Angela Rippon

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Angela Rippon
Rippon in 2022
Angela May Rippon

(1944-10-12) 12 October 1944 (age 79)
Plymouth, Devon, England
  • Journalist
  • newsreader
  • writer
  • presenter
Years active1966–present
Notable credits
Christopher Dare
(m. 1967; div. 1989)

Angela May Rippon CBE (born 12 October 1944)[1] is an English television journalist, newsreader, writer and presenter.

Rippon presented radio and television news programmes in South West England before moving to BBC One's Nine O'Clock News, becoming a regular presenter in 1975. She was the first female journalist to be given a permanent role presenting the BBC national television news, and the third female news presenter to appear on national broadcasts on British television, after Barbara Mandell on Independent Television News (ITN) in 1955, and Nan Winton, who temporarily presented the national news on BBC Television, in 1960.[2]

Rippon appeared on a Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show in 1976, presented the first two series of Top Gear and also presented Come Dancing. She hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 1977. She was a presenter on, and co-founder of, breakfast television franchisee TV-am. In the 1990s, she moved to radio, presenting daily news programmes for LBC Newstalk between 1990 and 1994, and appeared on Channel 4's The Big Breakfast as a stand-in newsreader. She presented the BBC broadcast of the United Kingdom Ballroom Championships at the Bournemouth International Centre in 1991.

Rippon has written fourteen books,[3] toured with a production of Anything Goes and presented a segment of BBC One's The One Show. Since 2009, she has co-presented the BBC One consumer show Rip Off Britain with Gloria Hunniford and Julia Somerville; in 2013 and 2014 she hosted Holiday Hit Squad alongside Helen Skelton and Joe Crowley.[4] She also voiced the BBC One game show The Wall and is often seen presenting on GB News.

Early life[edit]

Angela May Rippon was born on 12 October 1944 in Plymouth, Devon, into a working-class family.[5] Her father, John, was a Royal Marine; she first saw him in 1947 when he returned from World War II.[6] Rippon's Scottish mother, Edna, worked at a fine china company called Lawley's[5] and was also a seamstress. She attended Public Secondary School for Girls, Cobourg Street in Plymouth.


After leaving school at 17, Rippon joined the photographic office of the Western Morning News and worked for the Sunday Independent, and later, BBC local radio and Westward Television as an editor.[7]

Television and radio[edit]

Rippon filming the opening titles of Good Morning Britain in 1983

In 1966, when she was 21, Rippon began her television career at BBC South West in Plymouth,[8] before becoming a reporter for BBC TV news.[9] Rippon first presented a national news programme on BBC2 in 1974.[10] For a fortnight, she replaced newsreader Richard Baker – who was on holiday – on BBC One's Nine O'Clock News, and was offered a permanent newsreading role on that programme in 1975.[11] Rippon was called by newspapers the first female television newsreader. However, ITN's Barbara Mandell predated her, having first appeared on the second night of ITV in 1955; Nan Winton was the first female BBC newsreader in 1960, and Mary Marquis had already been BBC Scotland's main newsreader for a few years. Rippon was the first female journalist to read the news regularly on national television.[12][13]

In an interview with The Guardian, she said: "You just become an automated autocue reader and if you've half a brain you want an opportunity to use it. When I read the Nine O'Clock News, I kept my brain active by working on programmes like Antiques Roadshow (which she briefly hosted in 1979), Top Gear and In the Country."[13] Rippon was a guest in the 1976 Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show, first appearing behind a BBC newsdesk, then emerging to perform a high-kicking dance routine.[13] Her appearance was so popular she made a cameo appearance in the following year's show, in which she was revealed to be one of a chorus line. Rippon later presented the long-running show Come Dancing.[8]

Rippon hosted the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest at the Wembley Conference Centre in London.[14] She was the first presenter of BBC television's Top Gear, presenting the motoring programme from 1977 to 1979.[15] Rippon appeared briefly on TV-am following its launch in 1983. After a much publicised exit from TV-am (with most of its other founder presenters),[13] she worked as an Arts and Entertainments correspondent for WHDH-TV (then known as WNEV) in Boston, Massachusetts for a brief period.[16]

