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Everything you need to know about Strictly 'contestant' Anneka Rice

Anneka is rumoured to be appearing on this year's line-up

Jenni McKnight

The first three celebrity contestants for Strictly Come Dancing were due to be announced on The One Show on Wednesday evening. However, former I'm A Celeb campmate Iain Lee accidentally let it slip that Jamie Laing, Anneka Rice, and Sam Allardyce are the first three contestants confirmed for this year's series during an appearance Good Morning Britain, jokily apologising to The One Show after revealing the news. But who is Anneka Rice? Here's everything you need to know about the first female celebrity 'contestant'…

Who is Anneka Rice?

Anneka Rice, real name Anne Lucinda Hartley Rice, is a 60-year-old Welsh TV and radio presenter who rose to fame in 1982 as the jump-suited "skyrunner" working on Treasure Hunt with Channel 4. The programme saw guests taking part in a game show, solving clues for a cash prize. The show proved one of Channel 4's most popular programmes and was even nominated for a BAFTA in 1986.

Anneka was a huge TV star in the 80s

Why is Anneka Rice famous?

Anneka was a huge star in the 80s and is probably most fondly remembered for her BBC One series Challenge Anneka, which she devised herself. The concept of the show was for her to solve tasks within a certain period of time. The series ran for five years from 1989 to 1995, before returning on ITV for four specials in 2006 and 2007.

MORE: BBC reveals one MAJOR change to the Strictly line-up this year

What other TV shows has Anneka Rice appeared in?

Anneka has also appeared on Celebrity Mastermind, Hell's Kitchen and Come Dine With Me. In 2017 she appeared on Celebrity Hunted with fellow Strictly 'contestant' Jamie Laing. Anneka managed to avoid capture from the hunters for ten days and provided some hysterical moments on the show. One such moment was when she hid under some tarpaulin for a couple of hours, with two tins of gin and tonic.

Does Anneka Rice have children?

Anneka with first husband Nick Allott

Anneka famously took time out of the spotlight to raise her children and spent five years studying painting at the Chelsea College of Art. She has three sons, 30-year-old Thomas, and 29-year-old Josh Allott, who she shares with ex-husband, theatre boss Nick Allott. Her youngest son, 19-year-old Sam Gutteridge, she shares with TV executive Tom Gutteridge.

READ: Strictly star Oti Mabuse shares exciting wedding news!

Is Anneka Rice married?

Anneka has only been married once, to Nick Allott, but they separated in 1992. Since 2005, Anneka has been in a relationship with writer Simon Bell, 58. He is a close friend of screenwriter Richard Curtis with whom he wrote the comedy book Who's Had Who. Simon also wrote the 1991 novel Blood Money and has contributed to Sunday newspapers.

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