Club people • March 2015
TV and radio presenter Anita Rani has travelled worldwide filming BBC documentaries. She is currently in India working on a programme about the CST Railway Station in Mumbai, which is a Unesco World Heritage site (pictured below). Here Anita talks to The Club about meeting Japanese cheerleading pensioners and mountaineering in Papua New Guinea
Why did you join the Executive Club?
I’d been travelling a lot for work and someone pointed out how many Avios I could have earned. So I joined, and I love it. Now I can sit in the lounges with my cameramen, who’ve known about the Executive Club all along!
What’s the best thing about being an Executive Club Member?
It’s enhanced my travel experience. Travelling for work can be chaotic – there’s something wonderful about turning up at the airport knowing I can be taken care of.
Where have you travelled for business recently?
All over Europe for Escape to the Continent and further afield with the BBC documentaries. The most unusual was Papua New Guinea last year while filming Seven Wonders of the Commonwealth. I spent a magical 24 hours on my own up a mountain while my crew’s flight was delayed. The area was so beautiful and untouched.
...and what about for fun?
I’ve been going to India once a year for as long as I can remember. I have many friends there and there’s always something going on. I love soaking up the culture and chatting to locals.
Where is next on your list?
I’m keen to go to Central and South America, especially Belize and Colombia. My husband backpacked there and tells me stories. Now I just have to find the time.
Anita fell in love with the bustle of Japan when she visited
Where have you been that’s inspired you professionally?
I loved Japan. Everything looks familiar when you arrive, but then you scratch the surface and it’s completely bonkers. I was inspired by the work ethic. I really admired their attitude of getting up and getting on with the day. Not even age stops them: I met a cheerleading group called ‘Japan Pom Pom’ made up entirely of pensioners. How inspirational is that?
Where in the world have you had your best restaurant meal?
I visited a tiny, traditional vegetarian restaurant in Japan, where we took our shoes off and went into a private room. Each course was as pleasing to look at, as it was to eat. We drank plum wine and I tried fried shiso leaf – it was delicious. I bought seeds to grow my own.
What are your tips for earning Avios?
I’m looking into getting a BA Amex for my business because you can collect one Avios for every pound spent.
What do you spend your Avios on?
I’m hoarding them. I already have enough for a couple of flights to Europe, but I’m going to hold on to them and spend them on upgrades.