Debbie McGee left Good Morning Britain hosts Kate Garraway and Richard Madeley stunned when she revealed that she had been held hostage in war-torn Iran for three months while working as a dancer with the Iranian National Ballet.
The 64-year-old wife of late magician Paul Daniels made the jaw-dropping admission while appearing on the ITV breakfast show on Wednesday.
The one-time Strictly Come Dancing star told how she and several other dancers were held captive 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, Garraway replied: “Well I didn’t know that.”
Madeley then asked: “How long were you a hostage for?”
“About three months,” she replied. “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.”
There was a silver lining of sorts from it all as it resulted in her meeting Daniels.
“That’s how I met Paul [Daniels]. I came back to England and needed a job,” she explained.
McGee 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, McGee said: “They were paying five times more than the National Ballet. It was the money.”