The Chase star Anne Hegerty has opened up about her upbringing and family life during an emotional episode of ITV show DNA Journey – including how her late dad abruptly left home one Christmas.
Anne is best known as The Chase’s The Governess, but in the series that explores family history, viewers will see a brand new side to the 63 year old.
The former I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! contestant, who filmed the programme alongside The Chase co-star Shaun Wallace, began tracing her ancestors’ footsteps to find out more about them.
And during filming for the hour-long special, which airs on Tuesday 5 April, Anne relives some tough moments from her past.
In the episode, Anne says: “I tend to be in a way rather cynical about families.
“People say, ‘were you brought up in a nuclear family?’ and I was like, ‘it kind of exploded, so yeah’.
Continuing to open up about the one moment that changed everything, Anne said her father Kenneth decided to leave the family home one Christmas.
She explained: “My dad left home just before Christmas.
“He left my mother a note saying, ‘for Christmas 1970, one house free from husband’.”
Anne, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in her forties and lost her dad in September 2017, has previously opened up about her tough upbringing.
During a podcast interview with Kate Thornton, Anne explained: “In many ways, my dad was a deadbeat.
“He was a man who spent his entire life doing his best never to have more than £6,000 at a time, because if you had more than that then you couldn’t get the money from the social.
Elsewhere in Anne’s DNA Journey, she also receives the big news that she has a Royal relative – none other than Queen Elizabeth II.
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As they discover more about her maternal family, Anne is told that her 19th cousin is the Queen, while King Robert the Bruce was her 20-times great grandfather.
After hearing the news from the show’s historian, the stunned star says her grandmother had previously disclosed the information – but that she thought she was lying
Anne said: “Wow, that is cool. But my grandmother was the most tremendous liar.
“My aunt said she was a romancer and she'd embroider life a bit, so I always felt that anything from my grandmother had to be taken with a pinch of salt.”
For more stories about The Chase star, sign up to our daily OK! Newsletter. DNA Journey airs on Tuesdays at 9pm on ITV
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