Victoria Derbyshire

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Victoria Derbyshire
File:Victoria derbyshire head.jpg
Victoria Derbyshire in 2011
Born Victoria Antoinette Derbyshire
(1968-10-02) 2 October 1968 (age 51)
Ramsbottom, Lancashire, England, UK
Nationality British
Years active 1993–present
Employer BBC
Known for Journalist, television presenter

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

Early life

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 post-graduate diploma course in radio and TV journalism at Preston Polytechnic (now the University of Central Lancashire).


Derbyshire worked as a reporter in local radio, joining BBC Radio 5 Live in 1998 as a co-presenter of the breakfast show with Julian Worricker. The programme won two Gold Sony Awards in 1998 and 2002. In January 2003, Worricker left the breakfast show and Derbyshire was partnered with Nicky Campbell. After maternity leave, she took over the morning news programme in August 2004.[citation needed]

Derbyshire also works on a number of television news and political programmes including: presenting Newsnight, appearances on This Week, an interview series on the BBC News Channel Victoria Derbyshire Interviews.. 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, after President Mugabe lifted restrictions on international journalists. Her programme made radio history when it became the first to broadcast live from an abortion clinic in 2012, and late that year, 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 presenting Newsnight occasionally while continuing to present her daily 5 Live programme. Her final Radio 5 Live programme was broadcast on 5 September 2014.

Personal life

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] On her first programme back from her summer holiday she thanked viewers: "thank you to all of you who sent very kind and sensible and inspiring messages after the diagnosis for breast cancer, which I received a couple of weeks ago."[3]

She recorded a video diary about her mastectomy for the programme[4] and has recorded a video diary about her first chemotherapy session, which went viral. The Daily Mail's headline was: "Honest, brave, raw, inspiring... how Britain warmed to BBC Victoria's chemotherapy diary".

Television series

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


In 2009, Derbyshire won the Nick Clarke Award for her sensitive handling of an interview with a man accused and then cleared of date rape.[5]

At the 2011 Sony Awards, Derbyshire 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 programme 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 Radio 4's 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.[6] She has also been nominated for RTS Network Presenter Of The Year.[7]


Derbyshire was criticised for interviewing the convicted sex offender Jonathan King after his release from prison.[8] In 2006, Jamie Oliver strongly rebuked Derbyshire, after she questioned his commitment to helping young people in the Cornwall area.[9]

In 2007, 5 Live listeners forced a phone-in poll about sympathy for Madeleine McCann's parents off the air.[10] Soon after, the McCanns appeared on Derbyshire's programme to mark the fourth anniversary of Madeleine McCann'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."[11]


  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<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Victoria Derbyshire diagnosed with breast cancer,; accessed 19 August 2015.
  3. [1],; accessed 1 September 2015.
  4. "Victoria Derbyshire's breast cancer diary". BBC News. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Ponsford, Dominic (12 October 2009). "Derbyshire wins Nick Clarke prize for rape-claim interview". Press Gazette.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "twitter". twitter/ Victoria Debryshire. 21 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Template:Cite newslurl=
  8. Gibson, Owen (2 August 2005). "BBC sorry after King protests innocence on radio phone-in". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 27 May 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "STUPID COW!: JAMIE IN RANT OVER RADIO 5 GIRL". 22 May 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Holmwood, Leigh (10 September 2007). "McCann radio debate slammed". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 27 May 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Media Monkey's Diary". The Guardian. London, UK.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links