Anita Rani claims she's had to work "twice as hard" as white women to be successful.

Anita Rani

Anita Rani

The 40-year-old presenter never thought of herself as a role model but as her career has soared, she's proud to be an inspiration to other females from ethnic minority backgrounds.

She said: "As a non-white person you are always aware your experience is different to everyone else's - that you have to work twice as hard and be twice as good as a white person to be successful. All our parents have told us that.

"So, although I never used to like being thought of as a role model, because I always thought of myself as being on my own trajectory, the more people say to me, 'You've broken so many barriers as a brown-skinned woman on TV', the more I think, 'OK, I'll accept that.' "

The 'Countryfile' star also hopes to set an example to other women in her community by showing having children isn't their sole purpose, admitting she has faced a lot of "nonsense" about why she and spouse Bhupi Rehal haven't had kids yet.

She told the Mail on Sunday's You magazine: "I've had all sorts of nonsense. Someone said, 'A career is a career but there is a time in your life...' I was looking at her, thinking, 'What gives you the right?'

"Another person - not even a family member - said, 'When are you going to make our Bhupi a father?' Wow! Because I am the babymaker? That's my job? Bhupi was fuming.'

"Mum was once like, 'Oh, you know, kids...' I said, 'Mum, it's not like I've been sitting around for the past 10 years - I've done so much with my career.' And that was the end of the conversation.

"Women can have babies in their 40s,' she says. 'I think if anyone sits in judgment over women having children older then they need to grasp the real world. It's wonderful that women can work as much as they want to and then have a kid later if they want to. I feel fit as anything, super-energetic, it's all good.'

"There's still huge pressure on Asian girls to be wives and mothers, so now I think if I can show them they can do what they want, then that's a good thing."