Mary Marquis

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Mary Elizabeth Marquis MBE was a leading interviewer and presenter on BBC Scotland from the mid-1960s, and became the face of the network's evening news programme Reporting Scotland until 1988, including the whole of the 1970s Nationwide era when input from BBC broadcasters based at the corporation's other studios around the UK contributed to a national programme.

Early life[edit]

Marquis was born in Glasgow. She trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.[1]


She joined Border TV as an in-vision continuity announcer and presenter in 1961.[1] She was the first person seen on screen at Border, opening the station's transmission with the words "Good evening and welcome to Border Television" when it went on air for the first time at 5:45pm on Friday 1 September 1961.[2][3]

Two years later she moved to BBC Scotland, travelling all over Scotland to interview people for A Quick Look Round (and later for her own series First Person Singular from 1970 – 75), before becoming one of the three lead presenters of Reporting Scotland at its inception in 1968, and subsequently, the programme's main anchor for most of the next twenty years.[4][5] With the start of Nationwide in 1969, she became a frequent face on television across the whole of the UK.[1]

Marquis left Reporting Scotland to become one of the first presenters of Good Morning Scotland and stand-in as anchor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme but later returned to television news at BBC Scotland in September 1975, continuing as anchor of Reporting Scotland until her departure from the BBC in 1988.

She has subsequently been involved with various arts, medical and academic organisations, and also did a series of live interviews at the Edinburgh Festival.[6][7][8][9] She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1983 New Year Honours list,[10] and honoured with a special award for 'Special Contribution to Scottish Broadcasting' at the 2007 Scottish BAFTA awards.[11]

RSAMD awards an annual Mary Marquis prize for student performance in television, commemorating her time there.[12]

Personal life[edit]

In 1962 she married Jack Anderson, a Glasgow (subsequently also Canada and London)-based architect and lecturer, and a son David was born two years later. Although expecting to be dismissed, she continued to appear on screen almost until the birth (including one interview conducted on a roof), and was back in the studio afterwards within six weeks.[13]


  1. ^ a b c "Mary Marquis, MBE, Television Presenter".
  2. ^ Mary Scott Parker (1999), Border Television: A History. Carlisle: Bookcase
  3. ^ Border Television ITV50 part 1, via YouTube, at 1:20 (original sound only)
  4. ^ Rebecca McQuillan, Here is the news ... 50 years on, Glasgow Herald, 18 September 2007
  5. ^ Reported Scotland: 50 Years of BBC TV News, BBC Scotland, shown 30 September 2007. (programme trail, publicity); in particular 5:50 to 7:45 and 10:45 to 11:00
  6. ^ Has she got news for Terry Wogan, Edinburgh Evening News, 2 September 2000
  7. ^ Michael Kelly, Glasgow Diary, The Scotsman, 6 January 2001
  8. ^ Office bearers Archived 23 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Tenovus Scotland, 2009 (national committee).
  9. ^ iSite Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Royal Blind School, December 2006; page 3, picture top right
  10. ^ "No. 49212". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1982. p. 15.
  11. ^ The Lloyds-TSB Bafta Scotland Awards 2007[permanent dead link], BAFTA Scotland, November 2007. (Images Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine)
  12. ^ Scholarships and Prizes, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
  13. ^ Reported Scotland at 6:15 to 7:00

External links[edit]