Victoria Derbyshire

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Victoria Derbyshire
Victoria derbyshire head.jpg
Victoria Derbyshire in 2011
Born Victoria Antoinette Derbyshire
(1968-10-02) 2 October 1968 (age 47)
Ramsbottom, Lancashire, England
Nationality British
Years active 1993–present
Employer BBC
Known for Journalist, television presenter

Victoria Antoinette Derbyshire (born 2 October 1968) is an award-winning English journalist and broadcaster. Her current affairs and debate programme has been broadcast on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel since 2015. She also occasionally presents Newsnight. 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 Radio 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, and attended Bury Grammar 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).


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 with Nicky Campbell. After a spell of maternity leave, she took over the morning news programme in August 2004.[citation needed]. One of the main features of the programme was Derbyshire's relationship with her listeners, who trusted her as they shared some personal and dark experiences; a memorable example was "Rachel", an alcoholic GP who described her descent into alcoholism as she opened a can of beer live on air.

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.[1]

In autumn 2013, under the new editorship of Ian Katz, Derbyshire began occasionally 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.

Personal life[edit]

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.[2]

She recorded video diaries about her cancer treatment, from her mastectomy through chemotherapy and radiotherapy.[3] Her video diary about her first chemotherapy session went viral. The Daily Mail's headline was: "Honest, brave, raw, inspiring... how Britain warmed to BBC Victoria's chemotherapy diary". Her diaries were some of the most viewed on the BBC website.


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.[4]

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 December 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 Pink News Broadcaster of the Year in October 2015.[5] In January 2016 she was nominated for RTS Network Presenter of the Year.[6]


Derbyshire was criticised for interviewing the convicted sex offender Jonathan King after his release from prison.[7] In 2006 Jamie Oliver strongly rebuked Derbyshire, after she questioned his commitment to helping young people in the Cornwall area.[8]

In 2007, 5 Live listeners forced a phone-in poll about sympathy for Madeleine McCann's parents off the air.[9] Soon afterward, the McCanns appeared on Derbyshire's programme to mark the fourth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance. In September 2010 she interviewed her own 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."[10]


  1. ^ "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 
  2. ^ Victoria Derbyshire diagnosed with breast cancer,; accessed 19 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Victoria Derbyshire's breast cancer diary". BBC News. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  4. ^ Ponsford, Dominic (12 October 2009). "Derbyshire wins Nick Clarke prize for rape-claim interview". Press Gazette. 
  5. ^ "twitter". twitter/ Victoria Derbyshire. 21 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "Twitter". victoriaderbyshire. 
  7. ^ Gibson, Owen (2 August 2005). "BBC sorry after King protests innocence on radio phone-in". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "STUPID COW!: JAMIE IN RANT OVER RADIO 5 GIRL". 22 May 2006. 
  9. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (10 September 2007). "McCann radio debate slammed". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Media Monkey's Diary". The Guardian. London, UK. 

External links[edit]