Ranvir Singh opens up about how competing in Strictly has brought some of her inner demons to the surface

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  • Appearing on live TV every day on Good Morning Britain, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Ranvir Singh is full of self-confidence.

    But body image is something the presenter has struggled with for as long as she can remember.
    Most contestants who take part in Strictly Come Dancing lose weight from the intense training, but for Ranvir, 43, although she’s loving the show, it has heightened her anxiety, leaving her ‘scared to eat’.

    The journalist has expressed anxiety around food before, saying last year, ‘I’ve constantly wondered when is this nirvana when I reach this destination of feeling relaxed around what I’m going to eat.’

    Childhood trauma

    Food has long been something of an issue for Ranvir. ‘I’ve been trying to shake it off for 20 years – probably since 
I can remember,’ she said. 
‘It’s terrible, really, but it’s something that’s been sort of an internal grey cloud forever.’

    She’s even confessed that, as a child, she hid food packets after eating. ‘Even when I was about 12, I remember taking a packet of Mini Cheddars up to my room and hiding the packet because I knew I shouldn’t be having it,’ she explained. ‘I’m still searching for the miracle cure for the attachment to food.’

    Strictly pressure

    After admitting she gained weight during lockdown, Ranvir felt the pressure to shape up for Strictly after announcing she’d signed up to the BBC talent show in August.

    She recently confessed, 
‘I weighed myself and I’ve lost half a stone. I am so scared, 
I can’t eat, because I think if I eat I’m going to be sick. I’m eating lots of fruit and stuff.’

    Her biggest worry prior to 
the show was her professional partner Giovanni Pernice having to lift her. She said, ‘The poor fella has got to lug me around. 
I feel sorry for him.’

    Weight battles

    Despite looking great, Ranvir’s struggles with body confidence have seen her fluctuate in size. ‘In my adult life, you could take any given block of three months or so and I could be anything from a size eight to a size 12,’ she said. ‘I bounce so quickly, it’s ridiculous. It’s a constant thing and it annoys me because I just wish I could shake it off.’

    She added, ‘I can pinpoint 
on one hand over my 43 years when I felt great and could relax. There was maybe a year when 
I was about 26 when I felt great. But, the rest of the time, it’s just a huge source of anxiety for me.’

    Ranvir has even had therapy to try and solve her issues, but to no avail. She said, ‘When I was 39, I went to 
see a woman and when she asked what I wanted out of the sessions, I said, “Well, I’m going to be 40 in August and I want to be a size 8 – over to you!” I didn’t even mean that tongue-in-cheek because, in my head, it’s like being attached to an elastic band and, as soon as I get near the finish line, I’m pulled back.’

    Red-carpet panic

    Being in the public eye no doubt heightens Ranvir’s anxiety, and she often compares herself to colleagues. She said, ‘I follow Andrea McLean on Instagram, and I literally salivate looking at her. She’s so beautiful and has such an amazing figure, it’s enough to make you cry.’

    Ranvir has even admitted that red-carpet events make her feel uneasy. ‘I get quite panicky when it comes up to the National Television Awards,’ she said. ‘In the last year, when we’ve had the odd event to go to, I’ve literally said to myself, “You are doing this anyway, you’ve got to go, you’ve got to just try and enjoy it.” I have to try because what I’ve done 
in the past is just dread every second of it.’

    We think you always look amazing, Ranvir!