Anne Hegerty: ‘Everything shuts down’ The Chase star opens up in rare dating admission

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Anne Hegerty, 61, has confessed that she would prefer to date someone who does not have autism, but more often than not she falls for “fictional” characters. The television quiz personality has said she tends to love people who don’t exist in “real life”, due to struggles engaging with physical intimacy.

I fall in love with historical or fictional characters

Anne Hegerty

She revealed: “I think I would prefer not to be with someone with autism. It does depend on the bloke though, they are all so different.

Anne admitted to finding romance difficult at times.

“What I have found is that I do fall in love but it tends to not be with people I meet in real life. 

“I fall in love with historical or fictional characters. People I can put a bit of distance between,” she added to OK! Magazine.

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Anne has previously spoken about being diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at the age of 45, when she appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.

The chaser went on to say: “I get overwhelmed in the presence of actual people and everything shuts down. I’ve found that with sex, too.

“It’s like I can’t be fully in it. That much intimacy, I almost zone out.”

Back in 2018, it was reported that she had a boyfriend, however, she never confirmed it.

Instead, she revealed she once dated an American man.

“I did use to have a Californian boyfriend whose mother was a DAR. Naturally, he was pro-immigration!” she tweeted in August 2017.

“Is it still claiming I’m married to someone called Jake Hester? I’ve given up trying to correct it,” she wrote, in reference to a claim on her Wikipedia page.

The last report of Anne’s love life was back in 2019 when she told The Sun it had taken “years” of psychotherapy for her to consider dating.

In the article, she touched on her longest relationship which lasted four months and left her feeling “suffocated”.

She confessed: “Even though he lived in Brighton I still felt suffocated in Manchester. 

“And sex was always better in my head, I felt like I was somewhere else while it was happening.”

Anne’s Aspergers means she can struggle to deal with more than one thing happening at a time and needs to plan ahead in detail.

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Elsewhere, Anne previously told Autism.org that she was on benefits for two years as she struggled to find a job.

She then became the highest scoring woman in the UK in the World Quiz Championships and met fellow chaser Mark Labbett, who suggested she go on The Chase.

The TV favourite has never had children of her own, but she is close to her brother Jonathan’s three kids.

She is also the godmother to Mark Labbett’s son.

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