Joanna Lumley ambushed by armed bandits in Haiti


Joanna Lumley was ambushed by armed bandits in Haiti.

The 73-year-old actress was in the Caribbean country to film a TV documentary when a group of guys blocked the road they were travelling on with tree branches and demanded her and her crew's "money of your life".

She said: "Suddenly there was a blockage across the road. They'd put branches down.

"Our bodyguards got out and said, 'Come on guys, clear it away'.

"And they said, 'No, we want your money or your life.'

"Sometimes they dig trenches, pour oil in and set fire to it, then they come with guns and take your wallets."

But fortunately, they were let through unscathed.

Joanna admitted riots were breaking out "like wildfires" in the capital Port-au-Prince, where she was filming show 'Hidden Caribbean: Havana To Haiti'.

She said: "We arrived on the day of a riot, so we had a police escort to the hotel.

"Riots break out like wildfires across the land and if you're in that place, you're stuck."

While she is "not really an afraid kind of person", the 'Absolutely Fabulous' star admitted seeing kids sleeping rough after being abandoned by their families affected her "terribly".

She added: "The country's broken, nothing works. There are unbelievably poor communities.

"There were street children sleeping rough, abandoned by their families.

"But they dreamed of being pilots and lawyers, even though they've got no education. That affects you terribly."

An ITV spokesman told the Daily Mail newspaper: "A full risk assessment was carried out before filming in Haiti and Joanna was accompanied by the appropriate level of security."