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.
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.”
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.
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.”