Josie d'Arby

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Josie d'Arby
Josie d'Arby.jpg
Born (1972-10-03) 3 October 1972 (age 44)
Nationality Welsh
Occupation Actress, writer, television director, presenter

Josie d'Arby (born Josephine Collins on 3 October 1972) is a Welsh actress, writer, director, and television presenter from Newport, Wales. She presented a number of high-profile shows and in 1999 became the youngest British woman to host her own chat show on Channel 5.


Josie d'Arby was born and raised in Newport, Gwent. As a teenager she attended the Anna Scher Theatre in London before winning a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[1]


D'Arby began a presenting career while still a student of acting at RADA. In the early 1990s, she presented on Children's BBC and on SMart, and had her own show, Josie, on Channel 5. She has presented a number of high-profile programmes including the Bigger Breakfast (a spinoff from The Big Breakfast) and Top of the Pops. Recently, she has been a presenter on BBC Young Musician of the Year, BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and Choir of the Year.

Her first high-profile dramatic acting role was as series regular WPC Jodie Finn, in the BBC drama, Merseybeat. From February 2005, she starred as Peally Maghti, one of the presenters of the BBC's award winning spoof of 1980s science programming, Look Around You. D'Arby was one of the six cast members in Channel Four sketch series Spoons, and has made guest appearances in BBC comedy series Miranda and appears as herself in the Working Title movie Blackball with Vince Vaughan. Josie no longer acts but continues to work as a presenter .

She has also worked in radio, as a co-presenter of The Steve Wright Show for BBC Radio 2 and has presented a number of documentaries for BBC Radio 4.

In November 2011, she wrote and directed the off-beat New York Comedy A Magpie in the Mirror.

Continuing her diverse career in television and the arts, she has also appeared on the stage.[2] She now works as a writer-director. Her first play, The Newport Monologues, about life in her hometown, opened to rave reviews from press and audience in September 2012.[3] She produced and directed the arts project Private View, which featured the actor Michael Sheen.

D'Arby won a Royal Television Society award for her work presenting the current affairs programme Inside Out for BBC West.[4] Josie presents Songs of Praise for BBC1 An advocate of accessible and inclusive arts Josie presents for many BBC music shows which encourage excellence in the arts, including BBC Choir of the Year; BBC Young Musician; BBC Young Musician Jazz; BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and BBC Proms in the Park. In October 2016 Josie begins work with BBC Radio 3, the home of the BBC Proms. For more on Josie and her current projects please visit her website

Charity work[edit]

In Summer 2012, d'Arby was one of 8 core walkers who walked 200 miles from South to North Wales in aid of Wales Air Ambulance charity.

She is a celebrity ambassador for the British Red Cross for whom she has travelled to both South Africa and Cambodia[2] and been a guest speaker at their national assembly. She and Cerys Matthews hosted the Children in Need section for Wales. d'Arby often hosts Proms in the Park for BBC Four.

D'Arby was name-checked in the YouTube hit video by M.J. Delany "Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind)" with the explanation: "Yes, it's strange, we didn't know either – Thank you Wikipedia." She appeared in the 2011 video for the song, along with several other Welsh celebrities, made for Comic Relief.

She also works closely with Survivors Fund (SURF), a charity that supports survivors of the Rwandan genocide of 1994.[5]


  1. ^ "Josie d'Arby Songs of Praise". BBC One. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Josie D'Arby". Archived from the original on Oct 8, 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  3. ^ The Newport Monologues, The Riverfront, South Wales Argus, 27 September 2012
  4. ^ Diverse On Screen Talent Directory, BBC
  5. ^ Inside Out > West > Josie d'Arby, BBC West, 14 August 2007

External links[edit]