Anne Hegerty’s ‘dreadful’ life on breadline before The Chase: ‘I’d be starving’

Jeremy Clarkson has never heard of Adil Ray and Anne Hegerty

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The Chase star has risen to stardom in recent years. Characterised by her no-nonsense approach to contestants, Hegerty quickly became a favourite of the nation, and is known as The Governess. She spent a short stint in the jungle on, ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!’, but quickly took her rightful seat back at ITV HQ.

Tonight, she appears in Beat the Chasers, where the show’s quizmasters join forces to take on more contestants from across the country.

While Hegerty is now believed to have a healthy pay-packet, money wasn’t always easy to come by.

Speaking in 2019, she admitted to “struggling and being hungry” as a freelance editor with very little work.

She told The Sun on Sunday: “I was struggling, I was hungry, I was a freelance copy editor but had very little work.

“I had to go to Asda, it’s the best supermarket if you’re poor as they have a good basic range, Sainsbury’s is for rich, posh people.

“I would take vouchers, do sums in my head just to get some eggs and bread or a tin of cheap Irish stew.

“I’d be starving and want two tins but couldn’t afford it.

“The poorer you are the hungrier you feel.”

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She recalled one of her “worst moments” when she attended the Mastermind Club society event in Manchester.

Hegerty had appeared on the quiz show in the late Eighties, but spent the society’s night alone in the pub in tears because she couldn’t afford to buy a drink.

She said: “I didn’t have money to buy a drink and nobody offered.

“I spent the entire evening at this table at the back of the pub alone, with tears rolling down my cheeks, thinking, ‘Will someone just buy me a f***ing drink, please?’

“It was dreadful.


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“I don’t know where I’d be without The Chase, it changed my life.”

She got her big break after The Chase had been on TV for one year in 2010.

Soon, she was able to pay off her mortgage and various debts.

On her relationship with money, Hegerty said: “I love having lots of money, I think it’s brilliant.

“There are very few problems that money can’t solve.”

In 2003, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, and later said that while her parents were “probably doing their best”, her mother didn’t understand her growing up.

Asperger’s is a development disorder which can affect the way those diagnosed with the condition can behave – with social interaction being a difficulty.

In an interview about it with OK! Online last year, Hegerty explained that she doesn’t like to be labeled as “battling” the condition.

Rather, she said: “The point I would make is that I don’t battle with autism – which is simply my personality – but I battle with people who don’t consider what accommodations I need.”

Beat the Chasers airs tonight at 8:30pm on ITV One.

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