14 September 2020 20:42
"As I was driving, I began to see helicopters, news vans, firemen and SWAT squads," the So You Think You Can Dance host tells YOU magazine Cat Deeley is opening up about how a terrifying active shooter incident prompted her to relocate her family from Los Angeles to London — permanently. "Fear was part of this," the So You Think You Can Dance host tells YOU magazine about her decision to swap sun-drenched California for the British capital, where she now lives with husband Patrick Kielty and their sons Milo, 4, and James, 2. Get push notifications with news, features and more. It was, Deeley says, largely prompted by the day last year when Kielty and Milo got caught in the middle of an active shooter incident at L.A.'s Century City Mall. "They shut down the 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?'," Deeley tells YOU about the incident, which took place last summer. (While it's unclear if it is the incident in question, LAPD responded to a call about an active shooter situation at the mall in March 2019 and took a man into custody.) Image zoom Michael Wright/WENN "He [Kielty] wanted to keep Milo calm, so I didn't understand the enormity of what was happening," she continues. "As I was driving, I began to see helicopters, news vans, firemen and SWAT squads." The TV presenter eventually found her husband of eight years and their young son by the roadside — with Kielty more "shaken by it" than Milo, she says. 'They had been in a Shake Shack and were pushed into the kitchen," she tells YOU.
"He was like, 'OK, Milo, let's watch some Peppa Pig on my phone.' "The kids never get to do that normally," she continues. "Peppa Pig saved the day!" Deeley and her family have now permanently swapped the palm trees and swimming pools of L.A. for an apartment in North London. While the move was hurried up by the active shooter incident, it was also prompted by the couple's desire to live nearer to the many uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and grandparents that Milo and James have in the U.K. "We made the right move at the right time," Deeley tells YOU. "Everybody is healthy, but [if we came back] in ten years' time they might not be." The relocation has also coincided with a new direction for the five-time Emmy nominee, who has penned the words for an illustrated children's book called The Joy In You that's released in the U.S. on Tuesday. "Only 1 week until my very first picture book comes out!," she recently posted on Instagram, going on to describe the book as a "journey through a magical world, filled with a colorful cast of animals, where readers have endless opportunities to be themselves and find freedom in expression." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories As for her life in L.A., Deeley is happy to have turned the page on that highly successful chapter in her life — and for the extra time that lockdown has allowed her to spend with Milo and James. "I taught Milo to read," she tells YOU. With active shooter incidents extremely rare in the U.K., she's also happy to just be far removed from the threat of gun violence. "There was a moment when I was with a friend looking at potential schools for Milo (in LA) and we had to ask the question nobody wants to: 'What do you do if there is a live shooter on the premises?'" she tells YOU. "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 adds. "The danger suddenly becomes a reality." TV Presenter Cat Deeley has opened up about the horror that her husband and son went through having been caught up in a shopping mall shooting in the US. And the 43-year-old revealed that the reason she and her family decided to move back to the UK was because of the events that unfolded. Cat's husband Patrick Kielty and 4-year-old son Milo, had to be evacuated from the Century City Mall in LA during a "terrifying" shooting, which left them "shaken", reports the Daily Star. The father and son reportedly were forced to leave the mall through the fire exits to try and safely return to their cars after FBI agents announced that there was a shooter on the loose. The former SM:TV presenter recalled: "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 Deeley and her husband Patrick Kielty in Los Angeles, California. (via Getty Images) She continued: "He wanted to keep Milo calm, so I didn't understand the enormity of what was happening. It makes me go funny now. It was terrifying... Paddy was shaken by it, more than Milo, who was hot and cranky but didn't properly understand." Cat then revealed that she could see helicopters, news vans, firemen and SWAT teams when she rushed to pick up her husband and son. Cat added that when she was searching for a school for Milo, the risk of a shooting was seriously unnerving. She revealed that when she was with a friend looking at potential schools, she had to ask the question nobody wants "What do you do if there is a live shooter on the premises?". Cat said that "the danger suddenly became a reality" when she was told that kids would go to a safe room or hide under the desks. Cat and Patrick put their Beverly Hills mansion on the market for a whopping $4,995,000 last month and it is believed that she will mark her return to the UK by reuniting with Ant and Dec for a special SM:TV Live reunion episode.