Monica Sims

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Monica Sims OBE (born 27 October 1925)[1] is a British BBC Radio producer who became Head of Children's Programmes, BBC Television then Controller of BBC Radio 4. She has also been a Vice-President of the British Board of Film Classification, and Director of the Children's Film Foundation.[2]

BBC career[edit]

She spent three seasons working in theatres in Windsor and Bristol before joining BBC Radio as a Talks Producer, where she rose to become Editor of Woman's Hour, a position she held until 1967.[2][3][4] She then moved to BBC Television as Head of Children’s Programmes from 1967 to 1978[4] where she "believed passionately that the child audience deserved the best possible service and she, like her predecessors fought hard to increase the range of programming and the BBC’s investment in it".[5]

She moved back to BBC Radio to become Controller of BBC Radio 4, replacing Ian McIntyre, a position she held from 1978 until 1983.[4] The features producer Piers Plowright described her as "tactful but firm ... never a hair out of place, always elegant but with steel running through her". She described Radio 4 as providing "Surprise, through different perspectives on life through satire, poetry, storytelling, songs, argument, defining ideas, contact with opinion formers, writers, scientists, historians, philosophers and imaginative stimulus through works of art, music, drama, literature."[6]

Later career[edit]

In 1985 Monica Sims produced a report Women in BBC Management.[7] It revealed that the number of women in top jobs was virtually the same as it had been a decade before - 6 women compared with 159 men. The report concluded with nineteen recommendations, including the appointment of a women's employment officer; more career guidance for both women and men; an examination of the policy on Appointments Boards for senior posts; an increase in the number of women attending Management Training Courses and the introduction of women-only courses as an experiment. Part-time work, job sharing and further options for flexible working should also be encouraged.[8]

Since leaving the BBC she has also been a Vice President of the British Board of Film Classification and Director of the Children's Film Foundation.[2]


  1. ^ "Birthdays". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media. 27 Oct 2014. p. 35. 
  2. ^ a b c Mini biography
  3. ^ Wyn Knowles obituary – Daily Telegraph, 22 July 2010
  4. ^ a b c Dissertation on the Trumptonshire trilogy, Katy Brier
  5. ^ Home, Anna Into the Box of Delights, London: BBC Books, 1993
  6. ^ After 40 years, we’re still on Radio 4’s wavelength – Piers Plowright
  7. ^ Women in news by Martha Kearney
  8. ^ Women and BBC history – Kate Murphy
Preceded by
Owen Reed
Head of BBC Children's Programmes
Succeeded by
Edward Barnes