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The Governess, Anne Hegerty, on autism, quizzing and her challenges with everyday life

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The Governess, Anne Hegerty, on autism, quizzing and her challenges with everyday life

Anne Hegerty is best known as her ruthless television alter-ego, The Governess, who regularly puts wannabe-quiz champions firmly in their place on The Chase. But the former journalist, who was diagnosed with autism later in life, reveals that while quizzing comes easily to her, she finds everyday tasks extremely difficult.

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Every morning the chaser pours herself a large cup of coffee and sits down to complete 25 quizzes. She says it's "the easiest part" of her day.

"After that I do the difficult stuff, like going upstairs and having a shower and getting dry. And then putting some clothes on and making sure they are clean, and then actually getting myself out of the house.

"All of that is hard work," she told the BBC Access All podcast. "It feels like a I've climbed a mountain."

Hegerty, 64, found a love for knowledge early on in life.

"I was a nerdy child and I discovered that I could learn things off by heart," she says of the skill she hasn't lost.

"This morning I was trying to get back to sleep, so I decided to reel off American presidents working backwards. And by the time I got to Lincoln, I thought…I obviously don't want to sleep and I just got up."

Hegerty turned that skill into a profession when she joined the hit ITV quiz show The Chase in 2010 as The Governess, in a role which sees her alternately intimidate, deride and occasionally flirt with contestants to put them off their game.