Jane Garvey (broadcaster)
Jane Susan Garvey
by Michael Spafford in March 2018
|Born||23 June 1964|
Crosby, Liverpool, England
|Salary||£150,000 – £160,000|
|Spouse(s)||Adrian Chiles (m. 1998–2009)|
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
Garvey was born in Liverpool in 1964; her father is Ray Garvey, and her mother, Maureen (born O'Neill), was a hospital receptionist. 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.
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. 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. 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, and their relationship on air was described in The Times in 2002 as "a marriage made in radio heaven".
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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
As of 2018, Garvey earns between £150,000 and £160,000, making her one of the top 25 highest paid presenters at the BBC.
Breach of impartiality guidelines
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 Supreme Court. 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.
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. Politically, she identifies as a feminist.
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 (born March 2003). 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".
In July 2019, Garvey receieved an honorary doctorate from the University of Birmingham.
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- Cable, Simon (13 October 2009). "Adrian Chiles steps out with Christine Bleakley hours after getting decree nisi". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- Woman's Hour (BBC Radio 4)