Anneka Rice has revealed that looking at photos of herself recently left her feeling ‘horrified’, but added that she doesn’t feel any different now than she did 30 years ago.
The TV presenter, 63, made the comments as her most prolific 90s programme, Challenge Anneka, is set to return to the UK’s screens.
During episodes of the show, which ran on the BBC between 1989 and 1995, Anneka and her team of volunteers would take on complicated tasks against the clock, usually to raise money for charity.
Famous challenges, which she usually undertook while donning her trademark blue and pink jumpsuit, included the building of a swimming pool for orphaned seals and putting up a suspension bridge in Cornwall.
Speaking in an interview with the Times, Anneka discussed how she has changed over the last three decades.
Anneka Rice, 63, is best known for her 90s TV show Challenge Anneka. The programme is now returning to the small screen
In the programme (pictured) Anneka and a team of volunteers would take on challenges they tried to complete within in set timeframe
When told she still looked the same as when the show was first on television, she replied: ‘Look at those photos [we have just taken]. I was horrified.’
However, she added: ‘But the thing is I don’t really feel any different.’
Speaking about why the programme has been recommissioned, she said she believes it’s because the people now working in TV grew up watching the show.
‘I think it’s that the people who are now making television programmes remember it,’ she explained.
‘They were kids then. Now they’ve got the power. The commissioners at all these channels grew up on Challenge.’
Anneka announced in May that she would once again be fronting the programme, saying she hopes that the relaunched show will help to challenge stereotypes about gender roles on television, just as her original show did for female presenters.
Anneka has said her show Treasure Hunt, the forerunner to Challenge Anekka, ‘put a woman absolutely in control right in the centre of the action driving the narrative’ (Anneka Rice pictured presenting Treasure Hunt)
Pictured here in October 2021, at the Women of the Year Awards in London, Anneka has discussed how she looks different than she did 30 years ago, but says she feels the same
Speaking the forerunner to Challenge Anekka, a show she presented called Treasure Hunt, she told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘It put a woman absolutely in control right in the centre of the action driving the narrative.
‘It really changed the face of TV and in a lot of ways, and I want to sort of fly the flag for women today’.
She added: ‘Forty years ago, you have to remember where women were placed in television. They were usually either draped over cars as a prize on a quiz game or they were behind a news desk.’
Anneka (pictured in 2019) has said men’s ‘image and brand stay intact’ as they age, whereas there is more focus on how women’s looks change as they get older
Speaking about ageing as a woman, she again said she feels the same as she did 30 years ago, but added that ‘possibly there’s more conversation about how we look, or about how we might be coping with it, whereas for men they just get on and do it, and their image and brand stays intact.’
Speaking to PA News about the return of the programme, Anneka added: ‘I can’t believe this is actually happening. The last few years have shown us all the power of community and how it’s good to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
‘The whole team is as motivated as ever to make a difference and shine a spotlight on people and organisations who need help.
‘Three decades on, the issues may look different but at their core they are the same; they’re about people and communities.
‘And we may look a bit different too but our hearts and willingness to get stuck in are the same.’
Challenge Anneka will be coming to Channel 5 soon.