Well-known journalist and TV host Anita Rani was reduced to tears during a BBC programme after discovering her family’s fate in the violence that consumed India after the subcontinent’s partition at the end of British rule in 1947, a media report said.
The “Strictly Come Dancing” star came to know that her grandfather lost his first wife and a daughter in the post-partition conflict during BBC1’s “Who Do You Think You Are?”, a TV series in which celebrities trace their ancestry, discovering secrets and surprises from their past, Daily Mail online reported on Sunday.
In the programme, Rani broke down after she learnt that her grandfather Sant Singh’s wife Pritam Kaur died after falling to the bottom of a well. Singh was a soldier in the Anglo-Indian army and powerless to defend his family as he was stationed 1,000 of kilometres away.
Rani was even more shocked to learn that Pritam and Sant had a seven-year-old daughter who also died in the bloodshed.
“Nobody in my family talks about the daughter. Nobody knows this. I don’t know what I am going to do but this has changed me,” she was quoted as saying in the show.
Rani, who has a broadcasting degree from the University of Leeds, was born in Bradford to a Sikh mother and Hindu father and began her career at the tender age of 14 on the city’s Sunrise Radio.
She has worked as a presenter on Channel Five, Sky Sports, Channel Four, BBC Two, BBC Three and BBC Asian Network.