Moira Clare Ruby Stuart
2 September 1949 (age 74) (
Royal Free Hospital, London, UK
Marjorie Gordon, Harold Stuart
The Adventure Game, Breakfast
Anna Ford, Pam St Clement, Selina Scott, Trevor McDonald, Marjorie Gordon
Little britain s david walliams flirts with moira stuart bbc radio 2 chris evans breakfast show
Moira Clare Ruby Stuart OBE (born 2 September 1949) is a British presenter, who was the first African-Caribbean female newsreader to appear on British television.
- Little britain s david walliams flirts with moira stuart bbc radio 2 chris evans breakfast show
- Moira stuart
- Early life
- Early career
- TV news career
- Other projects
- Personal life
- Awards and achievements
In a career that spans more than three decades, she has presented many television news and radio programmes for the BBC and is currently the newsreader for The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2.
Moira Stuart was born in the Royal Free Hospital, London, on 2 September 1949, to Dominican-Barbadian African-Caribbean parents. She was educated in London until she was 13, attending Our Lady's Convent RC High School, Stamford Hill. She then moved with her family to Bermuda for a while, returning at the age of 15 to London, where she attended college.
Stuart began working with the BBC in the 1970s and was a production assistant in the radio Talks and Documentaries department. She was a continuity announcer and newsreader for both BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 2, and in 1980 she played Darong in series one of game show The Adventure Game. She moved to television news in 1981.
TV news career
Since 27 August 1981, Stuart has presented on every news bulletin devised on BBC Television apart from the Ten O'Clock News. She has also appeared on The News Quiz and presented the news on the BBC's Breakfast with Frost programme each Sunday and its successor programme Sunday AM with Andrew Marr. She presented the news for BBC Breakfast during the first half-hour of the programme, three days a week, followed by short half-hourly round-ups throughout the rest of the three-hour-long show. However, BBC Breakfast moved to a new studio with a new look on 2 May 2006 and the entire news content was presented by two main presenters. Stuart retained her slot on BBC's Sunday AM show and continued to present some weekend television bulletins on BBC One. She also worked on other long-form programmes for other BBC channels, including BBC Four.
In April 2007 it was announced that Stuart would be leaving Sunday AM, resulting in the loss of a regular slot on broadcast TV. This prompted an angry backlash from press and colleagues who accused the BBC of ageism and sexism. The BBC initially declined to comment on why she was no longer being used, but rumours circulated within the BBC and commercial newsrooms that Stuart had been removed because she was considered "too old" at 57, although Anna Ford had continued anchoring the BBC One O'Clock News until her retirement at 62. This was denied by Director-General of the BBC Mark Thompson when he was questioned by a House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee. Thompson stated: "BBC News, News 24, the radio networks, have changed over the years and the traditional role of the newsreader, as opposed to a correspondent or presenter, has virtually died out over the services.... We tend to use journalists across BBC news programmes ... to read the news headlines."
Stuart's 26-year career with BBC Television News was brought to a close on 3 October 2007, when the BBC announced her departure. In total, her experience had spanned 34 years of BBC radio and TV.
In April 2009, the departing head of BBC News, Peter Horrocks, was quoted as saying: "I regret the way some viewed her departure. Many people came to believe that Moira left for reasons of ageism, or other -isms. This was never the case."
On 21 November 2009, it was reported in The Guardian that Chris Evans was "lining up" Stuart to read the news bulletins on his new BBC Radio 2 show from January 2010, when he was due to inherit the slot from Terry Wogan. On 6 January 2010, it was confirmed that she would return to BBC News, reading the news for The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, starting on 11 January 2010.
A keen music lover, Stuart deputised for Humphrey Lyttelton on his BBC Radio 2 Best of Jazz programme, has participated in the British Jazz Awards as compère, and features as a narrator on Soweto Kinch's jazz-rap album A Life in the Day of B19: Tales of the Tower Block.
Stuart has served on various boards and judging panels including Amnesty International, the Royal Television Society, BAFTA, United Nations Association, the Orange Prize, the London Fair Play Consortium, the Human Genetics Advisory Commission, the Queen's Anniversary Prize, and the Grierson Trust.
In November 2004, Stuart was the subject of an episode of the BBC genealogy documentary series Who Do You Think You Are? (series 1, episode 6), which helped trace her family history.
In March 2007 she also presented the documentary In Search of Wilberforce for BBC Television, examining the role of anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the British bill that banned the slave trade. According to a review of the programme: "The documentary is well-structured and the informed questioning by Stuart enables a debunking of the Wilberforce legend and a challenge to the myopia in Britain which focuses upon the abolitionists rather than those who were enslaved."
On 2 June 2007, she hosted the BBC One topical news quiz show Have I Got News for You, and was well received by the public. The extended and uncut version of the programme (shown the following evening, 3 June 2007) revealed that, while making a spoof appeal for work, she fluffed her lines on a number of occasions but took it all with her traditional good humour.
In 2008, 2009 and 2010, she appeared in a series of advertisements for HMRC promoting tax-return procedures.
In March 2014, Stuart began hosting the Sunday late-night BBC Radio 2 programme Music Until Midnight, a slot that previously broadcast David Jacobs' long-running easy-listening programme until 2013. She alternates this Sunday night slot with Oscar winning songwriter, Don Black. She has also presented music documentary series for Radio 2, including Strong and Sassy - Inspiring Women of Jazz (featuring Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan, Adelaide Hall, Anita O'Day and Lena Horne) and Jazz Guitar Greats.
In July 2015, she appeared on the television comedy panel show Would I Lie to You? (Series 9, Episode 1).
Stuart is unmarried, although she has said that on two occasions she almost did marry. Des Lynam has said that he has been a boyfriend of hers.
Her mother Marjorie Gordon (born 1921), who was from Dominica, and her father Harold Stuart (1914–66), a Barbadian lawyer, divorced when Stuart was 10 months old. Her uncle was the singer Ken Gordon, who was a member, with George Browne, of the vocal trio Three Just Men. Her cousin is the Ghana-born publisher Margaret Busby.
Talking about her ancestry, Stuart has said that she is from a "long line of outsiders" and that she considers herself "a true mongrel – and proud of it". In Who Do You Think You Are?, she travelled up to the Scottish Highlands, as well as to Antigua (where her great-great-grandfather was enslaved) and to Dominica, where her great-grandfather George James Christian was born. During the programme, she discovered the story of how her grandfather Edgar Fitzgerald Gordon met his wife Clara Christian when both were studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh. While Stuart's grandfather completed his degree and qualified as a doctor in 1918, her grandmother did not finish medical studies, using money intended for her course to pay their bills instead. In the programme, Stuart was visibly moved to learn more about her ancestors in the context of the Atlantic slave trade, and about their fight for human rights and social justice.