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Anneka Rice interview for Celebrity Hunted

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What on earth would tempt you to take part in a show like this?

Well, I’m a huge fan of the programme. I’ve watched the two series in real time at point of transmission, and became very addicted to it. In fact, on my Radio 2 Breakfast Show talked about it more or less every Saturday morning – shared it with the audience. I just think it’s a brilliant format. So when I was asked to do it, I immediately thought “Oh God, that would be amazing”.

As a big fan of the show, will that give you an advantage? Have you picked up lots of tips?

Funnily enough, I think I’m missing a trick here. Obviously I’ve watched the two series, and I can see some of the pitfalls, but I haven’t really planned much. I’ve picked up some tips, but I’m largely just going to go out there and depend on the kindness of strangers. I think that’s going to be my ploy.

How do you think you’ll cope with roughing it?

I don’t really intend to rough it, so… fine! I don’t intend to rough it at all. I’m not taking a tent or anything. I think, also, because I’m on my own, I’m going to need to be reaching out to other people. Otherwise it’ll be such a tragic, lonely expedition. So, as I say, I’m just going to rely on strangers.

You’ve spent much of your career running around the country one way or another. Do you think that will stand you in good stead?

Yeah, I think it will, because I’ve spent my whole career blagging and trying to ask people to do things for me, usually for a very good cause. In this cause, it’ll be slightly selfish. But I think the public are used to me asking for things, so maybe they’ll just think we’re building an orphanage in Romania or something if I say “Can I have a bed for the night?” I’ll shamelessly hang on the shirt tails of that, because that’s a role the public are very used to me filling.

Have you done anything by way of preparation for this?

No, not at all, because I was flat out at work until last week, and in an ideal world one would have got a personal trainer in and spent a few weeks in a spa ad done all those things. But I haven’t really done much in preparation. I like working off the cuff, so that’s probably better. As we’re just about to start, I’m hearing that some of the others have got all sorts of techie plans. I haven’t got anything like that.

Maybe your tactic needs to be to find yourself a luxury spa to hide out in.

Exactly, you must have read my mind.

Do you think being a celebrity is going to make this easier or harder?

I think it’s going to make it easier, personally. Obviously the recognition thing is going to be tricky, but I think on the whole, as I say, I’m known for asking for thing, and that’s just a shortcut. If I run up to someone and say “Can you help me?” I don’t then have to introduce myself and explain all about what I do and so on. There is such a shortcut to the whole process, I’m hoping that will be to my advantage.

What do you anticipate being the hardest thing about being on the run?

The heat. We’re in the middle of a heatwave this week, and I feel like I can hardly speak. One thing I’m really hopeless at is being in really strong heat. It completely debilitates me, so that’ll be my worst thing.

What do you think you’ll miss the most from everyday life?

I just think I’ll miss my bed. Probably everyone says that, but after a long, long, busy day, having your refuge, somewhere that’s very familiar to go home to is so important. And obviously I’ll miss my family. But it’s only two weeks.

Celebrity Hunted starts on Tuesday 10th October at 9:15pm on Channel 4

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