Libby Purves bigraphy, stories - Radio presenter, journalist and author

Libby Purves : biography

2 February 1950 -

Elizabeth Mary "Libby" Purves, OBE (born 2 February 1950) is a British radio presenter, journalist and author.

Born in London, a diplomat's daughter, she was raised in her mother's Roman Catholic faith and educated at convent schools in Israel, Bangkok, South Africa and France, and at Beechwood Sacred Heart School, Tunbridge Wells.

Purves won a scholarship to St Anne's College, Oxford, where she was awarded a first class degree in English. She was elected Librarian of the Oxford Union. In 1971, she joined the BBC as a studio manager. By the mid-1970s she was a regular presenter on BBC Radio Oxford where she could be frequently heard on the station's early morning shows. In 1976,she joined Brian Redhead on the BBC's Today programme, becoming the show's first female presenter.

In 1983 she was, during a four-month period, editor of the Tatler magazine.Libby Purves Daily Mail, 11 October 2009

She currently presents Midweek on BBC Radio 4 and the education programme The Learning Curve. Purves also writes a column for The Times newspaper. She was named columnist of the year in 1999 and in the same year was appointed an OBE for services to journalism. She has written books on childcare, eleven novels including Mother Country, and a travel book, One Summer's Grace, about a 1,700-mile sailing journey round Britain with children aged three and five.

Personal life

She is married to Paul Heiney. The couple has one surviving child, Rose, an actress and writer, who has been an occasional columnist for The Times newspaper. Their first child, Nicholas, died on 26 June 2006, at age 23. He hanged himself in the family home after a struggle with serious mental illness. A collection of his sea-logs of a Pacific journey under square-rig, and of his poetry, has been published. , The Times, 31 October 2007, accessed 15 November 2007

She is outspokenly in favour of gay rights, and has written many articles supporting this position., The Times, 12 December 2006., The Times, 1 November 2007 In 2009, she debated at the Cambridge Union against Dr. Glenn Wilson and Rupert Myers on the motion This House Would Rather Be Gay.


Purves is a keen sailor and has a monthly column in the sailing magazine Yachting Monthly and is a regular contributor to The Oldie magazine. She was recently appointed a patron of the British Art Music Series Trust along with James MacMillan and John Wilson. In February 2010 she was appointed The Times drama critic, succeeding Benedict Nightingale.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine