Number Plate Stories
Now that's MAG 1C!
Paul Daniels interview
By Ruby Speechley
Paul doesn’t claim to have a great interest in private number plates, but when he was a civil servant in local government, some 44 years ago, he had the foresight to work out the number plate combination MAG 1C. “It was quite handy working there,” he said, “I asked if it was for sale and who owned it. I even offered £1,000 for it. The answer was a definite no. They said they were not permitted to issue a plate out of sequence.” Several years went by and when Paul had just started to make a name for himself as a magician, he was offered the plate on a Mini. He turned it down believing it couldn’t possibly be genuine because he knew that the MAG series of plates had never been issued.
It wasn’t until 1985 that a friend told Paul that MAG 1C was for sale again, this time on a Ferrari. “When I answered the advertisement in the Times, it was then that I discovered the plate had indeed been issued - to a Scottish Councillor, who’d had it on a Mini! I went ahead and bought the plate with the Ferrari. The previous owner told me that he was so glad I was buying the car and plate because he was pig sick of people asking if it belonged to Paul Daniels.”
In the twenty years since, MAG 1C has become a trademark for the Paul Daniels brand. “It has certainly been good value for money in terms of publicity,” says Paul, “although I do consider selling it from time to time. I have been offered fortunes for it because it doesn’t just apply to magicians, MAG 1C has a very wide appeal.”
Wouldn’t he pass it on to his magician son Martin?
“We’ve never thought of that before. Only one of my sons is a magician, so I’m not sure it would really be fair.” Paul has never considered having another number although plates do seem to have caught his family’s imagination with his wife Debbie having 8 DEB on her car and Martin with an MDZ number on his. “I suppose if I was to choose another plate it would have to be my name, PAU 1D. I have often smiled at some of the combinations around but in truth I am really not bothered whether I have one or not.”