6 episodes

In the early 70s, Debbie Gayle was one of Britain’s most promising young ballerinas. At the age of 17, she was chosen to go to the Soviet Union and become the first Westerner to train at Russia’s finest ballet academy. It was a dream come true for her, but just a few months later, things took a near deadly turn for her. She made it out of the country thanks to a young girl named Natasha who she never saw or heard from again.

In Finding Natasha, Debbie’s son Jake Warren – a journalist and podcaster – sets out to understand the story of his mum’s past, and to find the woman who saved her 50 years ago.

Finding Natasha is a Message Heard production.

Finding Natasha Message Heard

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 32 Ratings

In the early 70s, Debbie Gayle was one of Britain’s most promising young ballerinas. At the age of 17, she was chosen to go to the Soviet Union and become the first Westerner to train at Russia’s finest ballet academy. It was a dream come true for her, but just a few months later, things took a near deadly turn for her. She made it out of the country thanks to a young girl named Natasha who she never saw or heard from again.

In Finding Natasha, Debbie’s son Jake Warren – a journalist and podcaster – sets out to understand the story of his mum’s past, and to find the woman who saved her 50 years ago.

Finding Natasha is a Message Heard production.

    Part 1: A Myth and a Dream

    Part 1: A Myth and a Dream

    Jake Warren explores a family myth about a mysterious woman in his mum’s past, and begins his search for her. Debbie Gayle recounts her difficult childhood and her dreams of ballet stardom. 

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    • 29 min
    Part 2: Enter Natasha

    Part 2: Enter Natasha

    Debbie travels to Russia and things go downhill quickly. Jake makes an important discovery. 


     

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    • 26 min
    Part 5: Don’t Cry, Debbie

    Part 5: Don’t Cry, Debbie

    Debbie hears the other side of the story, and Jake has one more surprise for her. 

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    • 29 min
    Part 4: Home Sweet Home

    Part 4: Home Sweet Home

    Debbie returns home and renounces her past. Fifty years later, Jake prepares his mum to confront it. 


     

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    • 22 min
    Part 3: Isolation

    Part 3: Isolation

    A simple mistake marks the beginning of the end of Debbie’s dreams in Russia. Jake gives his mum some much-needed good news. 

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    • 21 min
    Why are we trying to find Natasha? Series Trailer

    Why are we trying to find Natasha? Series Trailer

    In 1974, a young woman saved the life of up-and-coming prima ballerina, Debbie Gayle – never to see each other again. Fifty years later, Debbie’s son, journalist Jake Warren, sets out to find her. 

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    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

Billy neil ,

Thrilling!

I absolutely loved this story, thank you for sharing! Your mums voice is wonderful - tell her we want more ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Gill Walton ,

Binged in a few hours.

Loved it. Thank you for sharing. Such a lovely story about the most unlikely friendships and the life long impact they have.

64Michelle ,

Finding Natasha

What a story, so young to be fending on her own , in that epic country of Russia.

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