The Chase star Anne Hegarty has opened up about her life with Asperger’s syndrome and how it affects her relationships and sex life.

The 61-year-old game show genius – who has the code-name The Governess on ITV’s The Chase – was diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2005.

Asperger’s is a development disorder which can affect the way those diagnosed with the condition can behave – with social interaction being a difficulty.

Opening up about dealing with the condition to OK! Magazine, Anne revealed her difficulties in forming romantic relationships, and developing sexual intimacy with them.

Anne Hegerty has opened up about her personal relationships

She told the magazine: “What I have found is that I do fall in love but it tends to not be with people I meet in real life, I fall in love with historical or fictional characters.

“People I can put a bit of distance between, I get overwhelmed in the presence of actual people and everything shuts down.

“I’ve found that with sex, too, it’s like I can’t be fully in it – that much intimacy, I almost zone out.”

Anne is best know as The Governess on ITV's The Chase

Speaking to The Mirror in April, Anne explained she has never felt loneliness.

She said: “As an adult I’ve developed better social skills; I know how to do a conversation, I know how to do a party. I find them wearying, though, and I like that in lockdown no one expects me to go to them.

“It’s taken me a long time to work out what people are thinking and what they’re expecting. I am naturally solitary, and I’m comfortable with that.”

She also revealed she felt compelled to unplug her phone when her “needy” ex-boyfriend kept calling her.

Anne has been open about her life with Asperger's

She said: “The longest relationship I’ve ever had in my life was four months.

“I only managed that because we didn’t live in the same city. I would have found it intolerable otherwise.

“He started phoning me every day. Every single day! Needy or what? So I unplugged the phone. We didn’t last.”