Cat Deeley Reveals Being Caught In LA Mall Shooting Scare Inspired Return To UK

Cat Deeley, longtime presenter of So You Think You Can Dance, has revealed details of her experience being caught up in a Los Angeles shopping mall shooting scare that made her want to leave her home in Hollywood and return to live in the UK.

The Sun newspaper reports that Deeley, about to take over hosting duties on ITV flagship daytime show This Morning, wanted to move away from the US after her family were caught in a shopping mall shooting in 2019.

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The paper recounts how the presenter, her husband Paddy and young son Milo were forced to take cover during a lunch outing in a Shake Shack restaurant in Century City, Los Angeles. When sirens sounded, they were told to seek shelter after a disgruntled ex-Amazon employee. Deeley is quoted in The Sun remembering:

“Everyone was told to lie behind the counter or pushed into the loos. People were screaming and crying.

“Then, as they were all hiding, the FBI up with guns.

“Paddy kept Milo calm — he didn’t really know what was going on.

“As I was driving, I began to see helicopters, news vans, firemen and armed police squads. It makes me go funny now. The gun laws in America are crazy.”

The assailant was arrested and named as Nicholas Oates, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for arson and assault with a firearm. The Sun reports that he is now out of jail.

By the time of the scare, Deeley had been working and living in Hollywood for over a decade, including her long stint presenting So You Think You Can Dance for Fox.

This week sees her take over main presenting duties on This Morning, alongside Ben Shephard. ITV will be hoping their arrival sees a new chapter for the show after a chequered 2022, in which previous hosts Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby both departed in dramatic style – Schofield resigning after his secret affair with a young intern was revealed, and Willoughby after she discovered she was the target of a kidnapping and murder plot.

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