Anneka Rice is a Welsh actress and broadcaster. Rice began her broadcasting career as a trainee for the BBC World Service. 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. Rice filming Treasure Hunt at Hatton Locks in 1984.
In 1982 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. Rice left Treasure Hunt when she became pregnant in 1988, being replaced by former tennis player Annabel Croft.
Rice hosted the BBC‘s Children in Need appeal in 1987 and tested an early version of her next project, Challenge Anneka. This had been devised by Rice herself and was launched in 1989 on BBC 1. It ran for a further five years. 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. A further episode was aired on 6 June 2007. 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 United States to produce a new series based on the format, which was branded Challenge America and hosted by Erin Brockovich.
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. In September 2007, she appeared in the third series of Hell’s Kitchen.
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