The eldest son of magician Paul Daniels sells cannabis from his magic shop, it was alleged yesterday.
Paul Daniels Jnr, 48, uses the wigs, fancy dress and cheap magic sets as cover for the illicit trade, it is claimed.
He was exposed when he sold a bag of ‘very strong’ marijuana to an undercover reporter for £20.
Mr Daniels then invited her to smoke a joint with him in the backroom of the shop. ‘We’re not just a fancy dress shop you know,’ he said.
Two years ago he had proudly posed for pictures with his famous father during the launch of the Paul Daniels Magic Party Shop in Wigan.
He hoped the input of his millionaire father would give the business the ‘star quality’ it needed to succeed.
However, in recent months the shop has often been deserted. And last week, as Mr Daniels offered drugs to a News of the World reporter, he admitted he had sold just one £10 novelty wig all day.
A local source told the paper: ‘Paul is a big dopehead and loves to boast about how he really makes a living from selling drugs. I am sure his father would be horrified.’
It is not the first time the 71-year-old magician’s son has been involved in a drugs scandal.
In 2001 he was given a 12-month community rehabilitation order after admitting growing 89 cannabis plants worth £90,000 in the cellar and bedroom of his Hartlepool home.
Daniels, who is divorced, claimed he planned to give the drugs to friends or use them for a chest complaint.
There is no suggestion that his father knows about his eldest son’s alleged drug dealing.
But the pair’s relationship has been rocky for years, with them not even on speaking terms for long periods.
They fell out ten years ago when Mr Daniels stayed at his father’s mansion after a spell in jail for obtaining property by deception.
He also has convictions for drink driving and selling porn. Family tensions were heightened when a gang plotted to blackmail the TV star over his son’s cannabis habit.
They then threatened to kill the magician when Paul Jnr refused to join a cocaine-smuggling racket.
In 2003 he went on the run from dealers who put out a contract on his life, blaming him for a cocaine deal that went wrong.
For a time he was understood to be working under an assumed identity in a supermarket in the North of England.
But his relationship with his father was rekindled, and the magician said in 2006: ‘We talk on the phone every day. He is fine now.’
Paul Daniels is married to Debbie McGee, and has three sons from his first marriage. They are Paul, Martin, 45, and Gary, 40, who faces trial later this year over an alleged £10,000 fraud against the NHS.
By Arthur Martin