Anita Rani

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Anita Rani
Born Anita Rani Nazran
(1977-10-25) 25 October 1977 (age 38)
Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
Ethnicity Punjabi
Occupation Journalist, Broadcaster
Television Watchdog
India on Four Wheels
Four Rooms
The One Show
Escape to the Continent
Strictly Come Dancing

Anita Rani Nazran (born 25 October 1977), better known as Anita Rani, is an English radio and television presenter and journalist of Punjabi descent.[1]

Early life[edit]

Rani was born and raised in Bradford in Yorkshire.[2] Both of her parents were Sikhs.[3]

In an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? first broadcast on 1 October 2015 on BBC One, Rani investigated the history of her maternal grandfather Sant Singh (born Sant Ram, in Sarhali in 1916, died 1975), in particular learning more about his first wife and children, who died during the violence of the Partition of India in 1947, while Rani's grandfather was a thousand miles away in Kirkee, serving in the British Indian Army, which he had joined in August 1942. Rani discovered that her grandfather was born into a Hindu Taggar family, but converted to Sikhism as a young man in accordance with a custom prevalent at the time. He continued to serve in the Indian Army after Indian independence, retiring as a subedar (equivalent to a warrant officer) in 1970.[4]

Rani was educated at Bradford Girls' Grammar School, an independent school in Bradford.[1] Rani developed an early interest in journalism, hosting her first show at the age of 14 on Sunrise Radio in Bradford. [5] She went to University of Leeds, where she studied Broadcasting.[1]

Life and career[edit]

After leaving university, Rani worked as a researcher for the BBC and other organisations.[6]

In 2002, Rani presented The Edit, a live news and entertainment programme on Channel Five. She has also presented a number of pop shows on Five including Spring Break Live, Party in the Park and Pop City Live, as well as being a freelance journalist for 5 News.[1] In Spring 2003 she fronted The State We're In, a satirical current affairs programme on BBC Three. She also presented the first Poetry Slam on the same channel. She was nominated as Best On Screen Personality at the Royal Television Society Midlands awards in 2005.[1]

Rani joined the BBC Asian Network radio station in March 2005, and became presenter of the weekend Hot Breakfast show. From April 2006 to March 2007 she presented the weekday morning talkback programme Anita Rani on the BBC Asian Network on the station.[7][8]

Since 20 May 2006, Rani has been a co-presenter of Desi DNA, an Arts programme on BBC Two. She was also part of the launch team that presented Destination Three, a late night entertainment zone on BBC Three.[1] In 2005 she was also a regular reporter on The Cricket Show on Channel 4. In May 2006 she joined Sky Sports where she became co-presenter with Simon Thomas on the Cricket AM show each Saturday morning.[1]

Rani presented My Generation Next, shown on BBC News 24 between 2 and 9 December 2006. She covered for Anita Anand on the late evening weekday show on BBC Radio 5 Live in March and September 2007 and has presented World Have Your Say on the BBC World Service and Weekend Breakfast on Five Live. She has also covered on various shows for BBC Radio 6 Music. In August 2008, Rani was the co-presenter of Rogue Restaurants on BBC One and joined the team of roving reporters on The One Show. From 2 March 2009 she co-presented BBC1's Watchdog, succeeding Julia Bradbury.

In 2011, Rani presented Four Rooms where unique objects are offered for sale to specialist dealers. Rani co-presented with Justin Rowlatt the two part documentary travelogue India on Four Wheels, a road trip around India sampling the changes and problems the growing car usage has brought to the country in the last two decades.[9] She collaborated with Rowlatt on a follow up two-part documentary entitled China on Four Wheels, aired on 9 September 2012 and 16 September 2012. In 2012, Rani took part in BBC's Great Sport Relief Bake Off, winning the competition. In 2013, Rani co-presented the unique live broadcast project Airport Live from Heathrow Airport. Another follow up to India on Four Wheels was a two-part documentary entitled Russia on Four Wheels, which aired on 20 January 2014 and 22 January 2014. In April 2014, she was one of the presenters of BBC Two's Escape to the Continent. In August 2014, Rani was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[10]

Since 2015, she has co-hosted BBC's Countryfile. Rani co-presented The World's Busiest Railway 2015, alongside Dan Snow and Robert Llewellyn. The four-part series aired on BBC Two.[11]

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

Main article: Strictly Come Dancing

Between October and December 2015, Rani participated in the thirteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing,[3] partnered with Gleb Savchenko and reached the semi-final. In week 7 the couple scored 34 marks dancing a jive to "The Boy Does Nothing" by Alesha Dixon. In week 9, at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, they danced a paso doble to "Malagueña" by Connie Francis and scored 37.

Personal life[edit]

Rani lives in East London with her husband who is a technology executive for an advertising agency.[4]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Anita Rani profile". Sky Sports. 27 July 2007. Archived from the original on 23 April 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2007. 
  2. ^ "Anita Rani featured article on TheGenealogist". TheGenealogist. Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Price, Annie (2 September 2015). "Strictly Come Dancing 2015: Who is Anita Rani?". Sunday Express. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Anita Rani". Who Do You Think You Are?. Series 12. Episode 8. 1 October 2015. BBC One. Retrieved 1 October 2015. Journalist Anita Rani never met her maternal grandfather Sant Singh — all she has been told is that he suffered terrible tragedy at the time of India's Partition. Anita's mother also tells her that Sant had another wife and family before marrying Anita's grandmother. Armed with this knowledge, Anita travels to India to see if she can find out more about her grandfather's first family — and discover what happened to them during Partition. 
  5. ^ "BBC presenter Anita Rani on life after Leeds", The Gryphon
  6. ^ BBC profile
  7. ^ "Biographies — Anita Rani Presenter, Asian Network". BBC Asian Network. 1 April 2006. Archived from the original on 23 October 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2007. 
  8. ^ "Anita Rani off mid-morning Asian Network show". Asians in Media. 1 December 2006. Archived from the original on 5 December 2006. Retrieved 8 August 2007. 
  9. ^ India on Four Wheels BBC
  10. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". The Guardian. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Dowling, Tim (25 August 2015). "World’s Busiest Railway 2015; Muslim Drag Queens – review: 'I'm worried for your safety'". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Anita Rani". BBC Countryfile Magazine. 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 

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