The Chase’s Anne Hegerty: I worry I’m going to get Alzheimer’s

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    The Chase: Anne Hegerty takes swipe at Bradley over his height

    The 62-year-old, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 45 and joined the hit ITV show as The Governess in 2010, is famed for her incredible knowledge. Now Anne admits that when she can’t recall the answers immediately, she is scared she is losing her memory. “I do worry about things like Alzheimer’s, even more so given the nature of what I do,” said the professional quizzer.

    “I think, ‘What else could I do if I were to lose my mind?’. I’m sure they wouldn’t fire me… but they’d be wanting a lot of reassurance about whether I was happy to keep working. However, I assume producers would tell me if they thought I was not fit enough to keep doing the job.

    “But there are times when we all mess up. A few weeks ago, I had the most incredibly bad final Chase, which left everybody gobsmacked.

    “I thought, ‘How on earth did I do that?’ and Bradley (Walsh, the host) said to me, ‘You’ve left your brain out the back, what happened there?’.

    “My reply to him was, ‘You asked me a lot of seriously obscure questions I didn’t know the answers to’. But sometimes that does happen.

    “When I messed up all the other Chasers were, ‘How are you doing, are you feeling OK?’ I replied, ‘Honestly, I’m fine. I will smash it next week’. And I did.”

    In an episode that aired last week Anne saw off three contestants, who lost out on £14,000. 

    anne hegerty

    Anne Hegerty is known for her incredible knowledge (Image: ITV)

    Anne was praised for raising awareness surrounding her condition in 2018 after opening up on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! As part of her condition, the star can face high levels of anxiety and she needs time to process information, like questions or instructions.

    She says: “When we start to go head to head with a contestant and they start playing the music, there’s always this thought at the back of my mind, ‘This is when I get found out and they ask me a ton of things that I don’t know’.

    “But I have to look lofty and snooty and not start thinking, ‘Oh no, I messed that up’.

    “I’m always worried that I am going to lose my edge and that’s why I keep quizzing.”

    Anne admits she was once a real “gym bunny”.

    However, she recalls how she developed orthorexia causing her weight to plummet.

    anne hegerty

    Anne was praised for opening up about her autism diagnoses on I’m A Celeb (Image: PA)

    “It’s not like anorexia when you don’t eat, orthorexia is when you still eat but you must only eat certain, very virtuous things and I’m someone who is perfectly capable of getting kind of obsessive if people don’t stop me,” she reveals. “I did lose a lot of weight but I’m much happier eating what I feel like now.

    “I did start jogging again in the early 90s but I broke my ankle in 1996, and I never quite got back into it.”

    She adds: “I’m so out of shape because I just sit on my bum all day and I suffer from sciatica.”

    Anne has been tipped for Strictly Come Dancing but has ruled it out.

    “I can’t imagine me on the dance floor,” she admitted. “It would be a disaster. I’m very bad at remembering complex dance routines. So whenever I’m in panto, I have to say, ‘Look, can you just give me the simplest dance routine possible and make me walk across the stage and back and I’ll walk in time to the music’. That’s basically all I can do.

    “I can’t envisage doing Strictly, mainly for that reason.

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    Anne has ruled out appearing on Strictly (Image: Tim Merry / Daily Star)

    “I know people who have done it in order to get themselves fit. But I would be starting from such a low fitness base that I don’t think I could ever do it. I’d rather sing than dance.”

    While Anne confesses that she is not the best singer, it hasn’t stopped her signing up to take part in a new charity single.

    Led by X Factor winner Sam Bailey, The Celebs – including Frank Bruno, Good Morning Britain’s Richard Arnold and Laura Tobin – have recorded a cover of Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone’ in support of The Alzheimer’s Society.

    Recording the single might have proved a brief reprieve from lockdown, but Anne reveals how she has actually thrived hiding away behind closed doors.

    “I think I am the only person in Britain who has absolutely loved it (lockdown),” she says. “I don’t want it to end. I do for the sake of other people but personally I’m having a great time. I love having no routine.

    sam bailey

    X Factor’s Sam Bailey has joined other celebs to record a Christmas track (Image: Manchester Evening News)

    “I’ve never felt lonely or bored in my life and I love the fact people have left me alone to get on with it. I’m perfectly happy sitting here on the internet, doing my quizzing.

    “The most boring thing would be to be with people who just wouldn’t shut up and not being able to get on with what you want to get on with because you have to pretend to be interested in what they’re interested in.”

    Anne also admits she hasn’t celebrated Christmas for 26 years.

    “I’ve been spending Christmas on my own since 1994, out of choice,” she says. “People do try and put pressure on me about it and I say, ‘Please don’t’. This way, I’m happier. People find it difficult to believe, but it is.”

    Merry Christmas Everyone by The Celebs is out on Friday, with 20p from every download split between The Alzheimer’s Society and Action for Children.

    Published at Sun, 06 Dec 2020 10:46:20 +0000

    The Chase’s Anne Hegerty: I worry I’m going to get Alzheimer’s

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