Virginia Ironside

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Virginia Ironside (born 3 February 1944) is a British journalist, agony aunt and author. Born in London, she is the daughter of Christopher Ironside, painter and coin designer, and Janey Ironside who was the first-ever professor of fashion design at the Royal College of Art. She was the niece of the visionary painter and designer Robin Ironside.[1]

Ironside writes a column, "Dilemmas", for The Independent, an agony column for the Idler, and a monthly column for The Oldie.[2] Her first book, Chelsea Bird, was published when she was 19. During the 1960s she wrote a rock music column for the Daily Mail newspaper.[2] She is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society.[3][4]

Comments about abortion[edit]

Ironside received attention after her appearance on BBC One's religious discussion programme, Sunday Morning Live, in 2010. She stated "If a baby's going to be born severely disabled or totally unwanted, surely an abortion is the act of a loving mother" and added "If I were the mother of a suffering child – I mean a deeply suffering child – I would be the first to want to put a pillow over its face... If it was a child I really loved, who was in agony, I think any good mother would."[5] Though some viewers supported Ironside, many complaints were registered on the programme's website message board.


  • Chelsea Bird (1964)
  • Distant Sunset (1982)
  • Made for Each Other (1985)
  • How to Have a Baby and Stay Sane (1989)
  • The Subfertility Handbook (Overcoming Common Problems) (1995)
  • You’ll Get Over It: The Rage of Bereavement (1997)
  • Problems! Problems!: Confessions of an Agony Aunt (1998)
  • Goodbye, Dear Friend: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Pet (1998)
  • Janey and Me: Growing Up with My Mother (2003)
  • The Huge Bag of Worries (2004)
  • No! I Don’t Want to Join a Bookclub (2007)
  • The Virginia Monologues – 20 Reasons Why Growing Old is Great (2009)


  1. ^ "Virginia Ironside on Robin Ironside". Pallant House Gallery. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b Karen Wilson (15 June 2011). "Virginia Ironside: From agony aunt to 'granny stand-up'". The Journal, Newcastle. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  3. ^ Virginia Ironside profile from website of the National Secular Society
  4. ^ "Honorary Associates". Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  5. ^

External links[edit]