Bel Mooney

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Beryl Ann "Bel" Mooney (born 8 October 1946) is an English journalist and broadcaster. She currently writes a column for the Daily Mail, having previously written – mainly as a columnist – for other publications including the Daily Mirror, The Times (2005–07), The Sunday Times (1982–83) and The Listener.

She has written a number of fiction and non-fiction books and was instrumental in the foundation of the Stillbirth Society, now known as Sands.[1]

Early life[edit]

Mooney passed her 11-plus and went to Aigburth Vale High School for Girls.[2]



From 1979–80 she was a columnist on the Daily Mirror.[3] She has also been a regular columnist for The Times (2005–07), The Sunday Times (1982–83) and The Listener (1984–86). From 1970 to 1979 she was a freelance journalist.

As an author[edit]

Mooney is the author of the Kitty and Friends series of stories for young girls.[4] Her novel for children The Voices of Silence won a New York Public Library citation and was shortlisted for a Gold Medal in the State of California.[5]

As well as fiction, Mooney has written many other books, including Bel Mooney's Somerset (1989) and a memoir about love, loss, recovery – and dogs: Small Dogs Can Save Your Life (2010).

Personal life[edit]

Mooney met Jonathan Dimbleby while they were both working on the student newspaper Pi. They married in February 1968 in Kensington,[6] after knowing each other for four months. Mooney was married to Dimbleby for 35 years until their divorce in 2006.[7] Mooney and Dimbleby have two adult children, Kitty (born 1980), a freelance journalist and charity consultant, and Daniel (born 1974), a television producer/director.[8] They also had a son, Tom, who was stillborn in 1975.[9] On 8 September 2007, Mooney married Robin Allison-Smith, formerly a freelance photographer, now a businessman, with whom she lives on the outskirts of Bath, Somerset.[10][7]

Charitable activities[edit]

Mooney is a co-founder and patron of Sands,[11] which describes itself as "the leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity in the UK"[12] Mooney and Hazelanne Lewis both gave birth to stillborn babies in the 1970s, and Mooney wrote an article for The Guardian, in which she described how "At that time in the UK, most parents were not allowed to see or hold their babies, no photographs were taken, parents were not told where their babies were buried, and they could not put their baby’s name on the stillbirth certificate."[13] When "Hazelanne then wrote to national newspapers asking bereaved parents to contact her and share their stories" the torrent of response led to the charity being founded, initially as the Stillbirth Association.[13]


  • The Anderson Question[5]
  • Bel Mooney's Somerset[5]
  • The Fourth of July[5]
  • Lost Footsteps[5]
  • The Windsurf Boy[5]
  • The Year of the Child[5]
  • Intimate Letters[2]
  • The Stove Haunting[2]
  • I'm Bored!, the 10th in the "Kitty" series for younger children.[2]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas, Laura (2019). "Brightness falls: Seance on a Wet Afternoon". The Lancet Psychiatry. 6 (8): 648. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30259-7. PMID 31327437. S2CID 198132954.
  2. ^ a b c d "Education: Passed / Failed: Bel Mooney". The Independent. 12 March 1998. Archived from the original on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  3. ^ Dixon, Thomas M. (2015). Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears. Oxford University Press. pp. 268–269. ISBN 9780199676057.
  4. ^ White, Hilary (2005). "What makes a good book for older children?". Practical Professional Child Care. 2 (6). doi:10.12968/ppcc.2005.2.6.39153.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Bel Mooney". Bloomsbury Publishing. Archived from the original on 24 October 2021.
  6. ^ Trowbridge Town Council (2008). Trowbridge : County Town Official Guide. Local Authority Publishing Ltd.
  7. ^ a b Later that year Dimbleby and Mooney separated and in 2006 they were divorced. Alleyne, Richard (21 April 2008). "Jonathan Dimbleby on his marriage break-up". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 10 April 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  8. ^ "About Us – The Split Screen Ice Cream Company". Archived from the original on 8 December 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  9. ^ "About". Stillbirth stories. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  10. ^ Borland, Sophie. " Bel Mooney to wed man 16 years her junior" The Daily Telegraph, 5 September 2007. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  11. ^ Posted 1 October 2020 (1 October 2020). "'Loving You From Here' book published | Sands - Stillbirth and neonatal death charity". Sands. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  12. ^ "About Sands | Sands - Stillbirth and neonatal death charity". Sands. 7 August 2013. Archived from the original on 7 January 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  13. ^ a b "Our History | Sands - Stillbirth and neonatal death charity". Sands. 25 November 2016. Archived from the original on 20 May 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2021.

External links[edit]