Robinson was born in Liverpool, the fourth of six daughters of a docker and a housewife. She attended Notre Dame Collegiate School (now Notre Dame Catholic College, Liverpool), a girls' Roman Catholic grammar school in Everton Valley.
Robinson began her career on the Ormskirk Advertiser newspaper, and later moved to local radio, and the local television news Northwest Tonight. She has also presented File on 4. Robinson became a reporter on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme in 1995, and briefly was a presenter, but was reportedly 'passed over' because of her Liverpool accent, an accusation the BBC has denied, and Sarah Montague was appointed.
Robinson joined You and Yours, but continues to present documentaries on social issues, an area she previously tackled as a Today reporter. In 2007 Robinson revisited the Norris Green housing estate in Liverpool, where she spent most of her formative years, for a radio documentary, examining problems the area faced. Robinson has also written for the Daily Mail and The Independent newspapers.
On 9 January 2018, Robinson was removed for the day as You and Yours presenter as she had tweeted support for Carrie Gracie, the BBC's former China editor, who resigned from the post. The BBC said that allowing Robinson to broadcast on equal pay would break the corporation's impartiality rules.
Winifred Robinson is married to the writer and journalist Roger Wilkes; they have one son, Tony, and used to live in Oxfordshire. They now live near Warrington as a result of her job moving to Salford with the new BBC offices.
- "Winifred Robinson". Debrett's People of Today. Retrieved 1 September 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- You and Yours, BBC presenter page
- You and Yours webpage, BBC site
- "Leader: Accentuate the positive", The Guardian, 19 February 2001
- Return to the Norris Green estate:, BBC News, 8 September 2007
- "Radio 4 host Winifred Robinson taken off air after tweet backing Carrie Gracie". BBC News. 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- Winifred Robinson "The motherhood myth: The misery of being a mother", Daily Mail, 14 December 2007
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