- For the Australian actress and writer, see Libby Purvis.
|Born||Elizabeth Mary Purves
2 February 1950
London, England, UK
|Occupation||Radio presenter, journalist and author|
|Children||Nicholas Heiney (died 2006) †
Elizabeth Mary "Libby" Purves, OBE (born 2 February 1950) is a British radio presenter, journalist and author.
Born in London, a diplomat's daughter, she was raised in her mother's Roman Catholic faith and educated at convent schools in Israel, Bangkok, South Africa and France, and at Beechwood Sacred Heart School, Tunbridge Wells.
Purves won a scholarship to St Anne's College, Oxford, where she was awarded a first class degree in English. She was elected Librarian of the Oxford Union. In 1971, she joined the BBC as a studio manager. By the mid-1970s she was a regular presenter on BBC Radio Oxford where she could be frequently heard on the station's early morning shows. In 1976,she joined Brian Redhead on the BBC's Today programme, becoming the show's first female presenter.
She currently presents Midweek on BBC Radio 4 and the education programme The Learning Curve. Purves also writes a column for The Times newspaper. She was named columnist of the year in 1999 and in the same year was appointed an OBE for services to journalism. She has written books on childcare, eleven novels including Mother Country, and a travel book, One Summer's Grace, about a 1,700-mile sailing journey round Britain with children aged three and five.
Personal life 
She is married to Paul Heiney. The couple has one surviving child, Rose, an actress and writer, who has been an occasional columnist for The Times newspaper. Their first child, Nicholas, died on 26 June 2006, at age 23. He hanged himself in the family home after a struggle with serious mental illness. A collection of his sea-logs of a Pacific journey under square-rig, and of his poetry, has been published.
She is outspokenly in favour of gay rights, and has written many articles supporting this position. In 2009, she debated at the Cambridge Union against Dr. Glenn Wilson and Rupert Myers on the motion This House Would Rather Be Gay.
- Britain at Play (1982)
- Adventures Under Sail (1982)
- Sailing Weekend Book (with Paul Heiney, 1985)
- How Not To Be A Perfect Mother (1986)
- One Summer's Grace (1989)
- How Not to Raise a Perfect Child (1991)
- How Not To Be The Perfect Family (1994)
- Casting Off (1995)
- A Long Walk in Wintertime (1996)
- Home Leave (1997)
- More Lives Than One (1998)
- Holy Smoke (1998)
- Regatta (1999)
- Passing Go (2000)
- A Free Woman (2001)
- Mother Country (2002)
Purves is a keen sailor and has a monthly column in the sailing magazine Yachting Monthly and is a regular contributor to The Oldie magazine. She was recently appointed a patron of the British Art Music Series Trust  along with James MacMillan and John Wilson. In February 2010 she was appointed The Times drama critic, succeeding Benedict Nightingale.
- "Presenters: Libby Purves". BBC.
- Libby Purves "Profane, sniggering, rum-swigging: my merry hell as editor of Tatler", Daily Mail, 11 October 2009
- A testament of youth, The Times, 31 October 2007, accessed 15 November 2007
- Rejoice! Bring out the pink champagne, The Times, 12 December 2006.
- "Gay-bashers bashed", The Times, 1 November 2007
- "This House Would Rather Be Gay (motion)
- Preston, Peter (7 February 2010). "A cinema critic who's making her big-screen debut (Organ Grinder blog)". The Guardian.
- Libby Purves's blog
- The Silence at the Song's End by Nicholas Heiney, Libby Purves, Duncan Wu (editor), Alan Parker (illustrator), Song's End Books (31 Oct 2007) ISBN 0-9557085-0-8
- RE Nicholas Heiney's suicide
|Editor of the Tatler