Anneka started her career at the BBC working for The World Service on “The World Today” and “Twenty-Four Hours”. Aged 19, after two years of production experience, she bought a one-way ticket to Hong Kong where she spent the next three years working for a public relations agency, presenting the evening news on TVB Pearl and dubbing kung-fu movies at Sir Run Run Shaw’s studios each night. She produced a successful book, “A Children’s Guide to Hong Kong” and also a weekly motoring show for RTHK called “Wheelbase”. She also worked as a fittings model for various jeans’ manufacturers and appeared in many commercials. Her work took her all over Asia.
By the time she returned to the UK with five years of broadcasting experience under her belt she was still only 22. She shot to fame in this country as the Sky-Runner in Channel 4’s “Treasure Hunt”, still Channel 4s highest rated programme. This firmly established her as Britain’s Action Girl and during the 80s and 90s she was rarely off the TV screen. She presented “Sporting Chance”, TVAM, “Driving Force”, “Wish You Were Here”, “Capital Woman”, “Combat”, “Holiday”, “The Royal Variety Performance” and numerous other shows. Before “health and safety” had been invented, she jumped out of planes, landed helicopters on submarines, pot-holed in treacherous conditions, climbed mountains and generally risked life and limb on a weekly basis.
On the Action Girl theme, she produced a series of books and videos called The Adventure Series, she brought out a range of jumpsuits and she was immortalized in Madame Tussauds, hanging from a rope ladder in the foyer.
She went on to devise the award-winning “Challenge Anneka” for BBC-l. Each week the Challenge team took on a seemingly impossible task which had to be completed entirely with the help of volunteers and donated materials and supplies. The projects included the renovation of a Romanian orphanage, the equipping of a refugee camp in Malawi, the rescuing of lions and chimpanzees, and the building of bridges, soup kitchens, holiday camps for disadvantages youngsters, centres for the disabled, the list goes on. The Challenge programme raised millions of pounds worth of supplies and services for charities and communities and has left an amazing legacy around the world. The format has been sold on to many other territories and Anneka is still closely involved with many of the projects. The Romanian Challenge Appeal, the charity set up after the Challenge in Siret, recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary.
In 1995, after completing 61 Challenges all over the world, Anneka decided to change her life completely and took an extended sabbatical to raise her children and study at Chelsea College of Art. During this time she totally dropped out of public life and concentrated on her painting.