Debbie McGee recalls being trapped in Iran and told ‘Westerners get out - RUN’

Debbie McGee on GB News

Debbie McGee spoke of her experience while living in Iran

GB News
Emily Fox

By Emily Fox

Published: 04/09/2023

- 14:28

Updated: 04/09/2023

- 16:18

Strictly star recalls terrifying moment

Debbie McGee has spoken of her terror at being trapped in Iran and being forced to pay extortionate amounts to get out.

The Strictly star opened up on Nana Akua's GB News show about her 'Argo' experience as all westerners were told to 'leave the country'.

The Strictly star speaking to Nana said: “The Iranian National Ballet were going to be in London auditioning. And they were paying five times what the Royal Ballet were paying.

"So I auditioned and then my poor parents, because I was always independent and wanting to travel. I said, right, that's it. I'm off to Iran. of course, little did I know that seven months after being there, the Ayatollah came back and then we all had to hide who were Westerners in the company in this big block of flats.

"But we couldn't get food. We couldn't go out. The boys used to go out at like 7:00 in the morning and get us flatbread. In Iran, they had like little bakeries, but they were like pizza ovens on the roadside, and they'd cooked them three times a day.


"I had saved a lot of money by then in that seven months. So myself and two friends, we knew somebody who was linked to the airline. We paid about 10 times what it would normally cost to come back to Europe, bought tickets, and we were on the last plane to leave Tehran before they closed the airport.

"And even to this day, I can remember it was dawn because we had a curfew and we couldn't leave any earlier, being driven to the airport in a taxi and seeing the tanks surrounding Tehran as the sun was coming up.

“And then if you've seen the film Argo with Ben Affleck, it's all about people being caught in in Iran. Well, it's my story. And they were in an apartment block and escaped.

“And when I got to the airport my visa had been tip-exed and they thought I'd done it.

"And so they kind of my two friends went through half control. I was put in an office but it was like a cupboard.

"And I literally there at 19 chatted up a young customs officer who came in and sort of said what are you doing in here? And I said blah blah blah.

“And he literally stamped my passport and said run and I ran like in Argo across the tarmac, past soldiers, you know, with machine guns upstairs onto the plane, like in in a movie.

"But Argo had it, you know, staircase went up and I got to Switzerland and then I reversed charges to mum and dad and said it's OK, I'm safe and I'm out.”


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