Anita Rani: Who is Yorkshire TV and radio presenter Anita Rani, where is she from and which BBC show is she known for?

Yorkshire presenter Anita Rani will be appearing in the coverage of King Charles III’s coronation this weekend - here is everything you need to know about her.

Anita Rani has had a busy few years having competed in the 13th series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2015, reaching the semi-finals, embarking on the Strictly Tour around Britain a year later, co-hosted the BBC show Countryfile since 2015 and will be attending the inaugural coronation of King Charles III.

Where is Anita Rani from?

Anita was born and raised in Bradford, West Yorkshire to a Hindu father and Sikh mother.

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Anita Rani. (Pic credit: Jeff Spicer / Getty Images)Anita Rani. (Pic credit: Jeff Spicer / Getty Images)
Anita Rani. (Pic credit: Jeff Spicer / Getty Images)

She attended school at Bradford Girls’ Grammar School, an independent school and developed an early interest in journalism. She hosted her first show at the age of 14 on Sunrise Radio and went to the University of Leeds where she studied broadcasting.

When she finished university, she worked as a researcher for the BBC and other companies and in 2002, Anita presented The Edit, a live news and entertainment programme on Channel 5. She also presented a number of pop shows on the same channel including Spring Break Live, Party in the Park and Pop City Live, as well as freelancing for 5 News.

She covered The State We’re In in spring of 2003, a satirical current affairs programme on BBC Three. Anita also presented the first Poetry Slam on the same channel. She was nominated for Best On Screen Personality at the Royal Television Society Midlands awards in 2005.

She joined the BBC Asian Network radio station in March 2005, and became presenter of the weekend slot Hot Breakfast.

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Between April 2006 and March 2007, Anita presented the weekday morning talk show Anita Rani on the BBC Asian Network on the station. She was a regular reporter on the Channel 4 show The Cricket Show in 2005.

She co-presented Desi DNA from May 2006, an arts programme on BBC Two catering to the Desi community. She went on to launch Destination Three, a late-night entertainment zone on BBC Three and joined Sky Sports in May 2006 where she co-presented with Simon Thomas on the Cricket AM show.

Between 2006 and 2011 she has presented on radio shows for BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC News 24, BBC World Service and BBC One, as well as The One Show, Watchdog, succeeded Julia Bradbury, Four Rooms and a two-part documentary India on Four Wheels.

In 2012 she took part in BBC’s Great Sport Relief Bake Off, winning the show and a year later she co-presented the live broadcast programme Airport Live from Heathrow Airport. She was also one of the presenters of BBC Two’s Escape to the Continent.

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In 2015, Anita investigated the history of her maternal grandfather Sant Singh, who died in 1975, as part of an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? She learned about his first wife and children, who died during the Partition of India in 1947 while he was serving in the British Indian Army thousands of miles away in Kirkee. She discovered that her maternal grandfather was born into a Hindu Taggar family and converted to Sikhism as a young man.

Since 2015, she has co-hosted BBC’s Countryfile which she is well known for and co-presented The World’s Busiest Railway 2015 alongside Dan Snow and Robert Llewellyn.

From 2016 to present, Anita has appeared in BBC Two series New York: America’s Busiest City alongside Ant Anstead and Ade Adepitan, My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 and was honoured with Outstanding Achievement in Television at The Asian Awards. She was also an ambassador for The Scout Association UK, presented on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, a guest appearance on BBC Radio 4 show Gossip and Goddess With Granny Kumar, became the presenter of C4 daytime quiz show The Answer Trap and her memoir The Right Sort of Girl made The Sunday Times Bestseller List in 2021.

Anita was named as the new chancellor of the University of Bradford in November 2022.

Where is Anita Rani now?

Anita currently lives in east London with her husband, Bhupinder Rehal, a technology executive for an advertising agency.

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