Debbie McGee recalls being held HOSTAGE in Iran for three months while working as a dancer: ‘I’ve dealt with a lot of stuff’
Debbie McGee has recalled the horror of being held hostage in Iran for three months while she was working as a dancer with the Iranian National Ballet.
The TV star, 64, appeared on Wednesday’s Good Morning Britain where she suprised hosts Kate Garraway and Richard Madelay with her story.
Debbie told how she and several other dancers were held captive for three months after being ‘herded into a block of flats’.
She said: ‘I have led a fairytale life but I’ve also dealt with a lot of stuff. They all said, we didn’t know you were a hostage in Iran.
Surprised, Kate replied: ‘Well I didn’t know that.’
Ordeal: Debbie McGee has recalled the horror of being held hostage in Iran for three months while she was working as a dancer with the Iranian National Ballet
Terrifying: Debbie told how she and several other dancers were held captive for three months after being ‘herded into a block of flats’
Debbie said: ‘That’s how I met Paul [Daniels]. I came back to England and needed a job.’
Richard asked: ‘How long were you a hostage for?’
Debbie said: ‘About three months. I worked for a ballet company and we were all, who were Western, were herded into a block of flats.
‘The boys had to go out at six in the morning and the only food we could get were from the bakers on the streets which were like flat pizzas, no butter or anything, and maybe some cans of things and maybe a few eggs.’
Debbie previously discussed her Iranian ordeal during an appearance on Pointless Celebrities in 2018.
She said:’Well I’d planned to stay for three years but if you’ve seen the movie Argo with Ben Affleck that was what I went through.
‘I was hidden in a house, I got stopped at the airport, I chatted up one of the customs guys who stamped my passport and I ran across the tarmac and escaped.’
Asked why she joined the Iranian Ballet in the first place, Debbie said: ‘They were paying five times more than the National Ballet. It was the money.’
Debbie said: ‘The boys had to go out at six in the morning and the only food we could get were from the bakers on the streets’
It comes after Debbie revealed she is open to finding love again following the death of her magician husband Paul Daniels in 2016.
Paul and Debbie married in 1988 after the pair had reached notoriety as a magician and magician’s assistant on the BBC 1 series Paul Daniels Magic Show. He died from brain cancer in 2016, aged 77.
Debbie revealed that while she is not actively ‘looking’ for another relationship, she would be open to the prospect if it happened to come along.
She said: ‘Well, I’ve never said I’m ready for it. I’ve just said that if it happens it happens.
‘Because I think if you go looking for it, a, you look desperate and, b, you never find it.
‘All the people I know who go “I wish I could find somebody”, men or women, don’t seem to find it or find the right person.’ The Strictly Come Dancing finalist also shed light onto her life without Paul, revealing how she has stayed positive in the wake of his loss.
Future: It comes after Debbie revealed she is open to finding love again following the death of her magician husband Paul Daniels in 2016 (pictured together in 2007)
She continued: ‘Life is never the same when you lose somebody. There is that hole. You can’t fill that gap… just take every day as it comes.
‘But what you can do is accept they’ve gone is the biggest thing and then just take every day as it comes.
‘I’m so lucky that I have fantastic family, wonderful friends, everywhere I go people are lovely to me.
‘I would say that I just embrace every minute of my life now and accept it’s different to when I was with Paul but it doesn’t mean it can’t be as good.
‘I’m just lucky that I had this amazing life and now I’ve still got an amazing life.’