Anne Hegerty, best known as the hard-nosed Governess on quiz show The Chase, has won widespread praise for her candour in discussing the impact of being autistic.
And it seems we’re about to learn a whole lot more about what makes the hugely intelligent Hegerty tick.
The UK media reports that Hegerty is about to board a plane for a “snake-infested jungle” in Australia to be a contestant on UK reality series I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.
Hegerty and quiz master Andrew O’Keefe.
The English press says Hegerty is a natural choice for the reality show because of her involvement in the Australian version of The Chase.
Hegerty was diagnosed as autistic in 2005.
“I’d had all my life what they call executive dysfunction, which sounds very much like laziness, but it’s like where you really want to get things done and you just simply can’t see your way to doing it, you can’t get the brain cells lined up without getting distracted,” she told UK chat show Loose Women.
“I lived in a flat that’s owned by a housing association, it’s called shared ownership. You own half the flat, you pay rent on the other half.
“I had essentially not been paying my rent and one of the housing association’s officers sort of knocked on my door and she charged right in and said ‘right we will fix this, we will sort this out’.”
Hegerty later got a social worker and now is an ambassador for the National Autistic Society.
Grey suited Hegerty, who appears on both the UK and Australian versions of The Chase, is renowned for her occasional controversial comments.
Insisting she ‘dodged a bullet’ by not having a family, she argued that children are not only ‘chaotic’ but also incredibly expensive.
“You don’t miss what you haven’t had and I just think I love the peace and quiet of my life. I would like more of it,” she added.
Anne Hegerty, no nonsense quiz star
As well as Loose Women viewers praising Hegerty for her openness, The National Autistic Society thanked her for speaking about Autism Hour, which involves shops turning off music and dimming the lights so autistic people are able to shop without distractions.
Hegerty explained that she started to think she was autistic after watching a TV documentary about the subject.
“I think that I saw a documentary on TV and there was just something about it that rung bells in my brain,” Hegerty said.
“I remember in my diary writing, ‘I’m beginning to suspect again that I have Asperger’s syndrome.'”
Revealing how autism affects her, she said: “I can get very stroppy if I’m tired.
“The difficult bit really is just simply keeping myself organised.”
Admitting the difficulties with prioritising, she added: “A lot of other stuff doesn’t get dealt with or gets dealt with very late.”
This is how Loose Women viewers responded to Hegerty on Twitter:
“Wonderfully insightful interview with Anne Hegerty on @loosewomen discussing her Asperger’s. So much of what she said was having me nodding & agreeing. #autismawareness”.
“Fantastic interview with @anne_hegerty on #LooseWomen frank polite and honest!”
“@anne_hegerty looking lovely on @loosewomen today… totally agree with you about the Autism Hour.. our ASD Son is not good in the morning either.”
Hegerty said her diagnosis helped her understand why she often has difficulty multitasking and staying tidy.
“Some people say, ‘You don’t seem autistic. Where do you keep your autism?’ I’m like, ‘It’s behind my front door and you’re not coming in!'” she joked.
Hegerty went on to explain her need for alone time and downtime.
“My idea of time off… is just simply to stay home and relax and just surf around on the internet,” she said. “I just need everything to go quiet, everyone to stop bothering me… I’ve literally never in my life felt lonely.
“I’m never lonely and rarely bored. The most boring thing would be to be with people who just wouldn’t shut up.”