Debbie McGee’s advice on grief struck a chord with Celebrity Call Centre viewers

The former Strictly finalist drew on her personal experiences during a call with a recent widow

Debbie McGee (Channel 4)

Channel 4’s Celebrity Call Centre Christmas special proved particularly emotional for some viewers, after last year’s Strictly finalist Debbie McGee discussed grief with a caller.


McGee, whose husband, the magician Paul Daniels, died in 2016, drew on her personal experiences when a caller — who had also recently lost her husband — asked McGee about life after death.

“I’ve always believed in life after death, and then when I married Paul he didn’t at all,” McGee explained. “Why do you want to believe in it? Is it because you want to believe you will end up with them one day?”

“‘I’m hoping I’ll meet up with him again,” the caller replied, to which Debbie said: “I think that’s really important to you and that’s something that you should believe in.

“The only thing that would worry me about that is that it doesn’t allow you to move on. But at the moment your grief is still so raw that that’s not in your head at all. Life has to go on without them.”

McGee added that she believed she was “only six or eight months further on” in the grieving process than the caller, and despite the grief both women were experiencing they could “feel lucky” that their husbands had been in their lives.

Other Celebrity Callers, including actresses Amanda Barrie and Sunetra Sarker, looked visibly emotional as they listened in to the call.

Viewers were also touched by Debbie’s words, with making taking to social media to praise McGee for how she handled the difficult topic.

“Respect to [Debbie McGee] who couldn’t have handled that call better if she was a trained professional,” Mar Dixon posted on Twitter.


Another viewer said that they were “in tears” after watching the episode, referring to the call as “so truthful and relatable”.