Judith Chalmers

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Judith Chalmers
Born Judith Rosemary Locke Chalmers
(1935-10-10) 10 October 1935 (age 80)
Stockport, Cheshire, England
Occupation television presenter
Spouse(s) Neil Durden-Smith (1964-present)
Children 2

Judith Rosemary Locke Chalmers OBE (born 10 October 1935[1] or 1937[2]) is an English television presenter who is best known for presenting the travel programme Wish You Were Here...? in the 1970s and 1980s.

Life and career[edit]

Chalmers was born in Stockport, Cheshire. Her father was an architect and her mother a medical secretary.[3] She was educated at Withington Girls' School, an independent day school in Fallowfield near Withington, Manchester. She began broadcasting for the BBC when she was only 13, after being selected for BBC Northern Children's Hour by producer Trevor Hill. Her younger sister Sandra, who was later editor of Woman's Hour, also performed on Children's Hour.[4] Judith presented many programmes from Manchester, including Children's Television Club which later metamorphosed into Blue Peter based in London. She spent some time at secretarial college in Manchester in the early 1950s.[2]

In the 1960s, she presented two major BBC radio programmes: Family Favourites and Woman's Hour. Judith also appeared as the original Susan in The Clitheroe Kid, and was a foil for Ken Dodd in his radio show. Chalmers presented ballroom dancing competition programme Come Dancing for the BBC from 1961 to 1965.

During the 1970s, Chalmers regularly presented ITV's daytime magazine programme Good Afternoon and its successors, which included Afternoon Plus and A Plus.

In the 1980s Chalmers was a regular host of the Miss World contest on ITV, also presenting the associated UK beauty pageants such as Miss United Kingdom and the British Beauty Championships. Chalmers was also presenter of BBC Radio 2's mid-morning show from 1990 to 1992, taking over from Ken Bruce, who took over the show again following Chalmers's departure from the station in 1992.

She took part in an episode of the BBC 2 series Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, with her son Mark, in 2013.[5]

Her television appearances in later years have been limited to short spots on chat show programmes such as This Morning and Graham Norton's chat shows.

Personal life[edit]

Chalmers has been married to sports commentator Neil Durden-Smith since 1964. She has two children, Mark, and Emma, and lives in north London. Their son is also a television presenter. Chalmers also has six grandchildren.

She was made an OBE in 1994.[2]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c Miss Judith Chalmers, OBE, Debretts.com. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  3. ^ Sandra Chalmers Obituary in The Times p 56, 27 February 2015
  4. ^ Sue McGregor "Sandra Chalmers obituary", The Guardian, 9 February 2015
  5. ^ "TV presenter Judith Chalmers battles under the hammer at Stroud Auction Rooms", Stroud News & Journal, 15 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-19.