Anne Lucinda Hartley Rice, professionally known as Anneka Rice, is a Television presenter, Broadcaster and Journalist. She adopted the name “Anneka” as there was already an Annie Rice registered as an actor. Her first high profile role was as the jump-suited “sky runner” of Channel 4’s Treasure Hunt programme. Later she devised and starred in Challenge Anneka on BBC1. It ran for six series and included projects such as renovating of a Romanian orphanage, equipping a Malawi refugee camp and over 60 projects in the UK. In 2001 she co-produced an American version with ABC called Challenge America with Erin Brockovich: The Miracle in Manhattan.
In 2005 Anneka took part in the UK ITV series ‘Have I been here before?’ hosted by Phillip Schofield. In this series celebrities had the chance to be regressed to a past life by Hypnotherapist Andrea Foulkes. Their past life experiences are then investigated by Jules Hudson, a historian and archaeologist, to see if these accounts can very verified.
Speaking before the regression she said, “I am ready to be regressed. And I have to say I can’t wait”.
Anneka is regressed to a life as a young English man called Richard. He first sees a boat leaving a port and many people have gathered to see it off. He is about 16 and lives in a big town with a port in the year 1528. Next he is on a boat at sea. He is excited and is climbing the rigging. It’s really scary and dangerous, but he loves it.
The boat is carrying supplies in boxes and crates and scientific instruments. It’s a very long and traumatic journey and they nearly starved. Later he is back in England having returned from the Americans with food and medicines made from barks, leaves and plants. Finally, on his deathbed, he reflects on the hard work and that life is what you make it.
Speaking immediately afterwards she said, “The conditions on the boat was one thing and that was very harsh conditions were tough and it felt like we were on the boat for about two years… It seemed like a hugely, hugely long journey. And the relief of arriving the other end, and I have no idea where I arrived, but I presuming it could have been America”.
Jules Hudson examines the account and confirms that the 1500s is a great age of exploration. Indeed, Columbus re-found America in 1492 and this triggered a great many expeditions all over the world. The description of the town with the wooden over hanging building suggests Plymouth and this was a favourite place to set off from to explore the Americas. The description of the ship seems to fit and a young man would have been given the task of climbing the rigging and maintaining the sails as she had described.
Also, at this time the idea of traveling to the new world was more about discovering new markets and goods rather than acquisition of territory. So the description of arriving back with medicines and plants makes sense. A contemporary of the time, Sir Walter Rayleigh brought tobacco and the potato to Europe. Interestingly Jules is able to find an account of a William Hawkins who sails from Plymouth in 1528 on one of his three trips to Guinea (in West Africa) and Brazil (in South America).
Anneka says, “It is extraordinary. There is such a sense of belonging by the sea for me… I am truly happy when I am on a boat. Truly, truly happy”. She goes on to says, “I have spent my whole adult life up ropes and falling off boats. You know, there is a bit of me, that you know, suddenly fell into place a bit. Because I have always wondered where this extraordinary gene I’ve got comes from”.
When asked if she thinks she has been here before, she said, “Yeah. I do actually. This film and seeing what the detectives have made of it has just explained so many bits of me that I have never understood. And I do feel I have been here before now”.