Christine McVie says her fear of flying was the biggest obstacle to overcome as she prepared to rejoin Fleetwood Mac.

The keyboard player will return to the fold with the band on their On With The Show tour which starts in Minneapolis on September 30. It will be the first time since 1998 that the Rumours-era lineup of the band will perform together. McVie will join Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Stevie Nicks on stage.

But when the idea of her return was first mentioned last year, McVie had to face up to hear flying phobia, which meant she had been more or less confined to her English country home for years.

She tells Elle she saw a therapist to help with the phobia. The therapist told her to buy a ticket to Maui, where Fleetwood lives. But as Fleetwood was due in London, the pair met up and flew to Hawaii together.

McVie says: “We took off, and the feeling was, ‘God, I’m free.'" In Hawaii she played a gig with Fleetwood's blues band and they then flew to Los Angeles where they had dinner with Nicks, John McVie, and Buckingham.

McVie adds: "That was the beginning of how the whole thing started. The chemistry between us is just so magical.”

When she returned home, she became restless and called the other members of Fleetwood Mac to ask how they'd feel about her returning. Only Buckingham was cautious, asking if she was sure she could commit to the work.

With everyone on board, the reunion was confirmed and 71-year-old McVie has spent time with a personal trainer to get stage fit. She says: “The aim is to be fit enough to stand up for two and a half hours balancing on one foot, which is what I do. I feel like I know where I’m going now, and I want to enjoy this.”

The band are working on a new record, which Buckingham has said could end up being a double album.