points) and the Showdance (35 points).Natasha has since returned to presenting and you can see her on ITV news.

Jill Halfpenny2 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 2 – Jill Halfpenny

Actress Jill won series two with her dancing partner Darren Bennett. She took the crown from Natasha dancing the Foxtrot (34 points) and the Jive (40 points).The actress who has previously starred in EastEnders, Coronation Street and Waterloo Road.

Darren Gough3 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 3 – Darren Gough

In 2005 Darren became the first man to win Strictly.He won the show dancing the Foxtrot (36 points) and the Paso Doble (36 points) alongside his partner Lilia Kopylova.Darren and Lilia also won the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special in 2005.He retired from cricket in 2008.

Mark Ramprakash4 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 4 - Mark Ramprakash

Mark won the BBC show back in 2006.With his professional partner Karen Hardy they won the show dancing the Tango (34 points), the Salsa (40 points) and the Samba (36 points).

Alesha Dixon5 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 5 – Alesha Dixon

Alesha Dixon won series five of the show in 2007.The singer won the BBC show dancing the Waltz (39 points), the Cha Cha Cha (38 points) and the Jive (35 points) alongside her partner Matthew Cutler.Alesha later became a judge on the show during series seven, eight and nine.She has continued making music and you can seee her on ITV's Britain's Got Talent as a judge.

Tom Chambers6 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 6 – Tom Chambers

Back in 2008, viewers saw Tom win the glitterball trophy.Alongside his partner Camilla Dallerup he won the show dancing the Foxtrot (35 points) and the Salsa (38 points).Since winning the show, Tom has continued acting.

Chris Hollins7 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 7 – Chris Hollins

The news presenter won the show in 2009 during the seventh series.Alongside his partner Ola Jordan, Chris won the show dancing the Foxtrot (46 points), the Charleston (50 points), the Lindy Hop (44 points) and the Showdance (46 points).Chris has continued presenting and recently co-presented the TV show, Secret Britain.

Kara Tointon8 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 8 – Kara Tointon

The former EastEnders actress won series eight of Strictly in 2008.Kara won the show dancing the Rumba (39 points), the Showdance (36 points), the Waltz (38 points) and the American Smooth (37 points) with her partner Artem Chigvintsev.Kara has continued acting and has since starred in the movie Let's Be Evil.

Harry Judd9 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 9 – Harry Judd

The McFly drummer won series ten of the BBC show in 2012 with his partner Aliona Vilani.He danced the Quickstep (40 points), the Showdance (37 points), American Smooth (39 points) and the Tango (40 points) in the final.Harry has since returned to the band McFly and is now a dad of two with his wife Izzy.

Louis Smith10 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 10 – Louis Smith

The Olympic gymnast won the show in 2012.Louis won the show with his partner Flavia Cacace and in the final they danced the Salsa (39 points), the Charleston (39 points) and the Showdance (40 points).

Abbey Clancy11 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 11 – Abbey Clancy

The Britain's Next Top Model runner up won Strictly in 2013.With her partner Aljaz Skorjanec, she won the show dancing the Waltz (40 points), the Showdance (38 points) and the Quickstep (38 points).Since the show, Abbey returned to Britain's Next Top Model (she came second in 2006) as a head judge.

Caroline Flack12 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 12 – Caroline Flack

The former X Factor presenter, who sadly died earlier this year, won Strictly in 2014.In the final along with her partner Pasha Kovalev, she danced the Cha Cha Cha (40 points), the Showdance (40 points) and the Charleston (40 points).

Jay McGuiness13 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Getty Images

Series 13 – Jay McGuiness

Following in the footsteps of McFly's Harry Judge, The Wanted boyband member Jay McGuiness won the BBC show in 2015.With his partner Aliona Vilani, Jay danced the Quickstep (36 points), the Showdance (35 points) and the Paso Doble (39 points).After winning the show he starred in the musical Big and went on to win Celebrity Hunted with his former bandmate Siva Kaneswaran.

Ore Oduba14 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Shutterstock / Rex

Series 14 - Ore Oduba

TV presenter Ore Oduba won the glitterball trophy in 2016 alongside his partner Joanne Clifton.During the final the pair danced to American Smooth (39 points) and they scored a whopping 40 points for the Showdance and the Jive.After winning the show, Ore has continued to present and he welcomed his first child into the world with his wife Portia.

Joe McFadden15 of 17
CREDIT: BBC and Shutterstock / Rex

Series 15 - Joe McFadden

Actor Joe McFadden and his professional dance partner Katya Jones won Strictly Come Dancing in 2017.They managed to win the judges and the public over with the Showdance (39 points), Vienesse Waltz (39 points) and Charleston (40 points).Not only did he win Strictly but the 42-year-old actor broke a record and became the oldest ever winner of the show. Go Joe!Strictly 2017 winner has continued acting after getting the glitterball trophy.

Stacey Dooley16 of 17
CREDIT: Getty Images

Series 16 - Stacey Dooley

Journalist and broadcaster Stacey Dooley took the crown in 2018 with her partner Kevin Clifton, beating Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, YouTuber Joe Sugg and Steps' Faye Tozer.They won the show with 39 points on their Foxtrot, 36 points on their Showdance and 39 points with their Paso Doble,

Kevin Fletcher17 of 17
CREDIT: Getty Images

Series 17 - Kevin Fletcher

Considering Emmerdale's Kevin Fletcher was a last minute replacement for Made In Chelsea's Jamie Laing, who couldn't participate in the show due to a foot injury, he did incredibly well to win it with Oti Mabuse. Fletcher and Mabuse were given 39 points from the judges for their rumba, 40 points for their showdance and 39 points for their samba.

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