ENTERTAINING, humorous, even a tad eccentric – that’s what we have come to expect of magician Paul Daniels, who shot to fame with his own television series nearly 30 years ago.

Now with a new UK-wide tour lined up for his show, Musical Magic, Paul is ready to prove he still has more than just a few tricks left up his sleeve, when he arrives in Radlett on Friday.

The popular performer, who once lived in Roger Moore’s house in Denham before moving to his current home in Henley-on-Thames, celebrated his 70th birthday last year, but tells me he has no thoughts of putting his magic wand down any time soon. In fact, he’s busier than ever, what with dividing his time between touring, travelling to Las Vegas for the occasional show and running a master class for magicians emanating from all over the world.

“I’ve been touring and performing for more than 40 years,” he tells me proudly in his Middlesborough accent. “I’m still reading, still writing, still creating, so I know my business very well and love getting on with the job. It’s great, because I have a good time up on the stage. I have a party – and I get paid”.

Then, because he can resist no longer, comes the trademark wit that Paul demonstrated so well when he presented such quiz shows as Every Second Counts and Wipeout and now loves to drop into conversation wherever possible. “We’re so busy, it never ends. I was tired yesterday, and now I’m re-tired today! But you won’t catch me putting my feet up just yet.”

Paul’s interest in magic began as a youngster, when aged 11 he learnt a simple numbers trick out of a book. “I still can remember that one to this day,” he laughs.

Had nostalgia made it one of his all-time favourite tricks to perform?

“I like all my tricks, every single one of them,” explains Paul, who made his television debut on Opportunity Knocks in 1970. “There’s no such thing as a poor trick and I think the key is to find the entertainment value in everything I do.”

The other important thing to know about Paul is that he also likes his magic to be “honest” and points to others who have used camera trickery to create an illusion.

“My television shows were exactly like my live shows were and still are. There are no stooges, no editing, but sadly things sometimes go that way in today’s world.”

Still, his Musical Magic shows will hopefully rectify all that, with everything from small, close-up tricks to larger illusions – and even an all-singing, all-dancing showcase in between. “It’s just one big party,” Paul promises.

Away from the stage, Paul is happily married to the “lovely” Debbie McGee and tells me there’s still plenty of magic in their relationship after 21 years.

“Did I break three mirrors? 21 years!”, he says in jest. “We still laugh and cuddle and hug, we do. We love working and being together and when things go wrong, we love a good laugh.”

They’re also never afraid for others to have a laugh, sometimes at their expense. Just last week, the pair agreed to a photo shoot lampooning Victoria and David Beckham’s Armani underwear advert.

Not surprisingly the Daniels’ version attracted plenty of headlines.

“But it was all just a joke, a bit of a laugh,” explains Paul. “I thought it was quite a funny idea and it earned me a fortune. And as you know, I am a male model!”

So whether on stage or off, nothing really seems to affect Paul’s naturally chipper self. Happiness, it would appear, is his very own “magical” ingredient to life. That and his parting wisdom to me on staying upbeat.

“Just breathe in and breathe out and you’ll never lose your rag,” he tells me in his lilting voice. “If you do find yourself getting miserable, just sing Zipperdy Doo Dah and you can’t be unhappy.”

Now there’s a trick we could all learn.

Paul Daniels arrives at The Radlett Centre on Friday, March 6, 8pm. Details: 01923 859291 or www.radlettcentre.co.uk, www.pauldaniels.co.uk