Sangam Festival

Focus On… Anita Rani

Name: Anita Rani Nazran

South Asian heritage: British-born of Punjabi Indian heritage, with a Hindu father and Sikh mother.

Profession: TV and radio presenter

Childhood: Born in Bradford in 1977 into a Punjabi family, Anita Rani’s love of the countryside began with weekend trips out to Ilkley Moor, Bolton Abbey, Whitby and other Yorkshire landmarks.

Early career: Aged 14, Anita had her own show on Sunrise Radio in Bradford. She was educated at Bradford Girls Grammar School and went on to study broadcasting at the University of Leeds.

TV and radio: Anita Rani has been a familiar face on our TV screens for 20 years. She is one of the lead presenters on BBC1’s Countryfile, as well regularly appearing on Watchdog and The One Show.

She has also presented Four Rooms, Secret Spenders, The Answer Trap and Britain’s Best Parent for Channel 4, and a number of documentaries for the BBC; these include Bollywood: The World’s Biggest Film Industry; My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 and War on Plastics. In 2022, she became the presenter of a new ITV game show, Fastest Finger First.

Host of Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 since January 2021, with Emma Barnett, Anita is also a regular broadcaster on the BBC Asian Network and BBC Radio 2.

Strictly Come Dancing: Anita took part in BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2015, reaching the semi final with partner Gleb Savchenko, dancing to

Who Do You Think You Are?: In a programme broadcast in 2015, Anita investigated her maternal grandfather’s story, in particular what happened to him during and after Partition in 1947.

South Asian Heritage Month: Anita Rani is one of the founding patrons of South Asian Heritage Month.

Books: In 2021, she published her first book, The Right Sort of Girl, which covered her upbringing as a second-generation British Indian woman growing up in the north. It received critical acclaim and was a Sunday Times bestseller.


  • 2005: Nomination for Best On Screen Personality, RTS Midlands Awards
  • 2012: Won Comic Relief’s Great British Bake Off
  • 2018: Outstanding Achievement in Television at the Asian Awards
  • 2019: Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief
  • 2021: Announced as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador after supporting the organisation since 2017
  • Ambassador for The Scout Association

A healthy eater by nature, Anita Rani has said in interviews that she is a fan of pani puri, a common street food in India, made of deep-fried flatbread filled with herbs, spices and a choice of other fillings such as lentils and potato.

You can find a recipe for pani puri here: