Angela Rippon, one of this season’s shining stars on Strictly Come Dancing, is poised to add a touch of glitz to our chilly Saturday nights. Yet, beneath the glamour of her illustrious career lies a story of heartbreak and resilience.
A true trailblazer, Angela Rippon made history as the first regular female newsreader on national television. Now, at the age of 78, she continues to break barriers by becoming the oldest contestant ever to grace the Strictly Come Dancing stage as the beloved show returns for the autumn season.
Angela’s fans are eager to see her shine alongside her dancing partner Kai Widdrington, especially after her memorable dance skills displayed in a 1976 sketch with comedy duo Morecambe and Wise. Despite her glamorous life, Angela has faced her fair share of heartache, particularly in her first marriage to childhood sweetheart Christopher Dare, which ended in a “painful” breakup.
In 1967, at just 22 years old, Angela, a Plymouth native, tied the knot with her teenage love, engineer Christopher Dare. The couple, who didn’t have children, spent their married life in a charming 17th-century cottage on the outskirts of Dartmoor’s moorlands. Sadly, their love story didn’t culminate in a fairy-tale ending, as they separated in 1989 when Angela was 45. Angela chose to keep the split under wraps for over a year, during which time Christopher began a new chapter of his life with fellow divorcée, Judy.
Reflecting on this “stressful” period in her life at the age of 60 during an interview with Modern & Mature, Angela shared, “I don’t think it did [affect me] because it wasn’t an acrimonious split. It was a stress, of course it was. It was a very stressful period for all sorts of reasons. My immediate feeling was, ‘Oh God, I’ve failed at this.’ But in fact, he and I are still good friends. I talk to him on the phone a couple of times a month. We email each other. He lives in Spain now with his partner, with Judy. We exchange cards at birthdays and Christmas. Judy kind of updates me on what they’re doing with their home down in Spain. It’s a good relationship for all of us.”
Angela Rippon’s journey through love and heartbreak serves as a testament to her resilience, grace, and the enduring bonds that can persist even after the most challenging of life’s chapters. As she takes the stage on Strictly Come Dancing, her fans are undoubtedly cheering her on with admiration and support.