Strictly Come Dancing 2019: ‘It was INSANE’ Anita Rani reveals demands of BBC show

Anita, 41, made it to the quarter finals of Strictly Come Dancing when she originally appeared on the BBC dance show in 2015 with former professional Gleb Savchenko, 35.

The couple lost out on the title of Strictly champions, with former The Wanted star Jay McGuiness, 28, and his partner Aliona Vilani, 34, lifting the GlitterBall Trophy.

However, the Countryfile presenter was given another shot at trying to grace the hall of fame of Strictly winners when she returned to the dance floor alongside professional Neil Jones, 36, for the shows Christmas special last year performing a foxtrot routine, three years after her initial appearance.

Unfortunately it wasn’t second time lucky for Anita as she was trumped by another boyband star in former JLS member Aston Merrygold, 31, but this wasn’t the first time the presenter had been asked to give Strictly another shot.

As well as her duties and travelling the length and breadth of Britain for Countryfile, Anita has also been busy making documentary’s for the BBC which had left her with little time to grace the dance floor once more.

However, when the call came through for last year’s Christmas special, Anita revealed she had to make time to try and fit in training as well as recording the show having been asked several times in the past.

Speaking exclusively to about her return, Anita said: “I’ve been asked before, but I just haven’t been able to fit it into my schedule so this year [2018], it was a no brainer, I’ve just got to make it happen.

“You got to make it work,” the presenter continued before explaining the difficulty she had with the training regime after not dancing for over three years.

“I wasn’t as fit, that’s the thing. When you’re doing Strictly, you get so fit because you’re training like an athlete.

“So, by the time I got to the semi-final and did the most insane dance I’ve ever done in my life, that crazy salsa, not even out of breath,” Anita added, referring to her previous stint on the show.

She continued: “This time it was more like, ‘Ok, can we just take a minute?’ and that was just the Foxtrot so, I’m not as fit as I was back then. That was a bit of a shock to the system.”

After dancing with Neil and following the news Pasha Kovalev, 39, would not be returning to the show later this year, Anita suggested her Christmas partner would be an ideal replacement, giving him a chance to perform with a celebrity in the regular series.

Anita also spoke about some of the changes she noticed during her second stint with the most evident being the change of head judge on the panel as the presenter originally danced for former judge Len Goodman, 74, before he was replaced by Shirley Ballas, 58.

“I’m a huge fan. I think she’s incredible. I think she’s wonderful, a real inspiring woman, she’s a powerhouse, she’s super fit, she speaks her mind, she’s at the top of her game in the dance world.

“To have the opportunity to strut your stuff in front of Shirley and for her to give me nice comments, that was quite an amazing feeling,” Anita revealed.

The Countryfile presenter is currently taking part in the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief as one of the nine celebrities completing the venture, one of which being Strictly head judge Shirley.

Ahead of the climb, Anita said she couldn’t wait to spend some quality time with Shirley, saying she wanted to: “Get the inside track on Strictly when we’re climbing.

“Maybe we can get a few Cha Cha lessons, proper Cha Cha lessons. It’s a nice gang, it’s a really nice gang,” Anita continued, speaking of her fellow climbers.

Revealing why she wanted to take part in the challenge, Anita said: “Primarily because I’m a huge supporter of Comic Relief. In 2015, I went and helped with a build of a health care centre in Uganda.

“Now to have the opportunity to climb Kilimanjaro which I’ve always wanted to do, that was the other reason I wanted to do it. Here’s an opportunity to do it. It’s a win-win for me.”

However, Anita did admit she had apprehensions about taking on the climb: “It’s a big old challenge and I’m just nervous about – I guess – the physical, just how strenuous it’s going to be.

“You’re walking for hours and hours and hours uphill every single day. So, exhaustion and altitude are my two main worries.”

Strictly Come Dancing returns later this year on BBC One and Comic Relief TV Marathon airs Friday 15 March on BBC One

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Post Author: martin

Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of and Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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