GRAND Opera House pantomime star Debbie McGee is having a busy summer and autumn on the celebrity television circuit ahead of her appearance in York as the good fairy Adorabella Marigold Angelpie in Beauty And The Beast.

Afterputting her culinary skills to the test in the 12th series of BBC One's Celebrity MasterChef, Debbie is now in competing in the Beeb's 2017 series of Strictly Come Dancing too.

"The excitement is overwhelming. I can't stop smiling. It's been the hardest secret I have ever had to keep," said Debbie, 58, who is following in the dance steps of her late husband Paul Daniels in tribute to him. The Middlesbrough magician, who died from a brain tumour in March 2016, took to the Strictly dancefloor in the 2010 series.

Television, radio and stage performer Debbie was Daniels' stage assistant, most memorably by his side for his 1980s' television magic shows. She is a former ballet dancer too, having trained at the Royal Ballet School, and she was later the artistic director of her own ballet company for three years.

York Press:

Debbie McGee in BBC One's Celebrity MasterChef this summer

She will play the good fairy in Beauty And The Beast from December 15 to January 7, when she will be joined by Blue singer Antony Costa, Home And Away soap star Lynne McGranger, regular daft lad Stuart Wade and dame Steve Wickenden.

Presented by Three Bears Productions in their second year at the Cumberland Street theatre, the show also will feature Ken Morley, from Coronation Street and assorted double-glazing adverts; Audrey Leybourne, formerly one of Les Dawson's Roly Polys, and Lincoln musical actress Charlotte Maclachlan, who will make her York debut as Belle.

Three Bears Productions, run by writer-producer Chris Moreno, co-producer Russ Spencer and actor-director Stuart Wade, made their Grand Opera House debut last Christmas with Aladdin and now return with the promise of new special effects, courtesy of Eragon of York, "Yorkshire’s only flying dragon".

Tickets for Beauty And The Beast are on sale on 0844 871 3024 or at

Did you know?

Debbie McGee and Paul Daniels made their pantomime debut together in Dick Whittington at the Grand Opera House, York, in December 1995.