I still feel a bit sick when I hear the Strictly theme tune...

COUNTRYFILE’S ANITA RANI IS LOOK­ING FOR­WARD TO HAV­ING THE WORLD AT HER FIN­GER­TIPS. SHE TELLS MAR­ION McMULLEN THAT EVEN ARENA SPECTACULARS ARE LESS SCARY THAN TAK­ING PART IN STRICTLY COME DANC­ING

Uxbridge Gazette - - Spot Light -

You will be pre­sent­ing Blue Planet II Live In Con­cert next year. How did that come about?

(LAUGHS) It’s a magic mo­ment. A big fin­ger comes out of the sky and you don’t ques­tion it.

This is in­cred­i­ble and ab­so­lutely thrilling. I had to keep it all se­cret for a few months – it’s amaz­ing how many se­crets I’ve got – but it only started to feel real when the arena tour was ac­tu­ally an­nounced.

The TV show it­self was just mag­i­cal and the tour takes it to the next level.

It’s not just a tele­vi­sion pro­gramme, it’s a mo­ment of British TV his­tory that we are tak­ing on the road and I’ll be there with this 80-strong orches­tra and big screens show­ing some of that in­cred­i­ble Blue Planet II footage.

The BBC se­ries Blue Planet II fea­tured some amaz­ing crea­tures. Do you have any favourite mo­ment?

MANY, many mo­ments from the surf­ing dol­phins to the bob­bit worm. The worm was so weird and it was called bob­bit as well.

All the best mo­ments of the TV show will be in the tour. It’s go­ing to be mag­i­cal. It’s go­ing to be very pow­er­ful.

Be­ing in front of 10,000 peo­ple is go­ing to be some­thing dif­fer­ent for me. I took part in the Strictly tour and then hosted that.

I think tak­ing part in Strictly Come Danc­ing is the most scary thing I’ve done so far.

Did it take you out of your com­fort zone?

I’VE been lucky enough to do so many dif­fer­ent types of live TV.

I did a pro­gramme about the par­ti­tion of In­dia, my own per­sonal story, and I think that will stay with me for the rest of my life, but Strictly ... that was the most nerve-wrack­ing thing I’ve ever done.

I’m like Pavlov’s dog and still feel a bit sick when I hear the theme tune.

It’s ter­ri­fy­ing but I loved do­ing the shows. I think it’s healthy to do things that keep you on your toes.

Did you dis­cover a love of bling?

(LAUGHS) I never wore make-up as a teenager and I thought short skirts and lip­stick were friv­o­lous, but the older I get the more girlie I am be­com­ing.

When I am 80 I am go­ing to be out­ra­geous. I’ll have a glass of cham­pagne in my hand and will be waft­ing around in a kaf­tan.

How do you re­lax?

I LOVE to cook. I’m so busy I don’t get to spend a lot of time at home, but when I do I cook.

I don’t fol­low recipes. I cook ev­ery­thing, but I love a curry. It’s part of my her­itage and the food I grew up eat­ing.

The area where I live in Lon­don is like a lit­tle vil­lage and, when I’m not trav­el­ling, I like to just stay home and put on the ra­dio or read.

My life­style on the road does not al­low me to go to reg­u­lar gym classes, but when I fin­ish film­ing I do like to go for a run.

How old were you when you be­came in­ter­ested in pre­sent­ing?

I WAS 13 when I found my­self do­ing ra­dio in my home town of Brad­ford and then there was ca­ble TV, re­mem­ber that?

I was watch­ing a lo­cal pro­gramme talk­ing about a fes­ti­val and I found out where their of­fices were and turned up knock­ing at their door say­ing “can I help?”.

I must have been about 16.

The Blue Planet II shows also fea­ture Matthew Free­man con­duct­ing the City of Prague

Phil­har­monic Orches­tra. Are you mu­si­cal at all? (LAUGHS) I play the tri­an­gle. I bought a pi­ano. It’s in my room at home wait­ing for me to play on it.

I think it is a won­der­ful thing to be able to pro­duce mu­sic and I want to learn.

The mu­sic is im­por­tant to the ex­pe­ri­ence of the arena shows and I can’t wait to hear that beau­ti­ful score per­formed live in front of an au­di­ence. This is a fam­ily show and it’s all about joy and re­minds us that we are all part of this beau­ti­ful planet. I think it hum­bles us.

Are you used to an­i­mal en­coun­ters do­ing Countryfile?

I HAVE come across so many an­i­mals.

I re­cently met a cow that was big­ger than me, and in North­ern Ire­land a tame deer took a lik­ing to the sound man and his boom. This deer was just fas­ci­nated by the boom.

You never know what is go­ing to be around the cor­ner. I’m not plan­ning to re­tire ... ever.

You look at John Craven, who is amaz­ing, and David At­ten­bor­ough, and think there’s no rea­son why your ca­reer can not go on and on.

The Blue Planet II – Live In Con­cert arena tour starts on March 13. Ticket de­tails from even­tim.co.uk, seet­ick­ets.com and blue­plan­et2live.co.uk

Photo credit: Si­mon Webb

TV pre­sen­ter Anita Rani, the nar­ra­tor for the Blue Planet II Arena Tour

The surf­ing dol­phins on Blue Planet II

Anita in her Strictly days

The bob­bit worm

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.