I’m A Celebrity’s Anne Hegerty is unrecognisable in throwback from 35 years ago

Anne Hegerty is unrecognisable in a throwback portrait from 35 years ago.

The I’m A Celebrity star was just 25 years old in the striking photograph taken in 1983.

With her long wild curly hair and cheeky smile, Anne is worlds away from her character on The Chase.

Hegerty has made a name for herself with her in-show character – the matronly Governess.

She based her persona in the show on a mix of Caroline Aherne’s comedy grandmother character Mrs Merton and Harry Potter’s Dolores Umbridge and describes her as "a bit creepy".

"But a friend of mine said ‘you won’t be able to sustain that’, so I went down the more of the standard scary rout and, in recent years, at least one American viewer has compared me to Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter films," she told Stuff .

"So McGonagall, not Umbridge: I’ll take that."

During the show she wears expensive "but stupendously unflattering" retro schoolmarm outfits.

But back in the 1980s Anne clearly had a penchant for knitwear as she sports a striped number with added pom-poms.

Anne was on benefits and on the brink of becoming homeless when she found fame on The Chase.

The I’m A Celebrity star was a freelance proof reader – but fell into difficulty when her autism meant she struggled to keep on top of her accounts.

"I just simply couldn’t keep it going and the result was I wasn’t paying my bills, but I was trying not to go on benefits on the grounds that I just thought that was sort of giving up. I wasn’t giving up," she said.

She was living in a council house but fell behind with rent payments when someone from the Housing Association paid her a visit.

"She was stepping over piles of unopened mail and realised we had a problem. She said ‘we will fix this, I will get someone to help you,’" she recalled.

A social worker helped Anne sort out her bills and taught her to cope with everyday life.

She was also put on the Disability Living Allowance – a benefit to assist people with disabilities to live everyday lives.

Once her life was back on track, Anne learned about the "high level quizzing circuit" and the rest is history.

After finding fame on The Chase, Anne still claimed the benefit – at least up until last year – as it’s not means-tested.

"It is difficult to go down the street without being recognised. It’s weird and interesting," she said of her fame.

"There are times when you’re not absolutely crazy about it.. but I hope I never take it for granted."

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