Mary-Ann Ochota

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Mary-Ann Ochota
Born (1981-05-08) 8 May 1981 (age 37)
EducationSir John Deane's College, Northwich, Cheshire
Alma materEmmanuel College, Cambridge
OccupationTV presenter, writer and anthropologist
Years active2007–present
Joe Craig (m. 2008)

Mary-Ann Ochota (Polish pronunciation: [ɔˈxʲɔt'a] O-hot-ah;[1] born 8 May 1981) is a British broadcaster and anthropologist specialising in anthropology, archaeology, social history and adventure factual television.[2]


Ochota was born and grew up in Wincham, Northwich, Cheshire, to an Indian mother and a Polish father.[2] She studied at the sixth-form college of Sir John Deane's College.[3]

From 1999 to 2002 she studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, specialising in Social Anthropology. She represented her college in the 2013 University Challenge Christmas Special, reaching the final, against Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.[4]

In 2008, she married children's author Joe Craig.[2][5]


Ochota has reported for Channel 4's foreign affairs documentary strand, Unreported World.[6] Her first film for the series, India's Slumkid Reporters was broadcast in September 2013, her second, Kickboxing Kids was broadcast in 2014 [7]

She contributed to series 1 and 2 of the ITV archaeology programme Britain's Secret Treasures presenting the history of artefacts including the Pegsdon Mirror, Putney 'Brothel' Token, Stone Priory Seal Matrix, Lincoln Roman Statue, Canterbury Pilgrim Badges and the wreck of HMS Colossus.

In Britain's Secret Homes (ITV, 2013), she presented the stories of life at Creswell Crags, Derbyshire; St Mungo's Home for Working Girls, London; the Knap of Howar, Orkney, and the Broch of Mousa, Shetland.[8]

Ochota presented the three-part series, Raised Wild for Animal Planet (broadcast as Feral Children in the UK), investigating cases of 'feral' children, defined as children either raised by or with animals, or children who had survived for a significant period in the wild.[9] There were three episodes in Season 1, in Uganda, Ukraine and Fiji.[10]

Ochota was the co-presenter for Series 19 (2012) of Channel 4's archaeology show Time Team with Tony Robinson. She has contributed to current affairs radio programme Weekend World Today on the BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 (Our Daily Bread) and is a regular reviewer on the Sky News paper preview.[2]

In 2016 Ochota presented the series "Best of enemies" for German television, in which she travelled around Britain to find out what the British really think about the Germans. The series was aired on the German channel ARD-alpha in English with German subtitles.[11]

Other work[edit]

Ochota featured as a model in several commercials including Kellogg's Special K.[12]

She has been chairman and interviewer at the annual Institute of Art and Ideas Crunch arts festival and HowTheLightGetsIn Philosophy festival,[13] blogs for The Independent and writes regularly for The Daily Telegraph on countryside issues and outdoor activities.[14]

Her first book, published by Headline in 2013, in association with the British Museum and ITV accompanied the TV series of the same name, Britain's Secret Treasures.[15]

Ochota joined the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 2012 on Leg 8, racing Edinburgh Inspiring Capital from Qingdao, China to San Francisco, USA. She sailed as a fully active crew member, and blogged for international adventure magazines whilst at sea.[16][17]

She has written about her love of the outdoors and adventure activities, including wild camping, orienteering[18] and UK scuba diving.[19]

She has raised funds for the RNLI,[20] the mental health charity Mind, and Hope and Homes for Children.[21] She has also done work in Chernobyl, Ukraine, and occasionally worked for Berries Gardening company based in Golders Green.



  1. ^ "About". Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Mary-Ann Ochota, Presenter & Anthropologist". Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  3. ^ "Former SJD student lands top TV role". Sir John Deane's College. 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  4. ^ BBCUniversity Challenge Christmas 2013 – Episode 8, 1 January 2014
  5. ^ "Joe Craig". Start the Story Author Directory. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Unreported World - Profiles - Mary-Ann Ochota". Channel 4. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Unreported World - Videos - Kickboxing Kids". Channel 4. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Britain's Secret Homes". 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Raised Wild". Animal Planet. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  10. ^ Ochota, Mary-Ann (2012). "Feral Children : An anthropology of wild, savage and feral children". Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  12. ^ "The anti-size 0 models by Alaina Vieru". 2007. Archived from the original on 18 July 2007. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Mary-Ann Ochota : Speaker". Institute of Art and Ideas. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  14. ^ Ochota, Mary-Ann (10 January 2015). "Mountain dogs to the rescue". The Daily Telegraph. London: TMG. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  15. ^ Ochota, Mary-Ann (26 September 2013). Britain's Secret Treasures. London: Headline. ISBN 978-0755365739.
  16. ^ Ochota, Mary-Ann (9 November 2011). "No Such Thing As Smooth Sailing When Racing 'Round Around the World". Women's Adventure. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  17. ^ "Mary Ann Ochota, Author at Getaway Magazine". 2 March 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  18. ^ "A run with a twist - hunting posts in Hampstead Heath". OS GetOutside. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  19. ^ Ochota, Mary-Ann (21 March 2014). "Are you afraid of the cold? Winter Wild Camping is the cure". Independent Notebook Blogs. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  20. ^ "Fundraising: Mary-Ann Runs!". Virgin Money Giving. 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  21. ^ "A Night of Adventure in Manchester". 25 September 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2015.

External links[edit]