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Finding Natasha
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Finding Natasha

Author: Message Heard

Subscribed: 1,783Played: 6,384


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.
6 Episodes
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. 
Debbie hears the other side of the story, and Jake has one more surprise for her. 
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.   
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. 
Part 2: Enter Natasha

Part 2: Enter Natasha


Debbie travels to Russia and things go downhill quickly. Jake makes an important discovery.   
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. 
Comments (3)

Emerald Clem

I had tears in my eyes. Your mum us such an incredible woman who has clearly been through so much. I think this is also a story about and internalised self doubt that so many people have felt. I wish her happiness and hugs and smiles. There are so many other elements if this story too. A connection with a passion, dreams, you as a son who did this for your mum. I think this should be a film.

Jun 6th

Cheryl Brown

The numbering of the episodes is incorrect so it took a while to get started, was confusing when not able to listen to all in one go, nevertheless an interesting podcast, would have liked to have known more about what your mother did when she returned home and what direction she went down after that experience.

May 23rd


it says episode 2 but when I play it it says it's the final episode.

May 21st
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