Jenni Russell

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Jenni Russell
Born Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation Columnist
Notable credit(s)

Columnist at The Times, Columnist at The Sunday Times, Columnist at The Evening Standard

Former editor of The World Tonight
Spouse(s) Stephen Lambert
Children 1 daughter, 1 son

Jenni Russell is a British columnist and broadcaster. She is a columnist for The Times who also writes for The Sunday Times and The Evening Standard. She has been a columnist for The Guardian and written the Monday political column for The Evening Standard. She worked for many years at the BBC and ITN, most recently as editor of The World Tonight on BBC Radio 4. She was tipped as one of the candidates to be the next controller of BBC Radio 4, following the resignation of Mark Damazer.[1] She is married to Stephen Lambert, a media executive, and lives in London with their two children.


Russell studied history at St Catharine's College, Cambridge, and went on to become a BBC News trainee. She worked for the BBC, as well as ITN and Channel 4 News. In 1998 she became joint editor of BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight, becoming one of the first people to pioneer job-sharing within the BBC.

On leaving the BBC, Russell began writing comment pieces for The New Statesman and The Guardian, before beginning to write regularly for The Sunday Times, for whom she also reviews books. In 2011 she began writing the Monday political column for The Evening Standard. She has been a vocal critic of the failings of the education system and criticised the increasing abuse of civil liberties under the last Labour government.

According to The Spectator she is a key figure in the New Establishment, due to her friendship with both Steve Hilton, David Cameron's director of strategy, and Ed Miliband, the Labour leader.[2]

In September 2010 she was shortlisted for the Commentariat of the Year award by Editorial Intelligence.[3]

In May 2011 she won the Orwell Prize for Political Journalism in 2011.[4]

She was described as "the stand-out journalist in an outstanding field". The judges commented:

"Her empathy for the world beyond Westminster gives her writing an extra dimension often lacking in political insiders. There is an overriding humanity to her work, whether she is covering the death-throes of the last Labour government or the birth-pangs of the Coalition."[5]

She was shortlisted for the inaugural Hatchet Job of the Year Award in 2012 for her work on as a book reviewer in The Sunday Times.

In 2013 she became a member of the independent expert panel advising the Government on the initiation and publication of Serious Case Reviews.

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