Jane Garvey (broadcaster)

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Jane Garvey
Jane Garvey (broadcaster) (cropped).jpg
Garvey in 2018
Born (1964-06-23) 23 June 1964 (age 56)
Crosby, Liverpool, England
Spouse(s)Adrian Chiles (m. 1998–2009)
Children2 daughters

Jane Susan Garvey (born 23 June 1964) is a British radio presenter, currently of BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, and co-founder of the weekly podcast series Fortunately (since March 2017).

Garvey's was the first voice on BBC Radio 5 Live when it launched at 5:00 am on 28 March 1994. While she was with Radio 5 Live she presented the breakfast programme and the relaunched Midday show, and co-presented its Drive show on weekday afternoons with Peter Allen, for which she and Allen won four Sony Gold Awards.

Early life and education[edit]

Garvey was born in Liverpool in 1964; her father is Ray Garvey,[1] and her mother, Maureen (born O'Neill),[citation needed] was a hospital receptionist.[2] She was educated at Merchant Taylors' Girls' School in Crosby, an independent school in Merseyside. She is a graduate in English of the University of Birmingham.[3]


Garvey was employed as a medical records clerk in a finance company, as a trainee for an advertising agency and as a receptionist, before becoming a promotions assistant for Radio Wyvern, where she later became news editor before leaving in 1988 to join BBC Hereford and Worcester as a reporter.[3] The station began in February 1989. In that year, Garvey was presenter of The Breakfast Show at BBC Hereford and Worcester, where Ben Cooper (currently Controller of BBC Radio 1, digital station BBC 1Xtra and BBC Asian Network) worked as her assistant.

Garvey's was the first voice on BBC Radio 5 Live when it launched at 5:00 am on 28 March 1994.[3][4] She became the co-presenter of 5 Live's award-winning breakfast programme in 1994, and also presented the Everywoman programme on the BBC World Service. She was also the presenter of the relaunched Midday show on BBC Radio 5 Live (during which the award-winning Postcards from the Street series by Stan Burridge was broadcast). Her final long-term assignment on 5 Live was as co-presenter of its Drive show on weekday afternoons with Peter Allen. She and Allen have won four Sony Gold Awards,[5] and their relationship on air was described in The Times in 2002 as "a marriage made in radio heaven".[6]

In September 1997, Garvey was a passenger on the Swansea train in the Southall rail crash, and received praise for her on-the-spot reports.[3]

In May 2007 in a discussion on the tenth anniversary of the Labour Party gaining power in the United Kingdom, Garvey unwittingly revealed an apparent pro-Labour bias at the BBC. She reminisced of how, the morning after the 1997 general election, "the corridors of Broadcasting House were strewn with empty champagne bottles – I will always remember that", though adding that the BBC had "perhaps fallen out of love with Labour" in more recent years.[7]

In September 2007, it was announced that she would leave 5 Live after 13 years; on Monday 8 October 2007 she joined BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour programme as the second principal presenter, succeeding Martha Kearney in the role.[4] She created a minor stir in February 2008 in an interview in The Guardian, describing Woman's Hour as too middle-class and fixated on cooking.[3] She returned briefly to BBC Radio 5 Live in November 2011 as a stand-in presenter on the Double Take programme.

In June 2016, it was announced that Garvey would be reunited with Allen on BBC Radio 5 Live, for a new Sunday evening programme.[8]

On 29 March 2017 Garvey, together with fellow broadcaster Fi Glover, started a weekly podcast series from 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.[9]

As of 2018, Garvey earns between £150,000 and £160,000, making her one of the top 25 highest paid presenters at the BBC.[10]

Breach of impartiality guidelines[edit]

Garvey was found to have breached BBC guidelines on impartiality in the 1 October 2018 broadcast of Woman's Hour discussing the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.[11] The main interviewee had compared the allegations against Kavanaugh with previous allegations against Judge Clarence Thomas, with a listener complaining about the bias of the interviewee selection and presenter. The BBC Executive Complaints Unit partially upheld the complaint and ruled that Garvey "gave the impression of sympathising with the viewpoint" of the biased interviewee, and "did not challenge the interviewee in a manner which would have ensured due impartiality". As a result of Garvey's breach of BBC guidelines, the Woman’s Hour team and production staff had to undertake training on impartiality.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Garvey has described her childhood as "cosy, predictable and loving", and has said that the fact her maternal grandmother lived with her family while she was growing up contributed to her love of interviewing older women. She says she is a feminist.[13]

Garvey married the television presenter Adrian Chiles in September 1998 in Swansea. They lived in Shepherds Bush, west London and have two daughters, both born in Hammersmith and Fulham, London: Evelyn Katarina (born January 2000) and Sian Mary[14] (born March 2003).[15] Chiles is known to be a dedicated West Bromwich Albion fan; when asked in 2004 whether the football club would be promoted that season, Garvey commented: "I flaming hope not. Last time Albion got promoted, I gave birth nine months later."[16]

In June 2008, Chiles and Garvey separated;[15] and they were divorced in October 2009.[citation needed]

In July 2019, Garvey received an honorary doctorate from the University of Birmingham.


  1. ^ Lightfoot, Henry (7 February 2011). Presenting Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley: The True Story of the Hottest Team on Television. ISBN 9781843584391.
  2. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour - Jane Garvey". BBC.
  3. ^ a b c d e Dowell, Ben (4 February 2008). "What women want". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Garvey to join Woman's Hour team". BBC News. 18 September 2007. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
  5. ^ "Peter Allen". BBC Press Office. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  6. ^ Campling, Chris (10 December 2002). "Five of the Best". The Times. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011.
  7. ^ "BBC's Jane Garvey blows the gaff". esnips. 10 May 2007. Archived from the original on 12 May 2011.
  8. ^ "5 Live reunites popular pair". BBC. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  9. ^ "BBC Radio 4: Fortunately.... with Fi and Jane". BBC. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  10. ^ Singh, Anita; Scott, Patrick; Kirk, Ashley (11 July 2018). "BBC pay: only three women in top 25 highest-earners as Gary Lineker tops the salary league" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  11. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour, Melissa Laveaux, Kavanaugh Hearing, Care leavers at University". BBC.
  12. ^ "BBC - Complaints - Woman's Hour, Radio 4, 1 October 2018: Finding by the Executive Complaints Unit". www.bbc.co.uk.
  13. ^ "Peter Allen and Jane Garvey were the original grumpy old git and sex-starved spinster, now they're back with a new radio show…". Radio Times.
  14. ^ "Marriages and Births England and Wales 1984–2006".
  15. ^ a b Carter, Lewis (29 June 2008). "TV presenter Adrian Chiles and his wife Jane Garvey separate". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 August 2008.
  16. ^ Goodley, Simon (30 March 2004). "City diary: Hatch of the day". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 9 February 2009.

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