Debbie McGee: I couldn’t get out of bed after Strictly Come Dancing
DEBBIE McGEE has opened up about feeling low when her stint on last year’s Strictly Come Dancing came to an end.
The usually bubbly 59-year-old, who lost magician hubby Paul Daniels in 2016, reached the 2017 final of the BBC contest with professional dance partner Giovanni Pernice and was only beaten by Holby City actor Joe McFadden and his partner Katya Jones — but this isn’t what got her down, she insists.
‘It didn’t come immediately after Strictly… Then around March — a difficult month because Paul died in March, his birthday is in March, our anniversary is in March — I got home, and I just stopped. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I couldn’t make a cup of tea,’ she told the Daily Mail.
‘Part of it must have been sheer physical exhaustion, but there was more to it. I changed. My brain had changed.
‘I’ve always been the most optimistic person. If I’m feeling low I can look in the mirror and say, “Come on, Debbie, let’s do this. Put on your make-up and smile.”
‘Suddenly I couldn’t.’
Debbie went on: ‘I got anxious, in a way I have never been anxious before. I started to worry about everyone around me getting ill, dying.
‘We really had had a terrible run of ill-health in the family. It wasn’t just Paul. My dad died not long before Paul. My nephew was diagnosed with cancer. My niece’s husband died — of a brain tumour, too. He was in his 20s.’
Debbie has previously spoken about her special bond with Giovanni, saying they ‘clicked’ and ‘made each other laugh from the first day of rehearsals’ — so you’d think it would be hard for her to see him partnered up with another woman — Steps’ Faye Tozer — in this year’s contest.
But no, Debbie wished them both well this week on Twitter.
‘So thrilled for @pernicegiovann1 a great pairing with @Faye_Tozer @bbcstrictly GO GUYS GO! I’ll be with you all the way,’ she wrote.
Author: Anna Thomson