Why Anneka Rice Got The Urge To Find Her Waxwork Head

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Why Anneka Rice Got The Urge To Find Her Waxwork Head

Anneka Rice is best known for racing about in a jumpsuit for Channel 4’s Treasure Hunt and the BBC’s Challenge Anneka.

She later took to radio, presenting on BBC Radio 2, and was a contestant on last year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Also last year, Rice moved into performing comedy and recorded The Clemmie Hart Years for Radio 4, in which she told the true story of how she created a fictional agent for herself.

Ahead of her second stint at raising a laugh for the station in Help! My Head’s in Wookey Hole, she gave BBC News an honest reflection on her experience of fame.

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I try to think of my life in comic episodes, as it’s been so bizarre. That’s how the stand-up started. The real version is a little dark for mass sharing.

One of the most surreal episodes was having a Madame Tussauds waxwork made.

I hung from a rope ladder in the foyer in the ’80s, in a jumpsuit, the first person bemused tourists saw when they walked in.

When I forged ahead with Challenge Anneka they simply changed my outfit and put a paintbrush in my hand.

I only found I’d been removed when Channel 4 came to interview me about the honour of being immortalised in wax.

I basked in their attention, until they told me I’d been melted down and my head was in Wookey Hole.

My body had probably gone into making Kim Kardashian’s bottom.

If you Google “Wookey Hole Madame Tussauds” you will see rows of decapitated heads gathering dust on a shelf.

I suddenly had an urge to bring my head home. I imagined a mini-bus full of rejected National Treasures off on a journey to find our heads.

Think We’re Going on a Bear Hunt meets Indiana Jones.

I wanted to bring my head back to show my sons, who still think I’m a builder because I spent so much time up a step ladder during their childhood. This would be my badge of honour. “Look who your mum was, boys!”

My search became a metaphor for my life. I was moved on from Madame Tussauds by security, my phone-calls unanswered.

It took me back to my teenage years, when I was so invisible to my parents I thought the only way to get them to notice me was if I was sent to prison.

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I took to shoplifting in a desperate attempt to be arrested and was taken home in a police car. I used to steal vast bras, size 46FF, stuffing them into my school rucksack.

Those bras had a life of their own – my geometry set fitted nicely into one cup, packed lunch in the other.

Once I got lucky in Croydon and was arrested. While I was being held by the Surrey constabulary I gave the performance of my life.

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I made a break for it, running down the high street. Now you know why I loved doing Celebrity Hunted so much.

When they asked for my name I proudly gave it: “Wendy Method”. She was the class bully and made my life hell. Agonisingly though, they let me go and I went home on the bus.

Why Anneka Rice Got The Urge To Find Her Waxwork Head

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