The Birmingham-born TV presenter has lived in Los Angeles for 14 years hosting US shows including So You Think You Can Dance and The Choice. But she and her family have now made the decision to return to Britain.
Deeley, 43, told YOU magazine how Irish comedian Kielty, 49, and her four-year-old son Milo were on a trip to the Century City Mall in LA when police officers arrived and told them to take cover because a gunman was on the loose.
The former SM:TV presenter said: “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?’
“He wanted to keep Milo calm, so I didn’t understand the enormity of what was happening. as I was driving I began to see helicopters, news vans, firemen and SWAT [armed police response] squads. It makes me go funny now. It was terrifying.”
Deeley explained Kielty and her son had been in a fast food restaurant and were pushed into the kitchen, where the comedian distracted his son by playing Peppa Pig on his phone.
She said her husband was “shaken” by the incident but fortunately Milo, though “hot and cranky”, had not understood what was going on.
Deeley, who is also mother to two-year-old son James, admitted “fear” had played a part in the family’s decision to leave America.
She said: “There was a moment when I was with a friend looking at potential schools for Milo and we had to ask the question nobody wants to, ‘What do you do if there is a live shooter on the premises?’ They tell you exactly what would happen, whether the kids would go to a safe room or hide under the desks... The danger suddenly becomes a reality.”
Deeley and Kielty were friends for many years before they began dating. They married in Rome in 2012.