Belfast Telegraph

Anneka Rice will celebrate special anniversary the weekend of Strictly launch

Her own series, Challenge Anneka, aired 30 years ago.

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Anneka Rice (Ray Burmiston/BBC/PA)
Strictly Come Dancing contestant Anneka Rice (Ray Burmiston/BBC/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Anneka Rice has revealed that her Strictly Come Dancing debut will fall on the 30th anniversary weekend of Challenge Anneka.

The TV stalwart and radio broadcaster’s flagship show launched on September 8 1989 and quickly became a household favourite.

Rice, 60, would be tasked with a challenge in each episode, such as building an orphanage in 48 hours with the help of the public.

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Anneka Rice and Karim Zeroual at the red carpet launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2019 (Ian West/PA)

On September 7, she will make her Strictly debut in the BBC One’s pre-recorded launch show, almost exactly 30 years to the day.

She told the PA news agency she could not wait to return to “the bosom of the BBC”.

She said: “The most touching thing for me is that its 30 years on September 8 that Challenge first aired, and that’s an amazing 30 years returning to the bosom of the BBC.

“So it’s partly why I did it, because this is a show I have watched all my life.

“I’ve brought my children to the audience so it never occurred to me that I could be doing it myself.”

Asked why she had finally signed up, she replied: “A few things fell into place, I just thought my youngest is now out of university, if I’m ever going to do it it’ll be now.”

Rice has had a number of other TV jobs over the years, co-hosting ITV cookery show Sunday Feast alongside Andi Peters in 2006, and in 2007 she appeared in Hell’s Kitchen.

PA

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