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Campbell speaking at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London in 2018
10 April 1961
|Alma mater||University of Aberdeen|
|Television||Wheel of Fortune|
Top of the Pops
For the Rest of Your Life
The Big Questions
Long Lost Family
|Spouse(s)||Linda Larnach (divorced)|
Tina Ritchie (m. 1997)
Nicholas Andrew Argyll Campbell, OBE (born Nicholas Lackey, 10 April 1961) is a Scottish radio and television presenter and journalist. He has presented the BBC Radio 5 Live breakfast programme since 2003, BBC One's Sunday morning show The Big Questions since 2007, and Long Lost Family on ITV since 2011. He presented the game show Wheel of Fortune from 1988 until 1996, and the consumer affairs programme Watchdog from 2001 to 2009.
Campbell was born in Edinburgh and adopted at four days old. He was educated at the independent school Edinburgh Academy. His adoptive mother was a psychiatric social worker and his adoptive father a publisher of maps.
After graduating from the University of Aberdeen with a 2:1 in history, Campbell toyed with the idea of becoming an actor and got involved in commercial production for radio to gain his Equity card. At university, Campbell's best friend had been the actor Iain Glen. He worked at Northsound Radio in Aberdeen from 1981 to 1985, first as a jingle writer, before going on to host the breakfast show.
Campbell worked at London station Capital Radio from 1986–87, occasionally presented on Music Box and joined BBC Radio 1 in 1987, presenting a Saturday night show from 10 pm to midnight. In early 1988, he took over the weekend early morning show from 6 am to 8 am from Simon Mayo and in October 1988 he presented the music and interview show which he named Into the Night, which went out from 10 pm to midnight Monday to Thursday. Guests included political figures, with Campbell interviewing John Major in 1991, after Conservative Party chairman Chris Patten recommended the show to the Prime Minister when Radio 1 sent an invitation to No.10. He was also regularly joined by Frankie Howerd in the last years of the comedian's life. In August 1993, Campbell also took over a Sunday morning show from 10 am to 1 pm, following the on-air resignation of Dave Lee Travis.
Campbell left the network briefly in October 1993 to care for his sick wife. In early 1994, he took over the weekday drivetime show from 4 pm to 7 pm, and in 1995, he took over the afternoon show from 2 pm to 4 pm. Campbell attracted a large audience, and when Radio 2 wanted a replacement for Jimmy Young, he revealed that he was the BBC's choice and detailed a series of meetings between himself and the controller of Radio 2. However, the BBC later claimed that Campbell had initiated the meetings himself, and his public revelations prompted the wrath of Greg Dyke.
Campbell left BBC Radio 1 in October 1997 and joined the news and sport network BBC Radio 5 Live, when offered the job by Roger Mosey, the station's head. He presented the mid-morning programme on 5 Live for over 5 years before replacing Julian Worricker in the breakfast slot in January 2003, co-presenting initially with Victoria Derbyshire. From 2004 to 2011, he co-presented the programme with Shelagh Fogarty. In May 2011, Fogarty left the breakfast show and was replaced by Rachel Burden. Campbell joins the programme half an hour later than Burden (6:30 am, as opposed to 6 am) and usually continues on his own for an hour at the end when the show becomes a topical events phone-in (Your Call). He also presented an interactive programme called Now You're Talking on the radio.
He regularly hosted Top of the Pops from 1988 to 1991 and again from 1994 to 1997. In the 1990s, Campbell fronted Central Weekend on Central Television in the English Midlands and Carlton Live in London with Richard Littlejohn and then Andrew Neil.
In 2001, Campbell began presenting the BBC consumer affairs programme Watchdog. He presented the show alongside Kate Sanderson until 2004 and then alongside Julia Bradbury from 2004 until 2009, when it was revealed that Anne Robinson would replace Campbell and Bradbury for the next series of Watchdog, which began airing in September 2009.
From 2007 until 2009, Campbell hosted For the Rest of Your Life for Endemol, beginning in May 2007. Campbell featured in an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? that aired 11 July 2007, where he was seen tracing his adoptive family's roots in Scotland and Australia.
He currently presents The Big Questions on BBC One and has done so since 2007. He hosted the second series of the BBC Two quiz show Battle of the Brains in 2009. He replaced Paddy O'Connell, who presented the first series.
Since 2011, Campbell has co-presented the BAFTA award-winning Long Lost Family, with Davina McCall on ITV. The show aims to reunite family members and as of 2015, five series have aired. Campbell also co-hosted BBC One's Your Money Their Tricks opposite Rebecca Wilcox and Sian Williams in July 2013.
In early 2014, Campbell presented four-part series Wanted: A Family of My Own beginning 24 April on ITV. In 2015, he wrote and presented an episode of Perspectives on his great love for 'The Great American Song Book' and a one-off episode called Rebuild Our Home, both for ITV.
Campbell started out as a jingle writer and when he was on BBC Radio 1 from 1987 to 1997, he wrote a lot of music for the station. He has written and co-produced a jazz swing album for singer and actor Mark Moraghan, Moonlight's Back in Style, released on Linn Records in September 2009. Campbell and Moraghan met on Just the Two of Us in 2006. Campbell is a company director of Mhor Music Ltd., an original music company producing bespoke and original music for feature film, television, corporate media, online content and ringtones; and Mhor Productions Ltd., a supplier of radio and television programming and broadcasting activities.
Campbell and Kate Robbins co-wrote and recorded an album, We're Just Passing Through, which was released on 7 July 2014.
