Fi Glover

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Fi Glover
Fi Glover.jpg
Fi Glover in 2019
Born (1969-02-27) 27 February 1969 (age 52)
Slough, England
Alma materUniversity of Kent
  • Journalist
  • presenter
  • broadcaster
Notable credit(s)
The Listening Project[2]
My Perfect Country[3]
Saturday Live[4]
Rick Jones
(m. 2014; div. 2017)

Fiona Susannah Grace "Fi" Glover (born 27 February 1969)[9] is a British BBC journalist and presenter who currently presents the Fortunately podcast,[1] The Listening Project for BBC Radio 4[2] and My Perfect Country for the BBC World Service.[3]

Fortunately, which has been downloaded 23 million times,[10] was the 2018 winner of the ARIAS (Audio and Radio Industry Awards) Funniest Show[11] and won Silver at the 2019 British Podcast Awards.[12] It is currently No. 5 in the BBC’s most popular podcasts and has been No. 1 in the Apple podcast charts. From January 2021, it will be broadcast on a regular slot on BBC Radio 4.[13]

Glover worked at BBC Radio 5 Live for seven years, presenting Sunday Service, with Charlie Whelan and Andrew Pierce, Late Night Live, the Afternoon Show and the mid-morning phone-in programme.[14] In 2004 she moved to BBC Radio 4 as the host of Broadcasting House, before launching Radio 4's Saturday Live, in March 2006.[4]

Her television presenting roles include hosting BBC One's reality history show; 24 Hours in the Past, in 2014.[15] She has made films for Newsnight, and was the presenter of the BBC Two Travel Show from 1997 to 2000.[16][17]

In 2010, Radio Times readers voted Glover the 9th Most Powerful Voice on Radio[18] and in 2014 she was awarded a fellowship of the Radio Academy, "to recognise individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the industry and/or the Academy."[5]



In 1993, Glover began her BBC career as a filing clerk on various local radio stations including BBC Somerset Sound, Humberside and Northampton. She joined GLR in London, as a junior reporter and went on to present the Breakfast Show with Gideon Coe three years later, winning a silver Sony Award in 1995.[19] In 1996, she moved to BBC Radio 5 Live, where she spent seven years as a key broadcaster in news and political coverage, presenting shows such as Sunday Service, with Charlie Whelan and Andrew Pierce, Late Night Live, the Afternoon Show and the mid-morning phone in programme.[14]

In 2004, Glover took over from Eddie Mair as host of Sunday morning news analysis programme Broadcasting House, winning a Silver Sony Award in the same year.[14] She became the host of BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live from its inception in 2006 until 2011.[19] In May 2008, Saturday Live won Best UK Speech Programme at the Sony Awards.[20] In 2010 Radio Times readers voted Glover 9th Most Powerful Voice on Radio.[18]

Glover returned to BBC Radio 4 with The Listening Project, a joint initiative by the British Library and the BBC, which started on 29 March 2012, aiming "to capture the nation in conversation".[2] In 2013 The Listening Project won a Bronze Sony Award in the Best Speech Programme category.[21] In 2014 she was made a Fellow of the Radio Academy.[22]

In 2015 and Glover presented two series of Shared Experience on Radio Four, a programme which interviews people who have had similar, and frequently traumatic, experiences, such as being bullied at school, coping with addiction or being held hostage.[23] In Autumn 2015, she launched My Perfect Country on the BBC World Service, a current affairs show made in partnership with the Institute of Global Prosperity at UCL. Co-presented with Martha Lane Fox and Henrietta Moore, it became the first ever radio show to be recorded during a sitting session of the UN. It opened the UN ECOSOC session of 2016 in New York City at the invitation of the UN Secretary General.[24] My Perfect Country ran for 3 series and was followed by two series of My Perfect City, presented with Ellie Cosgrave and Greg Clark.[3]

During 2015 and 2016 Glover also hosted Two Rooms for BBC Radio 4, a discussion programme using the notion of the focus group. It puts two different groups of people in separate rooms to discuss the same topic e.g. Brexit or immigration and then brings them together to see if they have changed their positions.[25]

On 29 March 2017, Glover, together with broadcaster Jane Garvey started a weekly podcast series on BBC Radio 4, Fortunately: A frank look behind the scenes with broadcasters Jane Garvey and Fi Glover as guests from Radio, TV and podcasting share stories they probably shouldn't.[26] Fortunately, which has been downloaded 4.5 million times,[10] is currently No.5 in the BBC’s most popular podcasts and has been No.1 in the Apple podcast charts. From Jan 2021, it will be broadcast in a regular slot on BBC Radio 4.[13] In addition to winning silver at the 2017 British Podcast awards, Fortunately also won Funniest Show at the 2018 ARIAS, and Bronze in the Spotlight Award at the British Podcast Awards 2019.[11] Guests on the show include Ian Wright, Anne Tyler, Monty Don, Ruth Jones, Will Young, Sara Cox, Claudia Winkleman, Miriam Margolyes, Will Self, Jeremy Vine, Ken Bruce, Tracey Thorn, Emily Maitlis, and Kirsty Wark.[27]

In April 2017, Glover launched a new BBC Radio Four series, Glass Half Full, chairing debates between optimists and pessimists on key issues such as health care, population growth and gender equality.[28] Glover has also made a series of occasional documentaries on different aspects of parenting, for BBC Radio 4 with producer Sarah Cuddon: Listen Without Mother in July 2014,[29] The Great Egg Freeze July 2014,[30]The Expressing Room March 2018 [31] and Dads and The Delivery Room in December 2019.[32]


