Mavis Nicholson

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Mavis Nicholson
Born Mavis Mainwaring
(1930-10-19) 19 October 1930 (age 86)
Briton Ferry Neath, Glamorgan
Nationality Welsh
Alma mater Swansea University
Occupation television presenter, writer
Spouse(s) Geoffrey Nicholson
Children Three

Mavis Nicholson (born 19 October 1930) in Briton Ferry, Glamorgan, is a Welsh writer and TV broadcaster.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

She was born Mavis Mainwaring and spent her childhood in Briton Ferry. She became a student at Swansea University. There in 1949 she met the writer and journalist, Geoffrey Nicholson, whom she married in 1952, and with whom she had three sons.

In 1951, at the end of her undergraduate career at Swansea University, Nicholson won a scholarship to train as an advertising copywriter and with this moved to London.

There she and her husband were at the centre of a lively social circle, including the journalist and broadcaster John Morgan and the novelist Kingsley Amis. According to Peter Corrigan's obituary of her husband,[3] Mavis and Geoff Nicholson "...became a much-loved double-act. Amis did not always approve of their views and claimed to have invented the word "lefties" during one little set-to with them. While it was true that the Nicholsons didn't have dinner parties as such - they invited people for an argument and threw some food in - they were by no means belligerent but had in abundance the Welsh love of debate."

Nicholson stopped her work as an advertising copywriter when she had her children, but her second career as a broadcaster began when, because of her probing and engaging conversational style at the dinner table, she was asked to host a programme on newly launched daytime television (British television had previously only started to broadcast in the late afternoon).

Her first presenting job was on the 1972 show 'Good Afternoon', after which her TV career spanned the next 25 years.[4]

She then presented British television programmes such as Afternoon, Afternoon Plus and Mavis On Four from the 1970s to 1990s, on which she interviewed celebrities of the stature of Elizabeth Taylor, Kenneth Williams, David Bowie, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.[5][6][7] Her February 1979 interview with David Bowie[8] is widely regarded as one of the best interviews ever done with him.

Nicholson presented the Channel 4 programme A Plus 4 which ran from 1983 to 1987.

Her last work for television was Oldie TV in 1997, a television version of The Oldie magazine.

She still writes for The Oldie, and is currently its resident agony aunt.[9][10]

She has also presented several radio shows, including a history of the department store and a look back at her childhood.[11]

She is the author of the 1992 book Martha Jane & Me : A Girlhood In Wales.[12]


  1. ^ "Mavis Nicholson IMDB entry". IMDB. 2007. 
  2. ^ Chilton, Martin (1 June 2011). "Hay Festival: day seven as it happened". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Peter Corrigan (1999-08-04). "Obituary: Geoffrey Nicholson - Arts & Entertainment". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  4. ^ "Film & TV Database - Nicholson, Mavis". The Independent. 2005-10-31. 
  5. ^ "North Powys Youth Music by Mavis Nicholson". North Powys Youth Music. 2006. 
  6. ^ "Bowie Golden Years: ITV February 1979". Bowie Golden Years. 2007. 
  7. ^ "Good Afternoon!: Good Afternoon[RX 01/08/74]". BFI. 2007. 
  8. ^ "Afternoon Plus interview with David Bowie". 1979. 
  9. ^ {{cite web|url= Magazines: The Oldie|publisher=The Independent|date=2005-10-31}}
  10. ^ "Miles Kington: Trapped in the Med with the wise and witty Oldies". The Independent. 2006-11-10. 
  11. ^ "Radio Listings "Mavis Nicholson"". Radio Listings. 2007. 
  12. ^ "WorldCat: Martha Jane & Me : A Girlhood In Wales". WorldCat. 2007. 

External links[edit]