Anita Rani questions whether she would’ve made the Strictly final if she ‘didn’t have a brown face’

Countryfile presenter appeared on the programme in 2015

Annabel Nugent
Tuesday 27 July 2021 08:19

Anita Rani has questioned whether she would have reached the Strictly Come Dancing final if she “didn’t have a brown face”.

The presenter – best known as co-host of Countryfile – appeared as a contestant on the BBC One series in 2015. She was partnered with professional dancer Gleb Savchenko.

Rani made it relatively far in the competition before she was knocked out in the semi-final round.

The 43-year-old told Radio Times: “I still find myself wondering whether I would have got into the final if I didn’t have a brown face.

“There are various points in my career where I wonder what would have happened if I was blonde-haired and blue-eyed, and sometimes I don’t think things would have played out the same way if I was white.”

Rani went on to reveal that she includes the Strictly question in her forthcoming memoir The Right Sort of Girl in order to “leave people pondering because I’m just not sure”.

Speaking more broadly about Strictly – which she described as a “national institution” – Rani stressed the importance of having a diverse range of contestants.

The presenter said: “I still rush excitedly over to the telly if there’s someone Asian on it. And that’s why seeing a brown lass doing alright on Strictly meant such a lot to Asian people.”

Rani added that “you don’t see many brown faces on it and certainly not many that do well”.

The broadcaster continued to reveal that she often thinks about returning to the series, stating: “That would be great: going back and winning it this time.”

The Independent has contacted a representative of the BBC for comment.

Rani has been a co-presenter of the BBC’s Countryfile since 2015.