Sally Magnusson

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Sally Magnusson
Born (1955-10-11) 11 October 1955 (age 58)
Glasgow, Scotland
Nationality British
Education Laurel Bank School for Girls
University of Edinburgh
Occupation Broadcaster, writer
Spouse(s) Norman Stone
Parents Magnus Magnusson
Mamie Baird

Sally Magnússon (born 11 October 1955) is a Scottish broadcaster and writer, currently working as the presenter of Reporting Scotland for BBC Scotland. She also presents Tracing Your Roots on BBC Radio 4 and is one of the main presenters of the long-running religious television program Songs of Praise.

Early life[edit]

Sally Magnusson was born in 1955 and is the daughter of the late Icelandic broadcaster and writer Magnus Magnusson. Her mother, Mamie Baird, also worked as a journalist.


Magnusson was educated at Laurel Bank School for Girls,[1] a former independent school (which later merged with another independent school, The Park School, to form Laurel Park School,[2] itself to merge in 2001 into Hutchesons' Grammar School) in the city of Glasgow, followed by the University of Edinburgh, where she studied English Language and Literature.

Life and career[edit]

Magnusson started her career in journalism at the The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh and then the Sunday Standard in Glasgow.[3] She speaks fluent Icelandic. She is often seen on BBC television, most notably as a long-serving presenter of BBC Scotland's Reporting Scotland news programme, a role she shares with Jackie Bird.

In the 1980s, Magnusson was a presenter on the BBC's Breakfast Time. In 1987 she was part of the Breakfast Time team, including Frank Bough, Jeremy Paxman and Peter Snow, which covered the results of the general election. From 1989 onwards, she co-presented the programme's replacement, Breakfast News, initially with Laurie Mayer, and in later years, with Justin Webb.

Magnusson has presented many television programmes, ranging from Reporting Scotland to Panorama to Songs of Praise.[4] In 2005 she joined BBC Two's The Daily Politics as its Friday presenter.[3] In 2005 she presented the BBC's Scottish Election Night coverage.

On 8 July 2009 Magnusson received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Glasgow Caledonian University.


Magnusson is the author of Life of Pee: The Story of How Urine Got Everywhere[5] She has also written books about the Scottish runner Eric Liddell who refused to run on the Sabbath day due to his Christian beliefs, and about the Cornish Christian poet Jack Clemo and his marriage to Ruth Peaty.

Magnusson wrote the children's book Horace and the Haggis Hunter which was illustrated by her husband, Norman Stone.


  1. ^ Different Class. Author: Craig McQueen. Publisher: Daily Record. Published: 16 June 2009. Retrieved: 24 October 2013.
  2. ^ Park and Laurel Bank to merge - Old adversaries bow to increasing pressures on independent education by joining forces. Author: Barclay MacBain (Education Correspondent). Publisher: Herald Scotland. Published: 7 February 1996. Retrieved: 24 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b "BBC - Press Office - Sally Magnusson". 2009-05-04. Archived from the original on 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  4. ^ "Sally Magnusson". BBC. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  5. ^ Life of Pee: The Story of How Urine Got Everywhere: Sally Magnusson: Books

External links[edit]