Victoria Derbyshire

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Victoria Derbyshire
Victoria derbyshire head.jpg
Victoria Derbyshire in 2011
Victoria Antoinette Derbyshire

(1968-10-02) 2 October 1968 (age 51)
EducationBury Grammar School for Girls
Alma materUniversity of Liverpool
Preston Polytechnic
OccupationJournalist, television presenter
Years active1993–present
TelevisionVictoria Derbyshire
Partner(s)Mark Sandell
RelativesNick Derbyshire (brother)

Victoria Antoinette Derbyshire (born 2 October 1968) is a BAFTA, RTS and Sony award-winning English journalist and broadcaster. Her eponymous current affairs and debate programme has been broadcast on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel since 2015. She has presented Newsnight in the past. She formerly presented the morning news/current affairs and interview programme on BBC Radio 5 Live between 10 am and 12 noon each weekday and was a 5 Live presenter for 16 years, departing in late 2014. She left at the same time as fellow 5 Live broadcasters Richard Bacon and Shelagh Fogarty.

Early life[edit]

Derbyshire was born in Ramsbottom, Lancashire, to Pauline and Anthony Derbyshire. 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). She has claimed that her father Anthony physically abused her, her mother and her younger brother and sister. [1]


Derbyshire worked as a reporter in local radio, then joined BBC Radio 5 Live in 1998 as a co-presenter of the breakfast show with Julian Worricker. 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. After a spell of maternity leave, she took over the morning news programme in August 2004.[citation needed].

Derbyshire has also worked on a number of television news and political programmes including: presenting Newsnight, appearances on This Week, an interview series, Victoria Derbyshire Interviews.., on the BBC News Channel, and Watchdog. She hosted a sports chat show on Channel 4 on Saturday mornings called SportsTalk. She has been sent to cover some of the biggest global stories since joining 5 Live: 9/11, the Paris Concorde crash, general elections, World Cups and Olympic Games. Her programme was the first to broadcast a show live from Zimbabwe, in 2009 following President Mugabe's lifting of restrictions on international journalists. Her programme made radio history when it became the first to broadcast live from an abortion clinic in 2012, and later that year broadcast from an animal testing laboratory.[citation needed]

In October 2011 Derbyshire made her debut on Have I Got News for You.[2]

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.

Her current affairs programme began airing on 7 April 2015 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel.

On the morning of the Grenfell Tower fire, North Kensington, in June 2017, she interviewed a father of two who escaped the blaze with his family. A clip of Victoria hugging him when he broke down as he described the horrors of what he witnessed went viral.

In 2018 she took part in an ITV programme, The Real Full Monty, in which she and seven other women affected by breast cancer, bared all to encourage women to check their bodies and look for signs of breast cancer. It was watched by 6.5 million people.

She was one of six shortlisted and then auditioned to replace David Dimbleby as the regular host of Question Time.[3]

In 2019 she participated in an ITV programme entitled All New Full Monty - Ladies Night.

Personal life[edit]

Derbyshire married her long term partner Mark Sandell in Autumn 2018[4], following her treatment for breast cancer. They have two children. It's reported Derbyshire had an affair with Sandell at BBC Radio 5 Live while he was married to fellow presenter, Fi Glover [5][6]. Her younger brother, Nick Derbyshire,[7][8] was an England county cricketer between 1994 and 1996.[9]

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.[10]

She recorded video diaries about her cancer treatment, from her mastectomy through chemotherapy and radiotherapy.[11]


In 2009 she won the Nick Clarke Award for her sensitive handling of an interview with a man accused and then cleared of date rape.[12]

At the 2011 Sony Awards she won the Gold award for Best News & Current Affairs Programme. At the 2012 Sony Awards she beat Dame Jenni Murray, Evan Davis and Jeremy Vine to become the Sony Academy's Speech Broadcaster of the Year. In December 2013 her broadcast from an animal testing laboratory won the 2013 "Best Live Journalism" Award at the Association for International Broadcasting; the judges said it was "classic investigative journalism, in-depth reporting, well-balanced and thoroughly researched".

