It seems the reason that Paul Daniels remained so calm and collected following his cancer diagnosis could be more down to the fact that he didn't realise he was dying, rather than his philosophy on life. Wife Debbie McGee opens up about the upsetting circumstances leading up to his death this week.

Paul Daniels and Debbie McGeePaul Daniels and Debbie McGee had a life 'full of laughter'

While the magician was told at hospital following a suspected stroke that he had an inoperable brain tumour, it seems it wasn't something he was well enough to understand and so died without realising that death was on the way.

'Paul didn't know at all. The tumour was pressing on the part of the brain that processes information', McGee said in a BBC interview. 'So although he was talking and communicating and knowing who I was and everything, he actually wasn't taking in new information - which was actually hard to tell, because he seemed quite normal, he just seemed really tired.'

More: Paul Daniels dies aged 77

McGee, who was the long-term assistant of Daniels as well as his second wife, put on a brave face in her interview, telling reporters that she kept smiling for her husband while he was ill at home. She insisted that she wanted the last days of his life to be as good as possible. 'He never saw me cry, I smiled, I put my make-up on and hair up everyday', she said.

She also gave the reassurance that he wasn't suffering at all in the days leading up to his death, despite not receiving treatment. 'He stayed comfortable, he wasn't in any pain whatsoever and then last night he just slipped away', she added, concluding that life with her husband had been 'full of laughter' right up until the last moment. 'Even minutes before he slipped into that sleep, he was smiling at me and joking and singing Beatles songs', she said.