Star of The Chase Anne Hegerty, known as The Governess on the show, has opened up about financial struggles prior to the television show.

The 61-year-old quiz master told The Sun on Sunday that prior to her major television stardom she found it difficult to make ends meet working as a freelance copy editor.

"I was struggling, I was hungry, I was a freelance copy editor but had very little work."

Her life turned around in 2010 when she joined ITV's The Chase, and the career move allowed her to rid herself of debts and pay off her mortgage.

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"It's dreadful. I don't know where I'd be without The Chase, it changed my life."

She says one of her worst moments was when she attended a Mastermind Club society event in Manchester and she couldn't afford to buy herself a drink. Hegerty appeared on the show in the late 80's.

In March the star was threatened with suspension from the show over a controversial tweet which she was forced to remove by ITV.

*The Chase screens on TVNZ 1 weekdays.