At the 2014 Radio Academy Awards (formerly the Sony Awards), she again won the Speech Broadcaster of the Year award, beating BBC colleagues Justin Webb, Jane Garvey and Melvyn Bragg, and in November 2014, the Association for International Broadcasting awarded her the best radio programme for a live broadcast from a dementia clinic that specialises in treating those with early onset dementia.

She was named PinkNews Broadcaster of the Year in October 2015 and 2016.[13] In January 2016 and January 2017 she was nominated for RTS Network Presenter of the Year.[14]

In 2017 she won a BAFTA Television Award for her interview with four former footballers about the alleged sexual abuse they experienced as boys. In her acceptance speech, which she dedicated to the men, she said: 'You cannot underestimate the courage it took for these men to talk about this on national television, live. As a result of what they did, hundreds more potential victims have come forward to the police'.

In March 2018, she won two Royal Television Society Awards - Network Presenter of the Year, beating Andrew Neil and Julie Etchingham; and Interview of the Year, for her interview with the 4 footballers.

She was nominated for a fourth year running for Network Television Presenter of the Year at the 2019 Royal Television Society Journalism Awards.

At the 2019 Royal Television Society Programme Awards, ITV's The Real Full Monty won best popular factual show.


In 2005, Derbyshire was criticised for interviewing the convicted sex offender Jonathan King after his release from prison.[15]

In 2006, Jamie Oliver strongly rebuked Derbyshire, after she questioned his commitment to helping young people in the Cornwall area.[16]

In 2007, BBC Radio 5 Live listeners forced a phone-in poll about sympathy for Madeleine McCann's parents off the air.[17] Soon afterwards, the McCanns appeared on Derbyshire's programme to mark the fourth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance.

In September 2010, she interviewed her own BBC Radio 5 Live boss about why he wasn't 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."[18] Derbyshire did not move to Salford and sometimes presented her programme from London.[19]

In April 2015, Derbyshire interviewed Ricky Dearman, who was accused of sexually abusing his children and running a Satanic child sex cult. Viewers complained about her believing the man, whom they believed to be guilty.[20]

In June 2019, Derbyshire accidentally referred to Jeremy Hunt as 'Jeremy Cunt' and was accused of sexism for stating that "It's usually men who say that" when apologising for her gaffe.[21]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "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
  3. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (9 October 2018). "Victoria Derbyshire and Fiona Bruce filmed for Question Time job". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Index entry Derbyshire Victoria Antoinette, _ulrooney, Bury". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Index entry Derbyshire Nicholas Alexander, Mulrooney, Heywood". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  9. ^ Player Profile: Nick Derbyshire from CricInfo.
  10. ^ Victoria Derbyshire diagnosed with breast cancer,; accessed 19 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Victoria Derbyshire's breast cancer diary". BBC News. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  12. ^ Ponsford, Dominic (12 October 2009). "Derbyshire wins Nick Clarke prize for rape-claim interview". Press Gazette. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012.
  13. ^ Victoria Derbyshire [@vicderbyshire] (21 October 2015). "OMG!! Readers of @pinknews voted our programme & team 'Broadcaster of the Year'. THANKYOU lovely people" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Gibson, Owen (2 August 2005). "BBC sorry after King protests innocence on radio phone-in". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  16. ^ "Stupid cow!: Jamie in rant over Radio 5 girl". Daily Mirror. London. 22 May 2006.
  17. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (10 September 2007). "McCann radio debate slammed". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  18. ^ "Media Monkey's Diary". The Guardian. London. 20 September 2010.
  19. ^ Keevins, Barry (24 February 2013). "BBC wastes money as webcams show host Victoria Derbyshire is not in Salford". Daily Express. London.
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ Leaver, Joel (10 June 2019). "Victoria Derbyshire's response to 'Jeremy C***' blunder has led some to accuse her of sexism". North Wales Live. Retrieved 10 June 2019.

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