Rippon co-presented the BBC's coverage of the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer on 29 July 1981[17] and BBC One's coverage of the 1979 UK general election results.[9] In the mid-1980s, she hosted the quiz show, Masterteam on BBC One, and hosted ITV's revival of the panel game What's My Line? from 1989 to 1990.[7] In 1990, she also hosted a game show, Matchpoint, that was based on tennis format. She also became a regular presenter on BBC Radio 2, often sitting in for Jimmy Young and presenting a seasonal Friday night show from 1986 to 1989.[18]

From 1990 to 1994, she presented Angela Rippon's Morning Report, a daily radio news programme on LBC Newstalk,[13] and, later, Angela Rippon's Drivetime. She was a stand-in newsreader on Channel 4's The Big Breakfast until 2002.[7] In 2005, Rippon co-hosted a series of Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting for BBC 2 and in April 2006, she toured the UK as a cast member of the musical Anything Goes.[19] In 2007, she became a presenter on Cash in the Attic, a BBC One daytime television programme broadcast where presenters meet members of the general public, who seek out valuables and antiques to be sold at auction, in their homes.[20]

In 1997, Rippon presented the Channel 4 show Game of War with co-presenter Paddy Griffith, a programme that re-enacted historic battles on the wargames table with modern-day military commanders re-fighting the battles. The show only aired for three episodes. The battles re-fought were Battle of Naseby (14 June 1645), Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815) and Battle of Balaklava (25 October 1854).[21]

In 2010, Rippon appeared as a guest judge on the ITV show Dancing on Ice, covering for Robin Cousins. The following year, she returned to the show as a contestant in the sixth series on 9 January 2011, with her professional partner, Canadian ice skater Sean Rice, she failed to qualify for the competition and was eliminated alongside Nadia Sawalha and Mark Hanretty.[22] In March 2011, she appeared with Lenny Henry, Samantha Womack and Reggie Yates in a BBC documentary to raise funds for Comic Relief. It was called Famous, Rich and in the Slums, and showed four celebrities travelling to Kibera in Kenya, Africa's largest slum.[23] In 2011 she joined The One Show, presenting a five-minute slot called "Rippon's Britain".[24]

On 19 November 2011, Rippon appeared on Children in Need, performing alongside BBC newsreaders Sian Williams, Susanna Reid, Sophie Raworth, and Emily Maitlis in a special one-off edition of Strictly Come Dancing. In the same month she worked briefly on BBC Radio 5 Live as a stand-in presenter on the Double Take programme.[25]

Rippon joined the BBC again, as a co-presenter on the BBC One show Holiday Hit Squad in 2013, alongside Joe Crowley and Helen Skelton. The show returned for a second series in March 2014.[26]

In 2014, Rippon co-hosted the ITV Saturday night entertainment series Amazing Greys alongside Paddy McGuinness. The show lasted for just one series.[27] In April 2016, she co-presented the two-part BBC One series How to Stay Young.[28]

In 2018, Rippon was a co-presenter of live coverage of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for the Seven Network (Australia) alongside Michael Usher and Melissa Doyle.[29][30]

Rippon and Esther Rantzen in the Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Pageant

In 2022, Rippon provided analysis on the Australian television broadcaster Seven Network's coverage of the death and state funeral of Elizabeth II as a royal commentator.[31] She has been a stand-in presenter on GB News, first alongside Eamonn Holmes on the breakfast programme,[32] and then on Alistair Stewart and Friends.[33]

In August 2023, it was announced that she would be taking part in the twenty-first series of Strictly Come Dancing, over thirty years after hosting the original version of the show Come Dancing. Rippon, who turned 79 whilst participating in the series, is the oldest contestant in the show's history.[34]


In the early 1980s, Rippon wrote a series of children's books about a character called "Victoria Plum" that was published by Purnell and Sons. Victoria Plum was a tree fairy in "the Great Wood". Merchandise and a Christmas annual were released following the second series.[35] In 1982, she wrote a book Mark Phillips, the Man and His Horses,[36] about the Princess Royal's then husband. Rippon has since written keep-fit guides for older people, including Stay Active, Stay Supple, Stay Healthy.[37]

