Allison Pearson

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Allison Pearson (née Judith Allison Lobbett;[1] born 1960) is a Welsh author and newspaper columnist. Her novel I Don't Know How She Does It, published in 2002, has been made into a movie of the same name starring Sarah Jessica Parker. I Think I Love You, her second novel, was published in 2010.[2] A sequel to I Don't Know How She Does It was announced in 2015.[3]

Early life[edit]

Born in Carmarthen, Wales, Pearson moved to Burry Port, Carmarthenshire.[2] She attended Market Harborough Upper School (now Robert Smyth School), then Lincoln Christ's Hospital School, both comprehensive schools. She studied English at Clare College, Cambridge,[4] then taught at an inner London school. She also sold advertising.



Prior to taking over from Lynda Lee-Potter at the Daily Mail, Pearson was a columnist with London's Evening Standard and The Daily Telegraph. She began her career with the Financial Times, where she was a sub-editor, before moving to The Independent and then The Independent on Sunday in 1992. There she was assistant to Blake Morrison before becoming a TV critic, winning the award for Critic of the Year at the British Press Awards in 1993.

As of 2015 Pearson was a columnist and chief interviewer of The Daily Telegraph.[5]


Pearson has presented Channel 4's J'Accuse; BBC Radio 4's The Copysnatchers and appeared as a regular panellist on Late Review (the predecessor of Newsnight Review).


Pearson is the author of a novel, I Don't Know How She Does It (2002), a "chick lit" examination of the pressures of modern motherhood. The book was a bestseller in the UK and the US, selling four million copies, and was made into a film.[2]

She has since written I Think I Love You (2010), a novel about a teenager's passion for David Cassidy in the 1970s, and the man who is responsible for writing the so-called replies from David Cassidy to the teenage fans, two characters who later meet up again twenty years after experiencing marriage, divorce, and children. The latter book has received good reviews for its warmth and sincerity.[6]

A sequel to I Don't Know How She Does It was announced in 2015 with an expected publication in autumn 2016. The novel continues the story of the protagonist Kate Reddy who is now approaching 50 and struggling with bias against older women in the workplace. The book will be published by Borough Press in the U.K. and by St. Martin’s Press in the U.S.[3]


In May 2008, she angered Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, by suggesting her daughter Princess Beatrice was overweight. The Duchess called Pearson for a meeting with herself and her daughter, but Pearson ignored them. On the TV programme This Morning the Duchess attacked the absent columnist.[7]

Pearson was sued by Miramax for non-delivery of a second novel, I Think I Love You, for which she received a US$700,000 advance in 2003. Delivery was due in 2005.[8] The novel I Think I Love You has since been published.[9]

Pearson was declared bankrupt on 9 November 2015, following a personal insolvency order made by Her Majesty's High Court of Justice in England on 9 November 2015. The bankruptcy petitioner was the Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs, implying that the case involves unpaid taxes.[10][11]

Pearson was widely criticised[12] for sending a tweet less than an hour after the first of the 22 March 2016 Belgian bombings in which she linked them with the case for leaving the European Union, a political viewpoint she was already known to support.[13][14]


Pearson was married to fellow journalist Simon Pearson,[1] in May 1988 in Lincoln. She now lives with Anthony Lane,[15] film critic for The New Yorker. They have a son, (born August 1999), and a daughter, (born January 1996). They have lived in Cambridge since 2003.

Pearson ended her column for the Daily Mail in April 2010, when it was said that she was to join The Daily Telegraph,[16] with a column on her experiences of depression.[17] In September 2010 Pearson resumed her role as a columnist with The Daily Telegraph.[18]


Allison Pearson talks about I Think I Love You on Bookbits radio.


  1. ^ a b "none". Private Eye. 27 May 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c Rachel Mainwaring (11 March 2011). "Teenage crush inspires new novel on David Cassidy". WalesOnline. Media Wales Ltd. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Alison Flood, Allison Pearson revisits bestselling heroine in middle age, The Guardian, 8 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Hollywood stardom for novel by Clare alumna". Alumni. Clare College. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Allison Pearson". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  6. ^ [1] the Telegraph, 21 June 2010. Retrieved on 26 August 2010.
  7. ^ "Pearson hits back at Duchess of York", Guardian, 21 May 2008. Retrieved on 22 May.
  8. ^ [2] Reuters, 11 August 2008. Retrieved on 12 August 2008.
  9. ^ [3] The Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2010. Retrieved on 26 August 2010.
  10. ^ Andy McSmith (10 January 2016). "Andy McSmith's Diary: The ideal figure to bring discipline to unruly Blairites". The Independent. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  11. ^ "Bankruptcy Orders – Pearson, Allison". The Gazette. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "A writer's life: Anthony Lane", London Daily Telegraph, 14 December 2003. Retrieved on 3 July.
  16. ^ Roy Greenslade "Telegraph woos Oborne and Pearson to quit the Daily Mail", The Guardian (Greenslade blog), 19 April 2010
  17. ^ Allison Pearson "Depression's the curse of my generation and I'm struggling in its grasp", Daily Mail, 28 April 2010
  18. ^ Eleanor Black, Women on the verge, p. 32, Next, (September 2010)

External links[edit]

Video clips[edit]