Anita Rani on why her 40s are her power decade - THE SHIFT REVISITED

One of my favourite things about making The Shift podcast is all the fascinating women I get to interview - and learn a little bit from. So I’m revisiting a few of my favourite episodes while I finish putting together the next season. This is a replay of one of my all time favourites, with the inimitable Anita Rani.

I did this interview in June 2021. Here are the original show notes:

What even is the “right sort of girl?” That’s a question my guest this week has long struggled to answer. Growing up in Yorkshire, TV presenter and self-proclaimed misfit Anita Rani always felt that she was somehow *wrong* - a feeling that was exacerbated when she moved to London to break into the media - and found herself too brown, too northern, too female. Oh, and too gobby. A triple threat with bells on. Now 43, she co-fronts two national institutions - Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and BBC’s Country File - and has finally reached a point where she felt able to answer (or at least tackle) the question: who even am I? in her memoir, The Right Sort of Girl.

Join Anita and me as we journey from 1970s Bradford to her perch on the top of the media tree via eldest-Punjabi-daughter-guilt, never ever ever talking about periods, grunge and Oprah-worship. On the way, Anita tells me why south asian women are badasses, why shapeshifting to fit other people’s expectations is a waste of energy and how she learnt to own her anger. This is a celebration of being in your 40s, being yourself and finding your purpose and I’m pretty sure that you, like me, will love her for it. 

• You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at, including Anita Rani's memoir, The Right Sort of Girl, and the book that accompanies this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too by me!

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The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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