Other activities[edit]

Rippon is patron of the Old Time Dance Society. In 2010, she attended the society's 25th Anniversary Ball of the Year.[38] In 2000, Rippon was appointed Chair of English National Ballet. After several years of involvement, she resigned in late 2003 following complaints and briefings about her leadership style, which was described as "schoolmistressy" and "imperious".[39]

Personal life[edit]

In 1967 at the age of 22, she married Christopher Dare, an engineer.[1] They separated in 1989, divorcing later. They had no children.[40] Rippon has said that her marriage ending was very painful, and that her celebrity status was one factor.[41] She has had subsequent long-term relationships, but is happy being single.[42][43]

Honours and awards[edit]

She was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1981 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews while signing copies of her newly published book in a store at the Brent Cross Shopping Centre.[44]

Rippon was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2004 Birthday Honours.[45]

Rippon was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Plymouth University in 2012.[46]

She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to dementia care in her role as development lead with Dementia Friendly Communities.[47][48]


Year Title Role Notes
1976–1981 BBC Nine O'Clock News Newsreader
1977 Eurovision Song Contest Presenter
1977–1978 Top Gear Co-presenter
1979 Antiques Roadshow Presenter
1983 Good Morning Britain Co-presenter
1983 Daybreak Co-presenter
1985-1987 Masterteam Presenter
1988–1991, 1998 Come Dancing Presenter[49][50]
1988–1990 What's My Line? Presenter
1990 Matchpoint Presenter
1997 Game of War Co-presenter 3 episodes, with Paddy Griffith
2007–2013 Cash in the Attic Presenter 5 episodes
2009– Rip Off Britain Co-presenter
2010 Dancing on Ice Guest judge 1 episode
2011 Contestant Series 6
Famous, Rich and in the Slums Participant
2013–2014 Holiday Hit Squad Co-presenter With Helen Skelton and Joe Crowley
2014 Amazing Greys Co-presenter With Paddy McGuinness
2016— How to Stay Young Co-presenter With Chris van Tulleken
2017— Health: Truth or Scare Co-presenter With Kevin Duala
2019 The Truth About...Antibiotics Presenter
2019–2022 The Wall Voiceover
2023 Elizabeth II: Making of a Monarch Narrator Two-part documentary[51]
Strictly Come Dancing Contestant Series 21


