Anne "Anneka" Rice (born 4 October 1958) is a Welsh television presenter.


 [hide*1 Early life and education

Early life and education[edit]Edit

Rice was born in CowbridgeVale of Glamorgan, Wales.

She was educated at three independent schools: at Dunrobin School, Limpsfield, Surrey; St Michael's Surrey and Croydon High School.

Anne Rice adopted the name "Anneka" when she joined the British actors' union Equity, as her birth-name had already been registered with that organisation.[1]


Rice began her TV career as a trainee for the BBC World Service.[2] At the age of 19 she moved to Hong Kong, where she presented the news on English language television station TVB Pearl. Upon returning to the UK three years later, she worked as a secretary in the BBC Children's department.

In 1983 she landed her first major TV job as the jump-suited "skyrunner" of Channel 4's Treasure Hunt, which was hosted by former BBC newsman Kenneth Kendall. The show proved one of Channel 4's most popular programmes and was nominated for a BAFTA in 1986, in the category "Best Light Entertainment Programme". In the same year, Rice was given the "Rear of the Year" award.[3] Rice left Treasure Hunt when she became pregnant in 1988, being replaced by former tennis player Annabel Croft.[4]

Rice hosted the BBC's Children in Need appeal in 1987 and tested an early version of her next project, Challenge Anneka.[5] This had been devised by Rice herself and was launched in 1989 on BBC 1. It ran for a further five years and was revived by ITV as part of their Christmas 2006 schedule.

Personal life[edit]Edit

Rice was married to theatre boss Nick Allott, with whom she has two sons: Thomas (born 1988) and Josh (born 1990). Allott and Rice split in 1992 after she began an affair with TV executive Tom Gutteridge. They parted six months after her third son, Sam, was born in 1997.[6] In 1994 Rice presented Capital Woman, a weekly women's magazine programme for Carlton Television (ITV), which, like Challenge Anneka, was produced by Gutteridge's company Mentorn. Later she also presented Holiday for BBC One. In 1995 Challenge Anneka was axed by the BBC.

Rice decided to quit television to spend time with her three children, and spent five years studying painting at Chelsea College of Art.[7] In 2005 she began a relationship with writer Simon Bell.[8]

Return to TV[edit]Edit

As a result of her owning the rights to Challenge Anneka Rice returned to television in a co-producer role in September 2001 when she was approached by the ABC network in the U.S. to produce a new series based on the format, which was branded Challenge America and hosted by Erin Brockovich.

After finishing her art degree, in 2003 Rice returned to presenting on the Five show Dinner Doctors alongside relationship advisor Jenni Trent Hughes.

Rice has written books on skiing and scuba-diving. In 2005 she endorsed a line of anti-aging products.

Returning to the limelight Rice had a lead role in The Vagina Monologues which played at Birmingham Hippodrome from 31 January to 4 February 2006.

Rice returned to ITV in June 2006 to co-host a Sunday morning cookery show, Sunday Feast. She also took part in the ITV programme Extinct presented by Sir Trevor McDonald and Zoë Ball which saw Rice and seven other well known celebrities visit endangered animals in their natural habitat and plead their case so that viewers would pick up the phone and vote for their animal to receive a large sum of money to try to save them from extinction. Rice's chosen animal was the polar bear. Rice did not win as the money went to the Bengal tigers and their celebrity, Pauline Collins.

On 9 June 2006 it was announced that Challenge Anneka would return, but this time on ITV. The first of three specials was broadcast on Boxing Day 2006.[9] A further episode was aired on 6 June 2007. In September 2007, she appeared in the third series of Hell's Kitchen.

Rice appeared as a contestant on episode 5 of Celebrity Mastermind (broadcast 1 January 2010) with comedian Ed Byrne, actor Tristan Gemmill and comedian/actor John Bishop. She chose the life and career ofJean Rhys as her specialist subject and finished as runner-up to the winner, Gemmill.

In June 2012 Rice co-hosted a BBC1 programme Rolf Paints... Diamond Jubilee with Rolf Harris in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's jubilee. In the programme a number of people are encouraged to express their Jubilee celebrations from past to present through personal experiences.

In August 2012 she became co-presenter of The Flowerpot Gang on BBC 1 with Joe Swift (TV garden presenter) and Phil Tufnell (ex cricketer).


Rice and Patrick Kielty filled in for Alan Carr and Melanie Sykes on BBC Radio 2 in January 2012 for two weeks only. She was confirmed in February 2012, as the successor to Zoë Ball on Radio 2's Weekend Breakfast show, on Saturday mornings from 6am.

She had worked on BBC Radio before in the 1980s on BBC Radio 1 in 1985 and BBC Radio 2 in 1986.

Television shows[edit]Edit

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