Belfast Telegraph

Kielty and wife Cat Deeley may quit US after he and son (3) caught in gun scare

Cat Deeley with her husband Patrick Kielty
Cat Deeley with her husband Patrick Kielty

By Jenna Gardiner

TV presenter Cat Deeley is considering leaving the US after her husband - Co Down-born comedian Patrick Kielty - and their three-year-old son were caught up in a "shooter scare".

The 42-year-old former model is one of the few British stars to have made it big in America, hosting two of the largest entertainment shows on screen - So You Think You Can Dance and This Time Next Year.

The couple's two young boys have only ever known their Californian life, but the family may leave after a recent terrifying ordeal when Kielty and their eldest son were caught up in a security alert.

Kielty often takes Milo out for a treat after his morning play group.

On one occasion, when the pair failed to return home after several hours, Cat - who is also mum to baby James - felt that something wasn't quite right.

"Then, maybe after 20 minutes, I heard from him," she told the Sunday Telegraph.

"They had been in a Shake Shack in Century City Mall and there was a shooter scare.

"Everyone was either told to lie behind the counter or pushed into the loos.

"People were screaming and crying. Then as they were all hiding, the FBI turned up with guns.

"Paddy kept Milo calm - he didn't really know what was going on - and in the end it just turned out to be a suspect package."

Cat Deeley
Cat Deeley

Cat believes the ordeal led her to question whether it is safe to bring their children up in the US.

She said: "Milo is three. Something like that has happened to him. The gun laws in America are crazy."

The star referenced the 1996 Dunblane primary school massacre when 16 children and one teacher were shot dead in the Scottish town. The atrocity sparked a campaign that led to a ban on handguns.

Cat remains doubtful, however, of similar reform across the pond.

"There are so many shootings in America and the NRA (National Rifle Association) is so powerful," she added.

It seems politics have a significant role to play in the family's possible relocation plans, as they weigh up the implications of staying in the US or choosing Ireland at a time of political uncertainty over the border.

Cat with their son Milo who was caught up in the incident
Cat with their son Milo who was caught up in the incident

"Things change when you have children and when you think Trump may get in for a second term," she said.

"But then over here we've got Brexit. If we moved to Ireland, there's the border situation. It's all a bit of a mess right now."

Cat also gave a glimpse into the fairytale beginning to her relationship with the 48-year-old comic, whose businessman father Jack was shot dead in Dundrum by loyalists in 1988.

After meeting while working on Noughties talent show Fame Academy, they remained friends and held a tradition of annual phone calls on the eve of each of their birthdays.

Almost 10 years later, as Cat turned 35, Patrick called her from a pub in Belfast and promised to see her in LA the next day.

Assuming it was just a big joke, she was blown away when he arrived to celebrate with her after flying throughout the night.

The couple married the following year, causing confusion among many as to how a "freckled Irishman" managed to bag himself an ex-model.

Cat was sure of her decision though, saying: "I always used to go for the same chocolate in the box and then I went for the strawberry cream and decided I liked it so much better."

Seven years on, the pair enjoy a happy family life, with Patrick splitting his time between working in the UK and returning to their lavish Californian lifestyle, a chapter they may soon be leaving behind.

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