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'You’ll like this…': Paul Daniels’ magical life in advertising

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By Katie Deighton, Senior Reporter

March 17, 2016 | 2 min read

Paul Daniels, who died today aged 77, entered the public consciousness with an appearance on Opportunity Knocks in 1970, and by 1978 was given his own Sunday night show on ITV.

He later moved to the BBC, hosting programmes such as the Paul Daniels Magic Show, Odd One Out and Every Second Counts. In his later years he showed himself to be a fan of reality TV, appearing on Strictly Come Dancing and the oft-forgotten Channel 5 series The Farm.

The Middlesbrough-born entertainer was no stranger to the world of advertising either. His biggest campaign was for Heineken in 2001, which he starred in alongside his wife Debbie McGee.

The two were depicted rather awfully signing the Carpenters’ 'Close To You', as a screen caption threatened: ‘Buy a pint of Heineken or we’ll keep running this commercial’.

The three-ad TV campaign culminated in Daniels being eaten by a lion.

Daniels was then signed to star in promotions for Tesco, originally in 2006 alongside other household names such as Ronnie Corbett and Alan Titchmarsh.

He continued his relationship with the grocer and went on to front other campaigns, including its insurance comparison website Tesco Compare.

In 2010 Daniels appeared in another ensemble cast for Walkers’ Flavour Cup campaign. Here he was cast as a proponent of the Japanese Teriyaki Chicken flavour dressed as possibly the worst sumo wrestler of all time.

Also 2010 he took the helm of Mazuma Mobile’s ad, again alongside McGee.

The Daniels family announced the magician's terminal diagnosis on his website in February.

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