Countryfile star Anita Rani says she ‘loves’ new life after splitting from husband

The 46-year-old has no children

Emma Guinness
Thursday 02 May 2024 09:41 BST
Related: Anita Rani wonders if she would have made Strictly final if she ‘didn’t have a brown face’

Countryfile star Anita Rani has said she’s in “uncharted territory” after splitting with her husband of 14 years.

The presenter, 46, recently opened up about her new life following news of their separation breaking in September, admitting that she’s in a place she “never” “expected myself to be in”.

Describing herself as a “single, Asian woman with no children”, she said that she “loves” her new life, dubbing it a “blank slate” after parting amicably from her husband Bhupi Rehal.

“I feel like I’ve stepped into a place that I never, ever expected myself to be in,” the presenter told Good Housekeeping.

“I’m in uncharted territory – I’m a single, Asian woman with no children, and do you know what? I love it! I’ve sort of got a blank slate in front of me, and that feels really good.”

Rani and Rehal, a self-confessed “non-traditional technology director” reportedly split because of their busy work schedules, which caused the pair to drift apart over time.

The presenter, who also won praise for her stint on Strictly Come Dancing in 2015, said she moved into a flat she has owned for two decades following the split and created a “little sanctuary” for herself.

Anita Rani moved into a little flat she bought 20 years ago (Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for D)

“I bought a flat about 20 years ago, which I kept for all these years, and I’ve moved back into it,” she added.

“When I first became single, a friend said, ‘You could make your little apartment like a Parisienne dream house’ – and that’s exactly what I’ve done.

“I have lovely cream drapes and white floorboards. My bedroom is dusky pink and I’ve turned my spare room into a dressing room.

“Just talking about it makes me happy! It’s my little sanctuary and it feels really important to have that.”

The presenter met her former partner in 2008 at a London rave, where the pair reportedly hit it off over a shared love of music.

Rani said she loves her new life as a single woman (Ian West/PA) (PA Wire)

The relationship progressed quickly and they married the following year.

A source close to the couple told The Mirror last year that the presenter remains on good terms with her former husband.

They said: “It’s really sad but they’ve decided to separate. Their hectic schedules over the past couple of years have sadly meant they’ve drifted apart over time.

“They remain on very good terms and wish nothing but the best for one another.”

The former couple remain on good terms (itsanitarani/Instagram)

Prior to her wedding in 2009, Rani admitted the event felt rushed, but she ultimately decided to ahead with the union because she “wasn’t getting any younger”.

The presenter did have her reservations when she got married in 2009 (PA)

She admitted feeling pressured by her and her then-partner’s family to settle down.

“I just remember thinking, ‘Who is all this for?’ I was already 32 and I wasn’t getting any younger,” Rani said. “Of course, they were all thinking about children too – everyone apart from me, that is.

She added of the big day: “My husband-to-be is sitting in front of the holy book waiting for me to walk down the carpeted aisle, to take my place cross-legged on the floor next to him, so we can begin our beautiful Sikh wedding ceremony.

“What happens at this point in the movies? Butterflies in your belly? Everyone turns to smile at the beautiful bride? A full-blown song and dance sequence for the happiest day of your life? I’m freaking out. I’m looking out across the scene in front of me, serene, calm, quiet, and I am anything but. This was not how I’d planned life to be.”

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