Norfolk dates look OK to go ahead after magician Paul Daniels hurt in saw drama
Magician Paul Daniels looks all set to wow Norfolk audiences with his legendary conjuring skills despite an accident after which one of his fingers had to be reattached.
It has emerged that a surgeon saved the index finger after the 73-year-old star sliced it with a circular saw on New Year's Day. Daniels did lose the tip of another finger.
But today, an organiser of one his coming gigs in the county told of his relief and joy that the 73-year-old Daniels had not come to more serious harm and that the show would go on.
The accident happened while Daniels was creating new props for his shows at his home in Wargrave, Berkshire. He was on his own at the time – his wife and assistant Debbie McGee was out on a local radio engagement.
The veteran TV and stage magician held his badly-bleeding hand to his chest and drove in agony to a hospital at Henley on Thames to be treated.
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The left index finger was later reattached to his hand. The saw blade also cut off the tip of his ring finger.
Recounting the events on his blog, Daniels said: 'I tidied up my big shed. I decided to make a 'sled' for my table saw to make it safer. Remember that? Safer!
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'I already had most of the pieces cut and started to cut a fiddly bit. If you remember the sun was shining and streaming through the shed windows. Very quickly and without any warning, the piece of timber seemed to leap and pulled my left hand fingers into the teeth of the circular saw.
'Without any conscious thought on my part, my right hand hit the 'stop' button and I rammed my left hand into the chest of my coat and somehow ran to the car, started it and set off for Henley. I must have looked a weird site doubled over with my face all screwed up from the pain...
'After reducing the pain they got me into an ambulance and we went off at high speed for a hospital near Slough. Again a great staff, and I was able to let Debbie know where I was.'
He said a specialist in hand injuries was found and he underwent an operation.
Daniels said later: 'I've only lost the tip of one finger. It could have been a hell of a sight worse.'
He added: 'I will have to adapt when I get all the bandages off for the handling of some of the stuff I do.'
Daniels, whose left arm has been swathed in bandages and a sling, has admitted that he has suffered recurring bad moments since the ordeal, 'the worst being full shock state one night which turned me into a gibbering wreck as I relived the moment it happened'.
He has been recovering at home ahead of a hectic nationwide tour, starting in February and including dates at King's Lynn Corn Exchange on February 24, the Paviion Theatre at Cromer on March 10 and Dereham Memorial Hall on June 2 – when he will be among the headline acts for the 2012 Dereham Festival.
Festival chairman Jim Stebbings said today he was absolutely delighted that Daniels was on the mend and he knew of no reason why the show – also featuring Debbie McGee and Martin Daniels – should not go ahead.
He added: 'I'm sure that the act will be just as good, and I'm sure that Paul will get good mileage out of what happened.'