In 2004, he wrote a book called 'Blue Eyed Son', about his own adoption experience. Campbell currently narrates the C5 Documentary series Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords (June 2019).
Awards and honours
Campbell has won seven Sony Awards, including a Gold Award in 2007 for the Radio 5 Live Breakfast programme as "Best News and Current Affairs Programme" (with Shelagh Fogarty). In 2008, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.
In 2013, Long Lost Family won a Royal Television Society Award for best 'Popular Factual' programme and in 2014 a Television BAFTA award for best "Features Programme". It was nominated for a National Television Award in the "Factual Programme" category, but lost out to Gogglebox.
Campbell met his first wife Linda Larnach, who was eight years older, in Scotland. He later nursed her through a health scare and ME, and took time out from his career. When they subsequently parted she gave interviews in which she said his career break had been a publicity stunt.
Campbell married his second wife, journalist Christina "Tina" Ritchie who is the former head of Virgin Radio News, in December 1997 in Kensington, and the couple have four daughters.
In 1989, during his first marriage, Campbell traced his birth mother and after having children of his own with Ritchie, Campbell decided to find his Irish biological father in 2002. Whereas his birth mother was from a Dublin Protestant family, his biological father was a Northern Irish Catholic thirteen years younger than her. He also discovered that his grandfather had been in the IRA in 1919–1921, and his biological father had been active in the IRA of the 1950s, and still held Irish Republican views. However, these claims appear false as stated by many members of his family that his father's side of the family was Protestant and his grandfather a member of the Garda Siochana.
In 2004, Campbell wrote Blue-Eyed Son [Story of an Adoption], his account of being adopted and tracing both his birth parents and his extended families in Ireland. Both sides of his birth families helped with and contributed to the book. His birth mother, Stella, died in 2007; Campbell spoke at her Dublin funeral. As a result of his book and his work promoting adoption, he was asked to become a Patron of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF).
He is also deeply involved in campaigning on animal rights issues. He has spoken at the annual 'March for Elephants and Rhino' and written extensively on the issues for the national press. He works closely with Will Travers, Virginia McKenna and the Born Free Foundation.
On December 12, 2019, Campbell announced his mother Sheila died at the age of 96. She appeared in her son's episode of Who Do You Think You Are in 2007. Campbell announced her death via social media.
|1991–2001||Central Weekend||Presenter||Central Television|
|1988–1996||Wheel of Fortune||Presenter||Scottish Television|
|1988–1991||You'd Better Believe It!||Presenter||Grampian Television||Only screened in Scotland.|
|1988–1991, 1994–1997||Top of the Pops||Presenter||BBC One|
|2001–2009||Watchdog||Co-presenter||With Kate Sanderson and Julia Bradbury|
|2006||Just the Two of Us||Contestant||First series|
|2007–2009||For the Rest of Your Life||Presenter||ITV|
|2007–||The Big Questions||Presenter||BBC One|
|2009||Battle of the Brains||Presenter||BBC Two|
|2011–||Long Lost Family||Co-presenter||ITV||With Davina McCall|
|2013||Your Money Their Tricks||Co-presenter||BBC One||With Sian Williams and Rebecca Wilcox|
|2014||Wanted: A Family of My Own||Presenter||ITV||1 series|
|2015||Perspectives: The Great American Love Song||Presenter||Guest presenter; 1 episode|
|Rebuild Our Home||Presenter||One-off episode|
|2017||All Star Musicals||Participant|
|2018||Coronation Street's DNAo||Presenter||ITV||One-off Episode|
|1987–?||BBC Radio 1||Saturdays, 10 pm||Presenter|
|1988–?||Weekends, 6 – 8 am||Presenter|
|1993||Sundays, 10 am – 1 pm||Presenter|
|1994||Weekdays, 4 – 7 pm||Presenter|
|1995||Weekdays, 2–4 pm||Presenter|
|1997–2003||BBC Radio 5 Live||Mid-morning||Presenter|
- "Oiling his wheel of fortune". The Scotsman. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
- "Rachel Burden announced as new 5 Live Breakfast presenter". BBC Press Office. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- "New series of My Story". bbc.co.uk. 5 December 2013.
- "Davina McCall for new 'Long Lost Family'". digitalspy.co.uk. 3 April 2012.
- "Wanted: A Family of My Own Episode 1". itv.com.
- "Rebuild Our Home Episode 1". itv.com.
- "Mhor Music Limited – Company Profile & Information". duedil.com.
- "Nicky Campbell shocked by OBE while bioscientist Professor Downes leads acclaimed Scots". Daily Express. 13 June 2015.
- "AM/FM Online Edition #16: 1993". amfm.org.uk.
- "Nicky Campbell: My life in media". The Independent. London. 21 May 2007. Archived from the original on 6 June 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
- "Nicky Campbell stands by claim he is son of IRA man". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 10 December 2003.
- "Nicky Campbell: Biography | KidsAid". kidsaid.org.uk. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- "Our Celebrity Supporters". Born Free Foundation. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- "Nicky Campbell pays tribute to 'wonderful mum'". BBC News. 12 December 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nicky Campbell.|
- Official Twitter
- 5 Live Breakfast (BBC Radio 5 Live)
- His time at Radio 1 – including many audio clips
- Nicky Campbell on IMDb
- Radio Rewind
- Linn Records
- BBC News – Anne Robinson returns to Watchdog
| Host of Wheel of Fortune
| Rector of the University of St Andrews