Cat Deeley has revealed that a ‘terrifying’ moment, where her son and husband Patrick Kielty were caught up in a mall shooting, pushed the family to leave America.
The former SM:TV presenter had lived in the US for 14 years with Patrick, during which time they became parents to sons Milo, four, and James, two.
However, the married couple began considering their options in regards to staying in the country when it came to looking at schools for their eldest.
Given the commonality of shooting incidents within the school system, it prompted Cat and Patrick to think twice.
‘Fear was part of this,’ Cat told the Daily Mail’s You magazine about leaving the US.
‘There was a moment when I was with a friend looking at potential schools for Milo and we had to ask the question nobody wants to: “What do you do if there is a live shooter on the premises?” They tell you exactly what would happen, whether the kids would go to a safe room or hide under the desks, and you go…’ She gasps, and flaps a hand over her face as if in alarm.
‘The danger suddenly becomes a reality.’
But it was a particular incident which cemented their decision. Paddy had picked Milo up from nursery one morning before treating the youngster to a Shake Shack at Century City Mall in Los Angeles. The pair were forced to hide in the kitchen after being told a gunman was in the shopping centre.
‘I got a call from Paddy, saying, “They’re taking us out through the fire exits but nobody can get to their car. If we walk to a junction, can you come and get us?”’ Cat revealed.
‘He wanted to keep Milo calm, so I didn’t understand the enormity of what was happening. As I was driving I began to see helicopters, news vans, firemen and SWAT [armed police response] squads. It makes me go funny now,’ she says, her voice trembling.’
The TV presenter continued: ‘It was terrifying.’ What were they like when she found them by the roadside? Paddy was shaken by it, more than Milo, who was hot and cranky but didn’t properly understand.’
Cat, 43, has been busy with the SM:TV reunion in recent weeks which saw her back in the company of her former co-hosts Ant and Dec.
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