Jennifer Byrne

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Jennifer Byrne
Born (1955-03-05) 5 March 1955 (age 66)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
OccupationJournalist, television presenter, former book publisher
Years active1980s–present
TelevisionThis Day Tonight; Nationwide; Sunday; 60 Minutes; Foreign Correspondent; We Can Be Heroes; First Tuesday Book Club; Jennifer Byrne Presents; The Project Mastermind
ChildrenConnor (born 1994)
RelativesSir Dallas Brooks (Grandfather)
AwardsLogie (1985)

Jennifer Victoria Byrne (born 5 March 1955) is an Australian journalist, television presenter and former book publisher. She currently hosts the monthly ABC television program First Tuesday Book Club, later renamed The Book Club.

Early life[edit]

Byrne was born in Melbourne and attended St Margaret's School as a boarding student.[1]


Byrne began her career in journalism at age 16 as a cadet at Melbourne's The Age newspaper. At age 23 she became the paper's San Francisco correspondent and later a feature writer.[2]

Byrne's television work began as a researcher for This Day Tonight's Melbourne unit and later as a reporter for Nationwide. After returning to print media as assistant-editor of The Age's "Monthly Review", in 1982 she moved back to television on Nine Network's Sunday program.[2] On Sunday in 1985 she won a Logie for her story on Paul Keating's tax summit.[3] From 1986 to 1993 Byrne worked on the Nine Network's current affairs program 60 Minutes.[4] She has also presented ABC TV's Foreign Correspondent. In 2005 Byrne narrated the ABC mockumentary television show We Can Be Heroes. Since 2006, also on the ABC, she has hosted First Tuesday Book Club, a panel book review program, alongside regular commentators Marieke Hardy and Jason Steger. A spinoff series of specials from this program is titled Jennifer Byrne Presents.

In the mid-1990s Byrne worked as a publishing director at Reed Books.[5] In 2008 Byrne joined ABC NewsRadio to work as a co-host during the evening drive slot (4 - 7pm).[6] In recent times Byrne has been a regular panellist on Network Ten's The Project and has guest starred on an episode of Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation.

In 2019, Byrne began hosting the Australian version of Mastermind.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Byrne is married to comedian and independent film producer Andrew Denton, with whom she has one son. Byrne and Denton live in Sydney's Surry Hills, New South Wales.[8] She is the granddaughter of a former Governor of Victoria, and respected past Grand Master of Freemasonry, Sir Dallas Brooks.[9] Byrne was married to fellow journalist David Margan during the 1990s.


  1. ^ "Famous alumni on Latham's hit list". Crikey. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2007.
  2. ^ a b Kent, Simon (12 October 1987). "The Guide: Stars on the Way Up". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  3. ^ "About Sunday: Our History (Pt 2)". Ninemsn. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2006.
  4. ^ "Jennifer Byrne (II)". iMDB. Retrieved 18 July 2006.
  5. ^ Beaumont, Lucy (18 May 2006). "Networking". The Age. Retrieved 18 July 2006.
  6. ^ "Byrne books herself new radio show". The Australian. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2008.
  7. ^ O'Brien, Kerrie (11 April 2019). "Self-confessed egghead Jennifer Byrne to host Australian Mastermind". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  8. ^ Allen, Lisa (20 November 2014). "Andrew Denton and Jennifer Byrne buy $4m Surry Hills penthouse". The Australian. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  9. ^ "His Excellency Regrets". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 August 2004.