Victoria Derbyshire

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Victoria Derbyshire
Derbyshire in 2011
Victoria Antoinette Derbyshire

(1968-10-02) 2 October 1968 (age 54)
Bury, Lancashire, England
EducationBury Grammar School for Girls
Alma materUniversity of Liverpool
Preston Polytechnic
Occupation(s)Journalist, newsreader, television presenter
Years active1993–present
TelevisionBBC News at Nine
BBC News at One
BBC News at Five
BBC World News
BBC News
The Victoria Derbyshire Show
BBC Weekend News
Central Weekend
Mark Sandell
(m. 2018)
RelativesNick Derbyshire (brother)

Victoria Antoinette Derbyshire (born 2 October 1968) is a British journalist, newsreader and broadcaster. Her eponymous current affairs and debate programme was broadcast on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel from 2015 until March 2020.[1][2] She has also presented Newsnight and BBC Panorama. She was one of eight women to appear in ITV's The Real Full Monty: Ladies Night – an entertainment documentary to raise awareness of breast cancer. She previously presented the morning news, current affairs and interview programme on BBC Radio 5 Live between 10 am and 12 noon each weekday. She left at the same time as fellow 5 Live broadcasters Richard Bacon and Shelagh Fogarty.

Early life[edit]

Derbyshire was born on 2 October 1968 in Bury, Lancashire, to Pauline and Anthony Derbyshire, but moved to Littleborough as a child.[3][4][5] She attended Bury Grammar School for Girls, an independent school, before studying English language and literature at the University of Liverpool. Afterwards, she attended a postgraduate diploma course in radio and TV journalism at Preston Polytechnic (now the University of Central Lancashire).[6] She has said that her father Anthony physically abused her, her mother, and her younger brother and sister.[7] Derbyshire's mother eventually walked out, leaving with the three children; Victoria was 16 and never saw her father again. She talked about these events during an edition of the BBC's Panorama Derbyshire presented on domestic abuse in lockdown in August 2020.[6][8] When she was 17, she had a summer job at a furniture factory which she described as the worst job in her life.[9]



Derbyshire worked as a reporter for BBC Coventry & Warwickshire and later worked for BBC GMR Radio. From the latter, she joined BBC Radio 5 Live in 1998, at first deputizing for Jane Garvey on the breakfast show, and later as the regular co-presenter with Julian Worricker when Garvey moved on.[6][10] The programme won Gold Sony Awards in 1998 and 2002. In January 2003, Worricker left the breakfast show, and Derbyshire was partnered by Nicky Campbell.[10] After being on maternity leave, she took over the morning news programme in August 2004.[10][11]

She covered some of the biggest global stories since joining 5 Live: 9/11, the Paris Concorde crash, general elections and the Olympic Games. On TV she has covered the Grenfell Tower fire and the Manchester Arena bombing.

In September 2010, she interviewed her own BBC Radio 5 Live superior about why he was not moving to MediaCityUK in Salford when the station moved in autumn 2011. Describing the interview, The Guardian said: "Derbyshire's grilling of the station's controller Adrian Van Klaveren made Jeremy Paxman's infamous interview with Mark Thompson look like a vicar's tea party."[12] Derbyshire did not move to Salford and often presented from London. In the first three months in MediaCity she had spent only two weeks broadcasting from Salford.[13]


Derbyshire has worked on television news and political programmes including This Week, an interview series, Victoria Derbyshire Interviews.., on the BBC News Channel, and Watchdog, as well as Panorama. She hosted a sports chat show on Channel 4 on Saturday mornings called SportsTalk. She also co-presented the last episode of Central Weekend Live in 2001

In October 2011, Derbyshire made her debut on Have I Got News for You.[14] In autumn 2013, under the new editorship of Ian Katz, Derbyshire began presenting Newsnight while continuing to present her daily 5 Live programme. Her final Radio 5 Live show was broadcast on 5 September 2014.

The Victoria Derbyshire current affairs TV programme was her idea; she suggested it to James Harding, then head of BBC News, who commissioned it three days later.[7] It was first broadcast on 7 April 2015 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel. The programme was cancelled in January 2020; the BBC said that the cost was too high. and it did not attract young and diverse audiences.[15][16] She was not informed of the decision before the story appeared in The Times.[17] The last programme was broadcast in March 2020.[1] Since then, Derbyshire has presented BBC News at 9 9am-11am on BBC Two, BBC News Channel and BBC World News. She appeared on screen during a Coronavirus lockdown with the telephone number of the National Domestic Abuse hotline written on her hand, to raise awareness of the plight of people that were suffering during the first lockdown due to having to isolate with abusive partners.[18]

In November 2020, it was announced that Derbyshire would be taking part in the twentieth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here. She was the fourth celebrity to be eliminated alongside Beverley Callard on 30 November. In 2019, she was one of six candidates shortlisted and then auditioned to replace David Dimbleby as the regular host of Question Time.[19]

From September 2022, Derbyshire became joint lead presenter with Kirsty Wark of BBC's Newsnight.[20]


In 2009, she won the Nick Clarke Award for her interview with a man accused and then cleared of date rape.[21]

She was named PinkNews Broadcaster of the Year in October 2015 and 2016.[22] In January 2016 and January 2017, she was nominated for RTS Network Presenter of the Year.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Family and relationships[edit]