  1. ^ a b "Angela Rippon," Contemporary Authors Online, Detroit: Gale, (2008) Gale Biography In Context
  2. ^ Brown, Maggie (27 May 2019). "Nan Winton obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  3. ^ "Angela Rippon," People of Today, Debrett's Ltd., (2011) Gale Biography In Context
  4. ^ Video on YouTube
  5. ^ a b Sarah Ewing (24 September 2008). "I earned less in year than Jonathan Ross is paid in a week". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  6. ^ Glover, Fi (presenter); Rippon, Angela (guest) (5 March 2011). Saturday Live (Radio broadcast). London: BBC.
  7. ^ a b c "BFI Screenonline biography". British Film Institute. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  8. ^ a b "TV newsreader honoured by Queen". BBC News. 12 June 2004. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Election Spotlight". Evening Times. 3 May 1979. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Angela Rippon, the legendary newsreader making Strictly history aged 79". The Independent. 11 November 2023.
  11. ^ "First female newsreader in vision". BBC. Retrieved 15 October 2023.
  12. ^ "My vintage moment: Angela Rippon". The Telegraph. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  13. ^ a b c d e Stuart Jeffries (2 February 2000). "Sexism? No one had thought of it when I started". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  14. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History (2007). UK: Carlton Books (ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3)
  15. ^ Khan, Urmee (16 June 2009). "Angela Rippon: I should be host of Top Gear". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  16. ^ "Angela Rippon was flashed by colleague while reading BBC news on live TV". Daily Mirror. 16 October 2019.
  17. ^ "The Royal Wedding of HRH The Prince of Wales and the Lady Diana Spencer". BBC. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  18. ^ "Search Results – BBC Genome".
  19. ^ Brook, Stephen (24 August 2009). "BBC in fake scene row on Angela Rippon's Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting". The Guardian.
  20. ^ "BBC One - Cash in the Attic - Episode guide". BBC.
  21. ^ "Game of War - UKGameshows".
  22. ^ Woods, Judith (11 January 2011). "Interview:Angela Rippon". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  23. ^ Mangan, L. (4 March 2011). "The Guardian, TV Review". London. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  24. ^ "BBC One - The One Show, 13/05/2011". BBC.
  25. ^ "Angela Rippon and Jane Garvey to guest present Double Take on Radio 5 live".
  26. ^ "BBC One - Holiday Hit Squad, Series 1, Episode 1, Angela Rippon on call with the professionals". BBC.
  27. ^ "Amazing Greys". ITV Press Centre. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  28. ^ "BBC One - How to Stay Young". BBC.
  29. ^ "Royal Wedding: guide". 9 May 2018.
  30. ^ [dead link]
  31. ^ "State Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II: guide". TV Tonight. 17 September 2022. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  32. ^ GB News [@GBNEWS] (16 February 2022). "🚨 Don't miss it! 🚨 Angela Rippon will be joining Eamonn Holmes for Breakfast with Eamonn & Isabel tomorrow. ⏰ Be sure to tune in from 6.30am! Watch GB News:Freeview 236, Sky 515, Virgin 626 Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube:" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 16 February 2022. Retrieved 2 December 2022 – via Twitter.
  33. ^ GB News [@GBNEWS] (29 October 2022). "🚨 Join us at 12pm for Alastair Stewart & Friends with guest host Angela Rippon. 🗣 We discuss Rishi Sunak's first week with Kate Hoey, Bob Seely, Lettice Bromovsky and Emma Little-Pengelly. 📧 Get in touch via with 'Alastair Stewart' as the subject!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 29 October 2022. Retrieved 2 December 2022 – via Twitter.
  34. ^ "From Come Dancing to Strictly Come Dancing Angela Rippon CBE joins our line-up for 2023!". 4 August 2023.
  35. ^ entry for "Victoria Plum Annual by Angela Rippon", accessed 19 December 2007
  36. ^ Rippon, Angela (1982). Mark Phillips, the man and his horses (1st ed.). Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8224-1. OCLC 9590594.
  37. ^ Rippon, Angela (January 1998). Stay Active Stay Supple Stay Healthy. [Place of publication not identified]: Vermilion. ISBN 0-09-186267-1. OCLC 656146161.
  38. ^ "Society's website". Archived from the original on 21 August 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  39. ^ Jury, Louise (6 September 2003). "Rippon's future in doubt over bullying row at ballet". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  40. ^ "Interview in Modern & Mature by Noreen Barr". Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  41. ^ Banim, Julia (23 September 2023). "Strictly star Angela Rippon's heartbreaking end to her first marriage". The Mirror.
  42. ^ Elmes, Sarah (20 September 2023). "Strictly star's husband ran off with another woman". Plymouth Live.
  43. ^ Macdonald, Siobhan (14 October 2023). "Strictly star Angela Rippon's ex husband's life abroad after heartbreaking split". Daily Record.
  44. ^ Angela Rippon, This Is Your Life, Eamonn Andrews, Lionel Blair, Robert Dougall, 25 November 1981, retrieved 7 August 2023{{citation}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  45. ^ "Angela Rippon OBE". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  46. ^ "Angela Rippon OBE". Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  47. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N9.
  48. ^ "Angela Rippon 'humbled' by CBE in New Year's Honours list". Alzheimer's Society. 30 December 2016.
  49. ^ "TV News Presenters and Business Journalists | TV Presenter Agents in the UK". Knight Ayton. Archived from the original on 13 July 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  50. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Rippon, Angela (1944–) Biography". 25 December 1976. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  51. ^ "Angela Rippon & Kate Williams". Retrieved 26 August 2023.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by Host of Antiques Roadshow
Succeeded by
Preceded by Eurovision Song Contest presenter
Succeeded by