As well as presenting Countryfile, which allows her to indulge her love of the countryside by travelling the length and breadth of the UK, Yorkshire-born Anita Rani is also a Strictly Come Dancing alumnus, impressively reaching the semi-final in 2015, and appeared on this year’s Celebrity Gogglebox with her dad. We caught up with the South Asian Heritage Month co-founder to discuss her love of the countryside, why beauty is so important to her and her biggest challenge.
On the great outdoors
“The countryside is fundamental to my mental health… I grew up in a city, and I live in a city now, but as we only live on a tiny island, it doesn’t take long to drive out to the countryside. Certainly in Bradford, where I grew up, within 15, 20 minutes, I was in the countryside, and we used to go every weekend to play around in the moors and get that sense of space and openness, and see a horizon and not see any concrete. I think it’s really good for your mental health. It’s good to get away from work, and destress by going for long walks and seeing nature. It’s in all us, going back however many generations, none of us were born in a city, we’re all from a field somewhere and I think that’s never left us.”
“Beauty is really important to me… I grew up with a mother who is obsessed with face packs, even to this day when I go to visit her, the first thing she’ll say is “I’ve just made a face pack, come on, put it on, put it on!” and I won’t even have a choice! It’s all natural stuff, I use a lot of natural products that are in my fridge that feel very good, like yoghurt, lemon is a good astringent, honey is really good for your skin, but it can be a bit sticky, aloe vera is really good, cucumbers for the eyes, I love all of that. Otherwise, an all-round healthy lifestyle is probably the best thing you can do for your skin – this is making me sound like I live really healthily, but I do love a glass of wine as well!”
On facing challenges
“I’ve had quite a few challenges in life, and I’ve just gone for them… Moving to London from Yorkshire at a really young age was a challenge, but you don’t really think of it as a challenge, if you’re so determined to do something you get on with it, so it’s more of an adventure than a challenge. I always like to challenge myself, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, which was a physical and a mental challenge. Talking about my miscarriage was a huge challenge, but actually I find when you face a challenge, own it, tackle it and embrace it, it makes things much easier. So I’m not afraid of challenges, but there’s been a few. Living in a pandemic is a challenge, isn’t it? That’s the biggest challenge for everybody right now.”
Read the full interview with Anita Rani in Health & Wellbeing magazine’s December issue, on sale on the 3rd November.