Anne Hegerty may be used to running rings around contestants on The Chase, but the Governess is reportedly set to take on a beast of a different nature later this year when she joins the cast of Britain’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.
According to reports from British tabloid The Mirror, Hegerty is the latest celebrity to sign onto the new season of the popular reality show, which begins filming in Australia in November.
Hegerty shot to fame after joining the cast of The Chase in 2010, and has become one of the most popular Chasers on the program.
While ITV is yet to confirm the official I’m a Celebrity line up, The Mirror reports that Hegerty will be joined in the Australian ‘jungle’ by Coronation Street star Sair Khan and English football boss Harry Redknapp.
The wild challenges of the jungle are a far cry from Hegerty’s usual battleground in the television studio, but if her success in the Chaser’s seat is anything to go by, she’ll certainly be a formidable contestant.
The 60-year-old isn’t likely to have any qualms about the tough conditions contestants are usually placed under either, with makeshift showers and none of the luxuries of home life, having previously told Starts at 60 she’s always relied on her brain rather than her looks to get through life.
Speaking about breaking into the entertainment industry later in life, she said it much easier knowing she had the smarts to keep her career thriving as she enters her 60s.
“There’s an awful lot of women who start out young, and then they get older and find they’re less in demand,” she said. “It’s very unfair, but it’s because there always was a slight element of them being attractive, and looking after themselves, and that’s not a thing I’ve ever done, to put it bluntly!”
“It is unfair for women, when they get to middle age and certainly in the media business, how many people just aren’t interested anymore. Game shows are largely watched by older women, so they see someone that looks like them. It can have a powerful effect.”
While she’s certainly found her groove now, Hegerty wasn’t always so confident in herself. She told Starts at 60 that she knew from a young age she was different, but couldn’t figure out exactly why or how.
It wasn’t until 2003 that she was finally diagnosed with Asperger’s. She came to the conclusion herself after reading about it and watching TV shows on the syndrome.
“It suddenly made sense,” she recalled. “I remember writing in my diary ‘I think I’ve made the most important discovery of my life’. It was mega. Part of me wonders if it would have been better to get the diagnosis earlier, then part of me thinks ‘but would people have had lower expectations of me? Would people have been a bit protective, and given me longer in exams?’ I’m not sure that would have been healthy.”
That ingrained sense of competitiveness and no-excuses attitude will no doubt do her well in I’m a Celebrity, if she does indeed compete on the show.