SINCE joining forces with the BBC more than 15 years ago, Anita Rani has become a regular on our airwaves and television screens.
She has co-hosted Countryfile since 2014, won numerous accolades for her powerful documentary on the Partition of India and danced her way into the nation’s hearts after reaching the semi-finals of Strictly Come Dancing in 2015.
Despite her success, it has not been an easy ride for the 43-year-old. In March, she said that she faced the “triple whammy” of being Asian, northern and a woman in her early career and termed it as a “tough struggle”.
Though positive about the industry, Rani says that the “power structures need to change” and she has had to work harder than others to achieve her multifarious career spanning over two decades.
The presenter says: “I’ve got three things that are different from most people who work in TV.
It’s funny that people have preconceived ideas of you. I just think you only see a certain aspect of everybody.”
The popular broadcaster was raised with brother Kuldeep in Bradford, West Yorkshire, by parents Balvinder and Lakhbir, now in their 60s, who moved to the UK four decades ago to run a clothing business.
She had a passion for journalism from a young age and discovered her talent for broadcast at 14 when she secured her first radio show at Bradford’s Sunrise Radio, where her mother presented her own show.
After leaving school, Rani studied for a degree in broadcasting at Leeds University. From university, Anita worked as a researcher for the BBC and other media organisations, and soon worked her way up to the top.
As well as her presenting gig with Countryfile, she also files reports for The One Show and was a guest presenter during the coverage of