Viv Groskop

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Viv Groskop (born 7 July 1973)[1] is a British journalist, writer and comedian. She has written for publications including The Guardian, Evening Standard, The Observer, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Red magazine.[2] She writes on arts, books, popular culture and current affairs, often with a feminist slant.[3] According to her website[4] she is a stand-up comedian, MC and improviser who was a finalist in Funny Women 2012[5] and semi-finalist in So You Think You're Funny 2012.[6]

Life and career[edit]

She was born in Hampshire, Groskop, with her younger sister Trudy, was raised in Bruton, Somerset. She won a scholarship to Bruton School for Girls, and later read Russian and French at Selwyn College, Cambridge, graduating with a first-class degree. According to biographical information distributed when Groskop was on the panel of Any Questions on BBC Radio 4, she discovered at this time that she has Russian ancestry. However, a newspaper report on a distant relative points to Poland.[7] She has an MA with distinction in Russian Studies from University College London SSEES.[8]

She began her career in journalism at Esquire as an editorial assistant for Rosie Boycott at the age of 22. Groskop joined the Daily Express while Boycott was editor, becoming a columnist on the Sunday Express at the age of 25. She has been described as one of the most successful freelance journalists in the UK,[9] and has twice been short-listed for the Periodical Publishers Association Columnist of the Year.[10]

Groskop is a contributing editor at Russian Vogue. For the UK press, she has interviewed Russian speakers in their mother tongue - among them Marina Litvinenko, widow of the murdered Alexander Litvinenko[11] and Beslan school hostage crisis survivor Fatima Dzgoeva.[12] She also interviews in French, including the surviving daughter of Suite Francaise author Irène Némirovsky.[13]

Groskop appears occasionally on Sky News, BBC Radio 4's Today programme,[14] Any Questions, Front Row[15] and Woman's Hour,[16] and on Nick Ferrari's LBC 97.3 programme. She blogs about Downton Abbey for The Guardian.[17]

Her first book, I laughed, I cried, is the story of doing one hundred comedy gigs in one hundred nights. It is described as "an experiment in doing what you want, even if it is terrifying, without giving up the day job". It was published by Orion on 27 June 2013.[18]

She is the Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival, the first season under her charge being held in February 2014.[19]


Groskop interviewed Dasha Zhukova, art collector and girlfriend of Roman Abramovich for The Guardian in August 2008.[20] "She (Zhukova) can't name a single artist she likes". However, the text of the interview is more nuanced, as Zhukova says: " I have never been a collector. I have a few pieces that I got for my birthdays or that I bought for myself: I acquire things that speak to me and put them on my wall. When I see things I like, I just know." She doesn't get any more specific: when I (Groskop) ask her which artists she particularly likes, she says: "I'm, like, really bad at remembering names."


  1. ^ Viv Groskop "I'm 40: the confusion starts here", The Guardian, 6 July 2013
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  9. ^ Kira Cochrane Mslexia magazine, October 2009
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  11. ^ Viv Groskop "Marina Litvinenko", The Observer, 3 June 2007
  12. ^ Viv Groskop "The Beslan siege five years on", The GFuardian, 8 August 2009
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  19. ^ Katie Jarvis "Viv Groskop and the Bath Literature Festival", Cotswold Life, 18 February 2014
  20. ^ Viv Groskop "Bringing home the Bacon (and the Freud)", The Guardian, 27 August 2008

External links[edit]