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Gloria Hunniford on horror of being a terrorist target

Digital Spy (UK) logo Digital Spy (UK) 06/10/2017 Nicola Agius
Gloria Hunniford reveals horror of being on terrorist hit list and having to check car for explosives © ITV Gloria Hunniford reveals horror of being on terrorist hit list and having to check car for explosives

Gloria Hunniford has recalled how was once on a terrorist hit list.

During the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Loose Women favourite hosted a morale-boosting radio show called Ulster Calling for the British Forces.

As part of the programme, she would record messages from families of British soldiers serving in Northern Ireland.

Unfortunately, her work did not go unnoticed by the IRA, and she was consequently added to the organisation's kill list.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain today (October 6), she said: "I remember we visited one family in Northern Ireland at their home, and after the niceties of tea and biscuits, the father said, 'Look, I've got to tell, you've been placed on the IRA hit list because of the army programme you've been doing'.

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"The first few weeks after, people came to my house to show me how to check for trip wires under my car and things like that. But the ironic thing is that after a few days, it all subsides and you forget to keep looking under your car.

"It's almost like an acceptance. You can't let terrorists win. You have to get on with life.

"At first, I was aghast. But then I thought, 'You know what, I've been doing this show for seven years now so whatever harm they think we've done, it's already done'."

Elsewhere during the interview, Gloria opened up about the heartache of losing her daughter Caron Keating to breast cancer in 2004.

The star described that as the "darkest period" of her life and admitted her family feared the tragedy put her health in danger too.

However, it was her son Paul Keating that finally made her realise she needed to carry on.

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"I really thought it was going to take me out as well," she said. "Then one day, my son said to me, 'I"m your child as well' – and that really woke me up."

A year later, Gloria signed up for Strictly Come Dancing, which she credits with helping her cope with her grief.

"Up until that point, I thought I would never laugh again," she added. "My family made me do Strictly and it really turned my head around. It gave me an excuse to enjoy myself again.

"You have to keep yourself busy after a huge loss like that."

Good Morning Britain is on ITV, weekdays at 6am.

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