Sandi Toksvig

Sandi Toksvig

Date of birth: 03-05-1958

Born in Denmark, and later educated in New York, Sandi Toksvig began her comedy career at Cambridge University, where she was studying archaeology and anthropology at Girton College.

She appeared in several Footlights shows and was the director, writer and star of the first all -female Cambridge Revue. She wrote for the Footlights show featuring Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson that won the first Perrier award in 1981. She was also one of the founder members of The Comedy Store Players improv team.

Her television career began with the children's show No. 73, which ran from 1982 to1986, and has been a panellist in shows such as Call My Bluff, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Mock the Week, QI and Have I Got News for You – appearing on the first ever episode in 1990.

On radio, she is probably best known as chair of Radio 4's News Quiz, which she took over from Simon Hoggart in September 2006, and also presents the travel programme Excess Baggage. She is also a frequent guest on shows such as I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and Just A Minute, and from 2002 to 2005 she presented a weekday lunchtime programme on London's LBC radio station.

In 2007 she was voted Broadcaster of the Year by the Broadcast Press Guild and Channel 4 Political Humorist of the Year, and the following year she was named Broadcaster of the Year at the Stonewall Awards.

She has written 18 books and has regular columns in the Sunday Telegraph and Good Housekeeping.

She is the mother of two daughters (born 1988 and 1990) and a son (born 1994) conceived through artificial insemination.

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Sandi Toksvig writes an historical almanac

Highlighting forgotten figures from the past

Sandi Toksvig is writing a historical book inspired by the YouTube videos she has been making during lockdown.

Toksvig’s Almanac 2021 is a day-by-day guide to ‘fascinating figures you didn’t learn about at school’.

Describing the book as ‘witty, entertaining and instructive’, publishers Trapeze say the people covered in the book range ‘from popes who gave birth during papal processions, to the inventor of Scrabble, to pioneering civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, who refused to give up her seat on a train decades before Rosa Parks was born’.

It follows her Vox Tox web video series about women in history, delivered from her study and co-written by one of the QI elves, Alex Ball. These videos - initially released daily but now scaled back to weekly after they spawned a podcast, We Will Get Past This - attract around 15,000 views each

QI host Toksvig added: ‘This is a book where you learn everything from who invented wallpaper to where you can attend the best turkey testicle food festival in the world. What’s not to love?’

Trapeze publishing director Pippa Wright told trade website The Bookseller: ‘Like so many I have been captivated by the daily videos Sandi’s recorded during lockdown, which introduced me to mysterious Flemish linen starchers, celebrated mistresses, and the elusive inventor of chicken soup. The chance to turn this into a book was irresistible, and Toksvig’s Almanac is just the sort of charming, erudite and reassuring view of the world, and our place in it, that lifts the spirits and soothes the soul.’

Toksvig’s deal follows the publication of her memoirs, Between The Stops, last year.

Her almanac will be out on November 12, priced £14.99 in hardback, and can be ordered here.

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Published: 21 May 2020

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Book (2012)
Valentine Grey

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