Nancy Banks-Smith

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Nancy Banks-Smith (born 1929) is a British television and radio critic, who has spent most of her career writing for The Guardian.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Manchester and raised in a pub,[1] she was educated at Roedean School.

Banks-Smith began her journalistic career in 1951 as a reporter at the Northern Daily Telegraph. In 1955, after a brief stint at the women's section of the Sunday Mirror, she moved to the Daily Herald as a reporter. She worked for the Daily Express from 1960 to 1965 as a feature writer, moving to be a TV critic for The Sun in 1965. She left the newspaper in 1969 when it was bought by Rupert Murdoch.[2]

Banks-Smith began writing for The Guardian in 1970, with her television column becoming a leading feature of the newspaper. She has remained with the paper for 50 years,[3] though by 2010 she no longer wrote daily reviews.[2] Until 2017 she wrote a monthly column for the paper entitled "A month in Ambridge", reviewing recent developments in the radio soap opera The Archers.


In 1970 she was recommended for the Order of the British Empire, which she declined.[4]


  1. ^ Nancy Banks-Smith (2 March 2016). "Nancy Banks-Smith: 'I grew up in a pub – I thought Corrie was a documentary'". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b Celebrating 40 years of Nancy Banks-Smith, The Guardian, 4 February 2010
  3. ^ Nancy Banks-Smith (19 June 2020). "The night I watched Vera Lynn with Marlene Dietrich". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Some who turned honours down", The Guardian, 22 December 2003, retrieved 31 August 2012.

External links[edit]