27/07/2021 09:22 BST

Anita Rani Questions Whether Her Race Affected Her Strictly Come Dancing Journey

The Countryfile presenter competed on the BBC ballroom show in 2015.

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

The Countryfile presenter competed on the BBC ballroom show in 2015 where she was partnered with professional dancer Gleb Savchenko

The couple missed out on a place in the final after they were knocked out just before the semi-final. 

Anthony Harvey via Getty Images
Anita Rani took part on Strictly in 2015

Speaking to Radio Times, Anita explained why she decided to address the issue in her memoir, The Right Sort Of Girl.

She said: “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.

“I’ve put that Strictly question into my book to leave people pondering, because I’m just not sure.”

Anita described Strictly as a “national institution” and stressed the importance of having a diverse line-up of contestants.

She 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 all right on Strictly meant such a lot to Asian people.

“It’s a national institution, and you don’t see many brown faces on it, certainly not many that do well.”

She added: “Nobody is happy when they’re voted out, let me tell you. It doesn’t matter who you are, that hurts.”

Anita with dance parter Gleb Savchenko on the show

Anita added that she “often thinks about” doing Strictly again.

“That would be great: going back and winning it this time,” she said. 

HuffPost UK has contacted a Strictly Come Dancing spokesperson for comment. 

The full interview with Anita appears in this week’s issue of Radio Times, on sale now.