The Countryfile presenter talks to Prudence Wade about her love of vintage, and how invigorating a closet clean-out can be.

ANITA Rani has been a television presenter since the early 2000s, meaning a lot of her fashion decisions have played out on the public stage.

Initially, the Bradford-born TV star felt she needed to dress like she thought a presenter would - but now, at 42 years of age, she's grown to be much more comfortable and confident in her own style.

This is Rani's approach to fashion - from her style in the Nineties, right through to how the pandemic has changed her perspective on shopping...

Her personal style...

Rani describes her style as eclectic, saying: "I like to have a variety of things, I mix and match." However, something which is a constant is her love of footwear - "I always give a good shoe," she admits.

Where she shops has changed over the years: "I'm a big fan and supporter of small businesses," she says. "Businesses with good values, good ethics, who are thinking about where the product is made. So I'm happy to spend a little bit more and support somebody who could use my money, rather than just popping into a high street shop like I used to when I was younger."

Overall, Rani thinks her "style has evolved. I've definitely grown up". One thing that has definitely changed is how comfortable she is with her fashion choices. "I have made so many errors in this industry, where I felt like I needed to dress up like a TV presenter," she says with a groan. Now, she adds: "More and more, I wear what I like, and sod looking like everybody else."

Even though Rani's approach to fashion has changed, some things have thankfully stayed constant.

"I still have a tendency to dress like a 16-year-old boy, which I've had my whole life," she says with an explosive laugh.

"So big hoodies, baggy trousers, and a pair of trainers. That's been my style since I was a teenager."

Getting involved in Strictly fashion...

Rani took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2015, and it's safe to say the ballroom aesthetic isn't what she normally wears. Even so, Rani still enthuses about how much she "loved it, loved it, loved it".

For Rani, putting on the sparkly outfit was "the moment where you transform from being you into glitter, glam, ready to go and dance. That's all part of the make believe and the fun, because when else in your life would you ever, ever, ever wear that much make-up, or wear that little clothing?"

On cleaning out her closet during lockdown...

Like so many of us this year, Rani did a massive closet clean-out during lockdown. She documented her wardrobe purge on social media, saying with a chuckle: "Nothing's real unless it's an Insta story, obviously!"

To really make sure she was doing a good job of it, Rani enlisted the help of a discerning friend. "One of my best girlfriends is very organised, and I needed a second pair of eyes to be ruthless," she admits. Any item of clothing she thought she should keep because she might wear - even though she hadn't worn it in years - her friend would put it straight in the donation pile.

"It was liberating," Rani says - a feeling many of us can relate to. "I just felt every time I opened my wardrobe, the clothes were suffocating me. It felt great to have a big old clear out and then put everything back in, colour coordinated."

It also caused Rani to re-evaluate her approach to fashion, thinking about "how much stuff we have and how much we really use and really need".

And that's why she is so passionate about recycling clothes and shopping vintage. "In the Nineties, we used to buy 'second-hand', not vintage - but it was quite normal for students to be in second-hand shops," she says. "You just couldn't afford to go and buy new outfits all the time, and it was much cooler in second-hand shops to buy a vintage T-shirt and then customise it. I think we need to get back to that."

Luckily, Rani thinks the tides are turning back in favour of vintage shopping; she's meeting more young people "who are now happy to go into a charity shop to buy clothes, because they know they're going to get good value and decent clothes in there".

Rani is supporting TK Maxx's Give Up Clothes For Good, in support of Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People. Visit for more information.