Between 1997 and 2000 Glover presented The Travel Show on BBC Two.[17] In 2012 she was a participant in the BBC’s Sport Relief Does Bake Off [33] and in 2014 she hosted BBC One's six part reality history show, 24 Hours in the Past where celebrities travel back in time to try living like Victorians.[34]

Glover has also presented several editions of Newsnight and two films for the programme in 2013; The Rise of Digital Feminism,[16] and Legal Highs.[35]


In 2000, Glover travelled the world visiting notable radio stations, which resulted in the book Travels with my Radio: I am an Oil Tanker (ISBN 0-09-188274-5).[36] The title reflected the hazards of live broadcasting with Dickie Arbiter's opening statement "I am an oil tanker, Dickie Arbiter is on fire in the Gulf." The radio stations documented in the book include a temporary BBC station for the Euro 2000 football tournament, run from a café in Belgium, an English-language station in Geneva, a station run by Irish UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon, and Montserrat Radio which broadcast throughout the 1996 Soufrière Hills volcano eruption.

Glover has written a weekly column for Waitrose Weekend since 2012. It went online in 2020.[37]

Other activities[edit]

Glover was the Chair of the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2009[38] and is a Founder of Sound Women, a lobby group set up to campaign for parity in the broadcasting industry.[8][39]

Glover is also the patron of Adfam, a national charity working to improve life for families affected by drugs or alcohol.[7] In 2016 the University of Kent awarded Glover an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of her success in broadcasting.[6]


Personal life[edit]

Glover grew up in Hampshire, with her mother Priscilla (Cilla) and sister Isabella (Izi), while her father was in Hong Kong establishing a business. Her parents eventually separated. She attended St Swithun's School, an independent girls' school in Winchester.[41] She studied classical civilisation and philosophy at the University of Kent from 1987 to 1990.[42]

Glover was briefly married to Mark Sandell, then a producer at BBC Five Live.[2] Glover married Rick Jones, a Google executive, in April 2014. They have two children.[43] The couple separated in 2017.


  1. ^ a b "BBC Progammes Fortunately". Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Dowell, Ben (1 April 2012). "Fi Glover: 'I did think about my career: gosh, what have I done?'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "BBC The Compass". Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  4. ^ a b Day, Julia (30 May 2003). "Glover quits BBC Radio 5 Live". The Guardian.
  5. ^ a b "Fellows". Radio Academy. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Kent celebrates 2016 graduates". News Centre - University of Kent. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Home". Adfam. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  8. ^ a b Sawyer, Miranda (6 November 2016). "Farewell, Sound Women, you made a difference". The Observer. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Glover, Fiona Susannah Grace". Who's Who 2021. A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U245254. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 4 August 2021. Oxford University Press.
  10. ^ a b "Record podcast listening reported by BBC Sounds in 2019". RadioToday. 29 December 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  11. ^ a b c "The Radio Academy". The Radio Academy. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Winners 2019". British Podcast Awards. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  13. ^ a b Martin, Roy (4 September 2020). "Jane Garvey to leave BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour". RadioToday. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  14. ^ a b c d Jury, Louise (7 January 2003). "Fi Glover: The rise of velvet voice". The Independent. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  15. ^ "24 Hours in the Past". Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  16. ^ a b "BBC NEWSNIGHT: The rise of digital feminism". Youtube. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  17. ^ a b Jury, Louise (5 August 2006). "Fi Glover: Home to roost". The Independent. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Fi Glover - RSA". Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  19. ^ a b c Cooke, Rachel (13 January 2008). "The rise and rise of little voice". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  20. ^ a b c "Sony radio award winners". The Guardian. London. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  21. ^ a b "Academy Awards for Design: British Winners". British Film Design. I.B.Tauris. 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  22. ^ "Surprise Radio Academy Fellowship for Ben Cooper". Radio Today. 4 December 2014.
  23. ^ "BBC Programmes Shared Experience". Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  24. ^ "Introducing the UN to My Perfect Country". UCL Institute for Global Prosperity. 13 June 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  25. ^ "BBC Programmes". Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  26. ^ "BBC Radio 4: Fortunately.... with Fi and Jane". BBC. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  27. ^ "Fortunately... with Fi and Jane - BBC Radio 4". Spotify. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  28. ^ "BBC Programmes Glass Half Full". Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  29. ^ "BBC Programmes Listen Without Mother". Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  30. ^ "BBC Programmes The Great Egg Freeze". Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  31. ^ "BBC Programmes The Expressing Room". Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  32. ^ "BBC Programmes Dads in the Delivery Room". Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  33. ^ "BBC Programmes The Great Sport Relief Bake Off". Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  34. ^ "BBC Programmes 24 Hours in the Past". Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  35. ^ "BBC NEWSNIGHT: Legal Highs". youtube. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  36. ^ "Fi Glover". London: BBC. Archived from the original on 6 November 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  37. ^ "Waitrose & Partners Weekend Newspaper goes online for first time". Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  38. ^ "Orange prize 2009: The shortlist". The Guardian. 21 April 2009.
  39. ^ "SWP14: she's a Fi Glover not a fighter". Audioboom. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  40. ^ "Audio Production Awards 2016 – All the winners". RadioToday. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  41. ^ Naden, Gavan (9 August 2003). "The teacher who inspired ..." The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  42. ^ Jury, Louise (5 August 2006). "Fi Glover: Home to roost". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  43. ^ Duerden, Nick (6 August 2011). "I've got my weekends back!". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 July 2021.

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