Debbie McGee has said she was always “edited out” and viewed as “the little assistant in the box” when she was married to magician Paul Daniels.
The TV star said she was finally given a chance to show her personality when she competed on Strictly Come Dancing.
Even though she lost out to Joe McFadden in the final, she said the show gave her a platform to show who she is.
She told the Daily Mirror: “Paul had such a big personality. On TV shows they always held me back because I was the little assistant in a box, I was always the little wife, edited out.
“I haven’t suddenly developed a personality for Strictly because Paul has died. I have always been cheeky and bubbly and a joker but the public never got to see me like that.”
She continued: “Paul would have been so proud of what I’ve achieved.
“However hard things get, you realise you will get through it, which is what I have learnt over the last year too.”
McGee, 59, said Daniels, who died aged 77 in March 2016, was hurt by accusations that his wife and assistant was a gold-digger.
During an appearance on the Mrs Merton Show, Caroline Aherne asked her: “What attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”
McGee told the paper: “For the first year after our marriage we stayed in. You got the odd jibe.
“It always hurt Paul more. He stood up for me, rung people up who wrote bad things.
“Paul wasn’t a millionaire when I met him. I had my own money. It was chemistry that brought us together. I can’t pinpoint one thing – but laughter.”