Ann is one of the most high-profile politicians of recent times. A self-confessed "grumpy old woman" she is never afraid to speak her mind nor short of an opinion, which is exactly why she is in demand as a media personality and commentator.
Ann became a Member of Parliament in 1987 and was Minister of State for Employment and Minister of State for Prisons in John Major's government. In opposition she held the posts of Shadow Health Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary before retiring at the 2010 General Election.
Never one to do the expected, what she did next was surprising even by her standards. At the age of 63 Ann became the oldest contestant ever on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing and, despite never being a favourite with the judges, continually defied the odds with her dance partner Anton Du Beke, surviving 10 weeks into the competition. Her comedy-inflected routines showed a self-deprecating sense of humour and won her legions of fans.
But Strictly has just been one of many forays on television. In 2002 she took part in Celebrity Fit Club, becoming a judge in later series. In 2005 she fronted her own series, Ann Widdecombe To The Rescue and has since made documentaries on a wide range of subjects, including prostitution, "hoodies", benefits culture, the Bible and more.
As a presenter, Ann has twice sat in the chairman's seat on Have I Got News For You and asked very tricky questions on Cleverdicks (Sky Atlantic).
As well as her media commitments, Ann is also in high demand for public speaking engagements and somehow finds time to be a prolific writer. She has a weekly column in the Daily Express, has written five novels; a detective story and her memoirs, Strictly Ann.
Other unlikely sojourns in Ann's career have included performing in Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment at London's Royal Opera House in 2012 and appearing in panto alongside Craig Revel Horwood.
As she once said on The Graham Norton Show, "you only get one shot at life," and Ann is certainly making the most of hers!”