Derbyshire met Mark Sandell at Radio 5 Live and had an affair with him while he was married to fellow 5 Live presenter Fi Glover.[24] After being together for 17 years, Derbyshire and Sandell married in 2018, after Derbyshire was treated for breast cancer;[9] the couple have two children and live in Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey.[25] Her younger brother, Nick Derbyshire, was a county cricketer for Essex and Lancashire between 1994 and 1996.[26] She also has a younger sister, Alex, who is a TV Producer at Good Morning Britain.[27]

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Derbyshire told the Radio Times she would break the rule of six for Christmas to be with her family of seven. She justified her public comment by stating that, "everyone else would be doing it". However she later apologised for her comments.[28][29]


In August 2015, Derbyshire announced on Twitter that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and would be having a mastectomy, but would continue to present her programme as often as possible during treatment.[30] She recorded video diaries about her cancer treatment, from her mastectomy through chemotherapy and radiotherapy which went viral and were viewed millions of times.[31]

In 2018 she took part in an ITV programme, The Real Full Monty: Ladies' Night, in which she and seven other women affected by breast cancer encouraged women to check their bodies for signs of the disease.[32]


  1. ^ a b Waterson, Jim (17 March 2020). "BBC to broadcast Question Time without an audience". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Victoria Derbyshire Show to come off air". BBC News. 22 January 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Victoria Derbyshire - people from Lancashire are friendly, open and normal". Great British Life. Retrieved 12 April 2023.
  4. ^ Times, The Sunday (28 May 2023). "People-watching: Victoria Derbyshire, Baroness Hale, Caroline Sunshine, Sean Penn". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  5. ^ "Victoria Derbyshire 'totally overwhelmed' by history of her hometown on TV show". Bury Times. 18 January 2023. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  6. ^ a b c Lang, Kirsty (20 December 2020). "Victoria Derbyshire on surviving abuse and why she loved I'm a Celebrity". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 20 December 2020. (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b Saner, Emine (22 August 2014). "Victoria Derbyshire interview: 'I can be bold to anyone'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  8. ^ Derbyshire, Victoria (17 August 2020). "Victoria Derbyshire: My father was violent - I understand the terror of lockdown". BBC News. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  9. ^ a b Greenstreet, Rosanna (18 September 2021). "Victoria Derbyshire: 'I couldn't get my high heels on in time before a BBC news bulletin'". The Guardian.
  10. ^ a b c "Victoria Derbyshire to host mid mornings on Radio Five Live". BBC Press Office. 15 October 2003. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  11. ^ Plunkett, John (17 November 2006). "Bannister fills in for Derbyshire". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  12. ^ "Media Monkey's Diary". The Guardian. London. 20 September 2010.
  13. ^ Keevins, Barry (24 February 2013). "BBC wastes money as webcams show host Victoria Derbyshire is not in Salford". Daily Express. London.
  14. ^ "Have I Got News for You: Season 42, Episode 3, Lee Mack, Victoria Derbyshire, Ross Noble". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 5 December 2011. Aired October 28, 2011
  15. ^ Giordano, Chiara (23 January 2020). "Victoria Derbyshire: BBC drops award-winning show 'in bid to cut costs'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 17 August 2022. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  16. ^ "Victoria Derbyshire viewers 'more male and older than you think', says Tony Hall". The Guardian. 12 March 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  17. ^ Quinn, Ben; Bindman, Polly (23 January 2020). "BBC facing backlash over decision to axe Victoria Derbyshire show". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  18. ^ Petter, Olivia (6 April 2020). "Victoria Derbyshire hosts BBC show with domestic abuse helpline number written on hand". The Independent. Archived from the original on 17 August 2022.
  19. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (9 October 2018). "Victoria Derbyshire and Fiona Bruce filmed for Question Time job". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Kay and Derbyshire to host BBC Breakfast and Newsnight respectively". BBC News. 8 July 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  21. ^ Ponsford, Dominic (12 October 2009). "Derbyshire wins Nick Clarke prize for rape-claim interview". Press Gazette. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012.
  22. ^ Victoria Derbyshire [@vicderbyshire] (21 October 2015). "OMG!! Readers of @pinknews voted our programme & team 'Broadcaster of the Year'. THANKYOU lovely people" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  23. ^ Victoria Derbyshire [@vicderbyshire] (28 January 2016). "Totally totally happy & honoured to be nominated for @RTS_media Network Presenter of Year alongside @julieetchitv & @mattfrei" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  24. ^ "Fi Glover: 'I did think about my career: gosh, what have I done?'". The Guardian. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  25. ^ Cavendish, Lucy. "Victoria Derbyshire: "I don't do hobbies. My job is hard work but I like work"". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 12 April 2023.
  26. ^ Player Profile: Nick Derbyshire from CricInfo.
  27. ^ "Victoria Derbyshire Sister Alex Derbyshire Is GMB Producer". Retrieved 23 April 2023.
  28. ^ "Victoria Derbyshire apologises for saying she would break 'rule of six' at Christmas". Sky News. 27 October 2020. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  29. ^ "Victoria Derbyshire sorry for Christmas rule-breaking comments". BBC News. 27 October 2020. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  30. ^ "Victoria Derbyshire diagnosed with breast cancer". BBC News. 19 August 2015.
  31. ^ "Victoria Derbyshire's breast cancer diary". BBC News. 12 October 2015.
  32. ^ Loughrey, Clarissa (30 March 2018). "Victoria Derbyshire breaks down in tears during Real Full Monty burlesque performance". The Independent. Archived from the original on 17 August 2022. Retrieved 20 December 2020.

External links[edit]