Magician and entertainer Paul Daniels has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, his family has announced.

A statement released by his publicist on Saturday morning confirmed his illness. A link to the statement was also shared on Twitter by Daniels' wife Debbie McGee and tweeted out from Paul Daniels' official Twitter account.

"We can confirm that one of our greatest magicians and entertainers of all times, Paul Daniels, has sadly been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour," the statement read.

"On behalf of Paul, Debbie and their families, we thank you for your kind concerns and support at this sad time and ask that their privacy continues to be respected. There will be no further comments at this time."

Mark Linsey, Acting Director of BBC Television, said in a statement: "We're sorry to hear this sad news and our thoughts are with Paul and his family." Other entertainers also sent messages of support to Daniels.

Daniels married his first wife, Jacqueline Skipworth in 1960, when she was 17 and he was 21. He has three sons by her: Gary, Paul and Martin.

He married his second wife, long-time assistant Debbie McGee on 2 April 1988 in Buckinghamshire. The couple met in London in May 1979 during rehearsals for Daniels' summer season show in Great Yarmouth that year.

Paul Daniels with his long-time assistant and second wife Debbie McGee

Born in Middlesbrough in 1938, Daniels' interest in magic began at the age of 11 when he read a book about entertaining at parties.

In 1969, he was offered a summer season at Newquay and decided to become a full-time performer. The following year, Daniels made his TV debut on talent series Opportunity Knocks, and came second.

He was seen by TV producer Johnnie Hamp, who gave him a regular slot on The Wheeltappers And Shunters Social Club, a variety show on ITV hosted by the late Bernard Manning.

In 1979, Daniels began his long run on BBC One's The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which lasted until 1994.

In addition to performing magic, Daniels also hosted popular quiz shows for the BBC including Every Second Counts, Odd One Out and Wipeout. He also narrated the children's TV show Wizbit.

Daniels is also well known for his "You'll like this ... not a lot, but you'll like it" catchphrase. He said he first came up with the line at a club in Bradford as a way to deal with a heckler.

In later years, Daniels and McGee participated in various TV shows including Channel 5's The Farm, ITV's The X Factor: Battle Of The Stars and Channel 4's Celebrity Wife Swap, in which Daniels tried living with Vanessa Feltz. He also took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2010.

Paul Daniels in Strictly Come Dancing in 2010