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Countryfile presenter ‘feels free’ embracing single life in her 40s after divorce


Anita Rani on Lorraine

Anita Rani has opened up about her life after her divorce (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

Countryfile presenter Anita Rani is ‘beginning to breathe for the first time’ after her divorce.

The 46-year-old star split from her husband Bhupi Rehal in September 2023 after 14 years together, and she admitted while divorce ‘isn’t easy to talk about’ due to being raised by her Indian-born Sikh mother and Indian-born Hindu father.

Her family saw her decision as a ‘cardinal sin’, but she now feels ‘answerable to no one’ after moving on following the end of her marriage.

‘Becoming single in my mid-forties has made me re-evaluate everything. It has made me see how much I have been conditioned to be a dutiful woman, rather than a free woman,’ she told the Sunday Times.

‘I was raised to be a high achiever, to make my parents and family proud, but I was also raised never to bring shame. This is where it gets kind of problematic, especially if you are born with a vagina. So I guess I’ve lived in extreme conflict.’

That inner turmoil meant Anita grew to ‘resent’ doing what she saw as her ‘duty’, but now she has the freedom to follow her own path.

Anita and Bhupi Rehal confirmed their divorce in September 2023 (Picture: Instagram)

‘Now I feel as if I’m beginning to breathe for the first time, do what I truly want to. And now hitting my mid-forties has given me a sense of urgency,’ she added.

Anita and Bhupi met at an East London rave in 2008 and were said to have bonded over their love of music, before getting married in Bradford the following year.

In spring 2023, Anita took herself on a solo holiday after noticing ‘something wasn’t quite right’ in her life, despite keeping busy.

Anita feels free in her 40s (Picture: David Fisher/Shutterstock)

‘What I needed was space, somewhere I would be cocooned and not have to think much at all,’ she said of her trip, which led to her taking back control of her life.

They announced their split in September, and a source told the Mirror at the time: ‘It’s really sad but they’ve decided to separate. Their hectic schedules over the past couple of years have sadly meant they’ve drifted apart over time.’

Anita is part of the Countryfile team (Picture: BBC Studios/Pete Dadds)

She has reevaluated how she wants to live, and suggested more travelling could be the key to realising those dreams.

‘I made a few promises to myself about how I want to live my life now,’ she explained.

‘Authentically, not being afraid of my vulnerability, being more compassionate to myself, opening my heart more and travelling. Maybe through travel I can achieve the others.’

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