Inside Strictlys Angela Rippons home life from painful divorce to private relationships

Ever since Angela Rippon first stepped onto the ballroom floor for the 2023 series of Strictly Come Dancing, the veteran presenter has been delighting audiences with her impressive skills.

From sensational high legs to flawless footwork, Angela, who has been partnered with professional dancer Kai Widdrington for the competition, has been nothing short of iconic – not least because she also made Strictly history as the show’s oldest ever competitor.

The broadcaster, 79, has so far managed to dance her way past the half way point and into week eight of the competition, with just one week now left standing between her and a chance to perform at the world famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Saturday 18 November.

But while we know Angela for her impressive on-screen work, what exactly is her life like away from the cameras?

Early Life

Angela Rippon first began her life in Plymouth, Devon, when she was born into a working class family on 12 October 1944.

As Angela was born at the height of World War Two, it wasn’t until she was three years old that she was finally able to meet her father, John, when he returned home in 1947 after serving overseas with the Royal Marines.

Raised by her mother, Edna, for the first few years of her life, Angela lived a happy and healthy childhood before later going on to attend Public Secondary School for Girls, Cobourg Street in Plymouth.

After completing her studies, Angela left school at 17 and joined the photographic office of the West Morning News, before later going on to launch a journalism career with BBC local radio and Westward Television as an editor.


By 1966, at the age of 21, Angela finally kickstarted her career in television when she joined BBC South West, and later became a journalist for BBC TV news.

After developing a clear name for herself in the industry, Angela was given her first major career milestone on BBC2 in 1974 when she was personally selected to present BBC One’s Nine O'Clock News for two weeks, to provide holiday cover for the regular anchor Richard Baker.

After her fortnight on screen, audiences and show bosses were so impressed with Angela’s skills that they offered her a permanent contract to present the programme just one year later in 1975.

In addition to her news reading, Angela also carved a name for herself by presenting a host of other popular BBC shows too, something which she herself admitted helped to keep her “brain active.”

In an interview with The Guardian, she said: "You just become an automated autocue reader and if you've half a brain you want an opportunity to use it.”

“When I read the Nine O'Clock News, I kept my brain active by working on programmes like Antiques Roadshow (which she briefly hosted in 1979), Top Gear and In the Country .”

Interestingly, Angela also presented Strictly Come Dancing’s predecessor Come Dancing, for a number of years – a highlight which makes her inclusion in the 2023 dance competition all the more poignant.

In addition, Angela later went on to front the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest in London, and even co-presented the BBC’s coverage of the wedding of then- Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981.

Before later going on to commentate on Prince Harry’ s wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018 and Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in 2022.

First Love

In addition to having built a successful career, Angela married her childhood sweetheart, Christopher Dare,back in 1967, when she was just 22 years old.

The couple first met while attending a local YMCA in their teenage years, with romance soon blossoming between the pair.

They were married for over 20 years before finally deciding to bring their relationship to an end in 1989, when they filed for divorce.

Following the split, Angela remained noticeably tight-lipped about what had happened, and didn’t speak publicly about their divorce for over a year, by which time Christopher had already moved on and found love again with another woman, Judy.

However, in recent years, Angela has been far more open about the “painful" breakdown of their marriage, as she shared a deeply personal insight into her marriage with Modern&Mature.

She said: “It was a stress, of course it was,” she said. “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.”

Thankfully, both Christopher and Angela’s relationship is now in a better place, with the pair frequently talking on the phone several times a month, and has even struck up a friendship with his new partner Judy.

“He lives in Spain now with his partner, with Judy. We exchange cards at birthdays and Christmas,” she said.

Before adding: “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.”

Private romance

Following on from her divorce, Angela was later able to go on and find love again, this time in a “private” relationship away from the spotlight.

Speaking to Prima in March 2023, Angela said: “I was married for 25 years and when we were parting, Christopher told me, "I got fed up of people coming to our house all the time".

“It made me realise that when you do a job that's public-facing, you have to respect the privacy of your partner. Hardly anybody – beyond my very close circle of friends – would know who my partners have been over the past several years.”

Despite having found love again, Angela admitted she doesn’t intend to walk down the aisle again to spare herself any further emotional turmoil should things not workout.

Speaking with the Mail Online back in 2015, a then-single, Angela reflected: “I've discovered I'm very happy being single. I suppose, if I'm honest, when your heart is broken it's painful and I don't want to go there.”

Home Life

Angela currently divides her time between two properties, one in Kensington, South London where she spends most of her time, and one in Devon, where she was born and raised.

However, despite spending most of her time in the capital, Angela did reveal that she always makes a point of returning to Devon to enjoy the Christmas holiday period with her family.

Speaking to The Times in 2017, Angela said: “I inherited the family home just outside Tavistock on the edge of Dartmoor when my mother died. The extended family, including my godson and his wife, always join me there for Christmas.”

In addition to her UK properties, Angela also owns a stunning one-bedroom apartment in Juan-les-Pins in the South of France, where she likes to go to escape from the pressure of fame.

Interestingly, Angela's close friends Gloria Hunniford and Elaine Paige also have second homes in the area.

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