We’re delighted to announce that broadcaster, presenter and fitness instructor Annie Price has joined the Karma family as our latest ambassador. Annie first made headlines as the subject of a powerful and inspiring BBC documentary entitled Annie: Out of the Ashes. We’re excited to bring her curiosity, energy and joie de vivre into the Karma fold – on which note, we took the opportunity to sit down with Annie for an interview – which we think you’ll agree gives an intimate insight into a fascinating character with an incredible ongoing story…
1. What is your earliest memory?
Earliest memory, strong question! Not entirely certain which was first but either jumping backwards into the pool on holiday in Majorca with my family, being put in hot water to remove skin graft dressings or sitting on my Mum’s lap… a thousand cuddles. The memories are mainly feelings & smells. The picture’s likely been created! Still, lovely just the same.
2. Tell us about your upbringing?
Wild, wonderful- as beautifully mundane as it was unique. I was burnt in a fire at 4 weeks old, I have 3rd degree burns to my face, head, hands and arm.
My birth mum, having a strained & shakey life herself within the travelling community, attempted to kill me. It’s terrifying to write it like that without context but..let’s say for haste she was young far too young at 16 or so, two kids already, abusive life, trappings, certainly not without blame but unfortunately in life we do what we can with all we have.
I was saved from a fire by an unknown person. I say this because in answer to: How was my childhood? It was lovely, I’m one of the lucky ones. Fostered & adopted by the same family. My (adoptive) mum somehow made my particular brand of crazy life as normal as possible- adjustments all round from toys, images, places we shopped, what we ate, to make my differences- the intervals to hospital, the adaptations, feel like everyone else’s. Because of this, I got to play, gripe, take up sports, get into trouble, have a little too much fun, argue with my brother & sister. Fully enjoy family & social life. It was good.
3. How did the documentary Annie from the Ashes come about?
Actually it all kicked off with your inhouse fitness guru Ms Jo Richards. My husband Sam was her personal trainer at the time. She had an agent friend & recommended we meet. Funny really. We met, & the agency introduced me to a few production companies. The first round of documentary ideas didn’t sit well. Fast forward a few months, I’d started to dig a little into my past, approaching 30 & realised children, family, change was on the horizon & wanted to understand it all more, or at least try. The same time as this the production company wanted to look into my past and see what happened on the day of the fire, find my family.. inline with what I was doing myself oddly.
Knowing with the support, backing & time spent with production + BBC it would force me to dig as deep as possible & to see it through, I decided to go ahead. It was an incredible & special time, albeit scary & gut wrenching. It was worth it all.
4. What drew you to a career in broadcasting?
Definitely fell into it. Right time, right place. Yes absolutely I’d purposely worked for myself, intentionally been in certain places & created my life in such a way but it was good timing.. Of course I’m not the type of person to say no to a fulfilling opportunity too, which helps. Since being able to make the first documentary & then being asked back for more I got to see how massively impactful broadcasting is, far more than I realised. The draw was here for me.
How often the world doesn’t add up.. Getting to unpick & question this is gold. A privilege, for which I’m very grateful.
5. You made a documentary about female mixed martial artists – what did you learn from that experience?
That it’s more like chess than a scrap!! Cheeky probably but I had my reservations.. In reality any way for people to channel their focus, build strength, temperance & take full responsibility for their lot, you’re onto a winner. Not much leaves you owning your day like stepping into the cage. Exciting to get to be so close to athletes in that way. The fact they were women was far less shocking once you get past the novice level .. fighters fight whatever their gender.
The whole experience got me to lean back into not just keeping fit, but physically pushing myself hard, ‘can’t think of much else kind of hard’, above the regular hard, on some occasions. Never to drop that. No matter the age, the more we do, the more we will be able to do. Physical work is centering & reminds you your behaviour matters. What else is there?
6. Tell us about your work with Tiny Happy People and what you get out of it?
Tiny Happy People is to help parents & carers to develop kids communication skills through language & play. They’ve found that a lot of kids have been starting school with little language – this is across the socioeconomic board. If kids start behind they tend to stay behind which has a negative knock on effect throughout their life. Their whole life.
I don’t know tons but I know a hell of a lot can go undesirably in someone’s life & if they can speak & communicate well, not just to others but to themselves too, they can lift themselves up & move forward. It’s incredible & saved me with my kids too! So many, fun, free activities to do- inside + outside as well as advice & community. I get a lot from being part of it. Definitely a direction I will be focusing more on. Tiny Happy People children’s centres! The dream.
7. You launched Well Woman Club online training just after lock down. What made you decide to make the leap away from your gym?
Had a tough time through lock down, like many! The monsters between my ears got the better of me, growing up looking like I do & spending a generous amount of time in hospitals you see – & people tend to share – all the horrors that happen behind closed doors. This crushed me over lockdown thinking about what would be happening.. The charities that normally support & save people during this time were losing funds & no help was available. Seeing as I don’t know where to begin in directly helping children and families, I wanted to raise money to support people who do. Rather than ask people for cash for a run (no one wants to give a relatively physically fit person money for a race they would happily do regularly!) I decided to put on a free 8 week coaching challenge. Slightly excessive possibly but wanted it to be worth it. Free nutrition, live workouts, mindset chats with psychologists & celebrity workouts. Yo! Sushi & Mums Insurance sponsored us. Proud of the results & money raised, though keen to do another.
The happy byproduct from being online is that I found the results were consistently better than the gym… it’s rarely the one hour in the gym that’s the issue, rather the other 23 hrs around the workout. Loved it so much, so I continued.
8. What’s changed for you and your own fitness journey since becoming a Mum yourself?
Great question! EVERYTHING. Definitely prioritise fitness to give me more life.. If that makes sense. Less optimal, more practical so I can be consistent with what needs to be done for health, shape & my mind! Showing up for my family in a calm way is top priority for me.
9. Which Karma destination(s) are you excited to experience?
Bali! Or Tuscany, have never been.. Though I am a big fan of UK breaks too, adding the Cotswolds! A long walk goes a long way. That was a terrible one choice answer!
10. What song is guaranteed to make you dance?
You Got The Love – Candi Staton… Most of Elvis’ songs. Love the melodies.