Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago BBC2 celebrities: Debbie McGee
Why is Debbie McGee famous? Surrey-born McGee started out her career in showbiz as a ballet dancer (experienced that helped during her Strictly stint).
At 16, McGee won a place at the Royal Ballet School, and after graduating she joined the Iranian National Ballet in Tehran – but her ballet career came to a sudden halt when she had to flee the Iranian Revolution, Argo-style, in 1979.
On returning to the UK, McGee landed a job performing on stage with magician Paul Daniels – who has been called “The Godfather of Modern Magic”. The pair later appeared on his BBC series The Paul Daniels Magic Show. Together, they were thrust into international fame and she became known as “the lovely Debbie McGee”, as Daniels affectionally referred to her on stage. They married in 1988, and in 1991 McGee became the first female member The Magic Circle.
Daniels, who also appeared on Strictly in 2010, passed away in 2016.
McGee has done her fair share of reality television, having appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, the celebrity version of Come Dine With Me and, of course, Strictly Come Dancing 2017, where McGee finished in the final. As of January this year, she has been a member of the Loose Women panel.
What was she hoping to experience travelling the famous medieval pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago?
“I wanted to find out what previous pilgrims had found so enlightening.”
Did the pilgrimage impact on her own beliefs about faith?
“Not at the time, but it made me think about my faith afterwards.”
Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago starts on Friday 16th March at 9pm on BBC2