Anita Rani: People think it is OK to imitate Indian accent in front of me

Anita Rani: People think it is OK to imitate Indian accent in front of me

BBC presenter Anita Rani has said that people have thought it was "OK to imitate an Indian accent" in front of her as she talked about the struggles she has faced in her career.

The Countryfile star said that she has had to work harder to get to where she is today, both because of her heritage and because she is a woman, and that she has been put "into boxes" her whole life.

Rani, 42, told Good Housekeeping magazine that it "feels great to have worked so hard" to have achieved the broadcasting career she has, adding that "smashing glass ceilings is a pretty great feeling".

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Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko posing during Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour photocall at the Barclaycard Arena before the opening night on Thursday 21st January in Birmingham, United Kingdom
Anita Rani attending a screening of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote at the Curzon Mayfair cinema in London.
Anita Rani attending the Women in Film and TV Awards 2019 at the Hilton, Park Lane, London. Picture date: Friday December 6, 2019. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
Anita Rani arriving for the Pride of Britain Awards held at the The Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
BBC Countryfile presenters (left to right) Adam Henson, Anita Rani, John Craven, Tom Heap, Joe Crowley, Charlotte Smith and Ellie Harrison ahead of the BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.
Anita Rani attending the RuPaul Drag race premiere, Bloomsbury Ballroom, London.
Anita Rani arrives on the red carpet during The British Soap Awards 2019 at The Lowry, Media City, Salford in Manchester. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Anita Rani seen during the Chelsea Flower Show. The Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show is an annual garden show over five days in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in West London. The show is open to the public from 21 May until 25 May 2019. (Photo by Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
EDITORIAL USE ONLY� BBC Young Dancer 2019 grand final winner Max Revell, pictured with presenters Anita Rani and Ore Oduba, receives his trophy on stage at Birmingham Hippodrome.
Anita Rani seen on the red carpet during The Olivier Awards 2019 with Mastercard at Royal Albert Hall in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Anita Rani attends ITV Palooza!, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, London. Tuesday October 16th, 2018.
Countryfile presenters (left to right) Matt Baker, Ellie Harrison, Anita Rani, Tom Heap, Charlotte Smith, John Craven, Adam Henson and Helen Skelton on the opening day of BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace near Woodstock, Oxfordshire.
Anita Rani attending the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2018 held at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London.
Anita Rani attending the Royal Television Society Programme Awards at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.
Anita Rani attending The Pride of Britain Awards 2017, at Grosvenor House, Park Street, London. Picture Date: Monday 30 October. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Anita Rani attending the V and A Summer Party held at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Anita Rani arriving at The London Studios in central London to celebrate the winners in this yearÕs National Lottery Awards, the search for the UKÕs favourite Lottery-funded projects.
Anita Rani during a photocall for the launch of Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour held at Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham.
Anita Rani, Frankie Bridge, Georgia May Foote and Helen George posing during Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour photocall at the Brclaycard Arena before the opening night in Birmingham on Thursday 21st January 2016 in Birmingham, United Kingdom

The presenter added: "But it's important to me to speak out about the struggles I've had, too.

"The perception of Asian women has always been very binary; people think we're quite square and clever and that we don't have sex until we're married (of course, Mother, I didn't have sex until I got married!).

"But that's just not the case. I've hated being put into boxes my whole life."

She said that there would be "ridiculous things all the time" in relation to her race, "such as people thinking it's OK to imitate an Indian accent in front of me".

Rani added: "And things have happened at work, too.

BBC Countryfile Live 2018
Anita Rani (Steve Parsons/PA)

"Ask any ethnic, black or Asian person who works in any big industry – we just know we have to work a bit harder.

"I've had to prove myself a lot more than others and it's frustrating, but it's not just about race.

"All women feel it, don't they? We just have to keep ploughing away."

Journalist and broadcaster Rani has appeared on several BBC TV and radio programmes, including Watchdog, BBC Young Dancer, Who Do You Think You Are? and Strictly Come Dancing.

She has appeared as a co-presenters on the BBC's Countryfile since 2015.

Good Housekeeping's May issue is available from April 1.

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