Philippa Forrester

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Philippa Forrester
Philippa Clare Ryan Forrester[1]

(1968-09-20) 20 September 1968 (age 54)
Other namesPhilippa Clare Ryan Hamilton James
EducationWestgate School, Peter Symonds College
Alma materUniversity of Birmingham
OccupationTelevision & radio presenter, producer, author
Years active1986–present
SpouseCharlie Hamilton James (2004–present)

Philippa Clare Ryan Forrester[2] (born 20 September 1968)[citation needed] is a British television and radio presenter, producer and author.

Throughout her career, Forrester has presented shows such as CBBC, Tomorrow's World, Crufts, The Heaven and Earth Show and Robot Wars.

In 2015, Forrester moved with her family to Wyoming, US to support her husband's work with National Geographic magazine.[3]


Forrester was educated at Westgate School, a co-educational comprehensive school in Winchester, Hampshire, and at Peter Symonds College in the same city.[4] She holds a degree in English from the University of Birmingham,[5] where she appeared on the internal Students Guild television station.[citation needed]

Broadcasting career[edit]

Forrester first worked as a children's presenter for BFBS television in 1986, and was often seen reading out birthday cards onscreen. She became a presenter on Children's BBC from the late 1980s, becoming a more regular fixture alongside Toby Anstis from July 1990 until 1994. She then hosted many programmes including Tomorrow's World, Barking Mad, The Heaven and Earth Show and Robot Wars series 1–3 and 5 and 6, before being replaced by Jayne Middlemiss in series 7.[5]

She also co-presented the BBC's coverage of the solar eclipse of August 1999. At the end of the same year, she was also part of the corporation's team covering the turn of the new millennium, and was duped into appearing on the spoof documentary Brass Eye's 2001 paedophilia special, in which she wore a large pair of gloves, and explained how a paedophile could use them to touch children through a screen, such as a television screen.[6]

She was a co-presenter with Brett Westwood on World on the Move, a BBC Radio 4 series that started in 2008 on migration in the animal kingdom.[citation needed]

In September 2013, she co-presented the BBC show Harvest, which followed the progress of Britain's vegetable, cereal and fruit harvests.

TV production[edit]

Forrester's first collaboration with her husband was My Halcyon River. Following its success, in 2003 they set up a production company, Halcyon Media, which specialises in wildlife productions. In 2007, they co-produced An Otter in the Family, a short documentary series about the adoption of an otter cub called Grace and their attempts to raise her as a wild animal in order to be released into the wild.[7]

Forrester and her husband also produced the four-part Halcyon River Diaries, the first episode of which was broadcast in May 2010 on BBC1. The series follows the wildlife found near their home. An additional episode was shown at Christmas 2010.

Personal life[edit]

Forrester married wildlife cameraman and producer Charlie Hamilton James in July 2004.[8] The couple have three children.[citation needed]

She is an avid environmentalist,[9] and became a vegetarian after eating a vegetarian sausage on Robot Wars.[citation needed] She took a part-time degree in Ecology and Conservation at Birkbeck, University of London while presenting Tomorrow's World.[5]

She has been vice president of St Tiggywinkles wildlife hospital and Patron of the Seahorse Trust with Nick Baker, Vice President of the Avon Wildlife Trust with Simon King[10] and is a brand ambassador for Anglian Windows.

She supports the Recycle Now campaign to encourage more people to take up home composting.[9]


  • The River, Orion, 2004 ISBN 0-7528-5685-5
  • Halcyon River Diaries (with Charlie Hamilton James), Preface Publishing, 2010 ISBN 978-1-84809-225-9
  • Get Out: Halcyon River Activity Book (with her sons Gus Hamilton James, Fred Hamilton James, and Arthur Hamilton James), Preface Publishing, 2010 ISBN 978-1-84809-226-6
  • On the Trail of Wolves, Bloomsbury, 2020 ISBN 978-147297-204-0


  1. ^ "Halcyon Media Limited - Officers". Companies House.
  2. ^ "Halcyon Media Limited - Officers". Companies House.
  3. ^ Forrester, Philippa (15 May 2020). "'I moved my family from Bath to the wilderness - and haven't looked back'". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 10 July 2020.(subscription required)
  4. ^ "Philippa Forrester - television presenter and producer". Hampshire Life. Archant Community Media. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Philippa Forrester CV". Hilary Knight Management. Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 2 August 2007.
  6. ^ Flett, Kathryn (29 July 2001). "Stupidity scuttled Survivor". The Observer. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  7. ^ "Programme guide". BBC Two. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012.
  8. ^ Edwards, Adam (2 August 2006). "The Telegraph – Interview". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2007.
  9. ^ a b "Philippa Forrester". Recycle Now. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2007.
  10. ^ "Philippa Forrester". Halcyon Media. Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2010.

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