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: I'm paid half Stephen Fry's salary to host QI

Gender pay gap revealed

Sandi Toksvig says she is paid less than half of what Stephen Fry earned for  hosting QI.

She made her revelation at the annual conference of the Women’s Equality Party, which she co-founded three years ago.

In answer to a question from the audience, the presenter said she believed she got 40 per cent of Fry’s pay, putting her on a par with regular panellist Alan Davies

But she added: ''I temper this with the fact I love this show and am the first woman to host such a show.'

Toksvig insisted her personal situation did not affect her party's fight for equal pay, saying: 'I have a nice living and I do very well, So I was much keener to focus on the women in supermarkets'

Party co-founder Catherine Mayer told the Guardian that Toksvig’s comment was greeted with a ‘huge gasp’ from the audience in Kettering.

‘She had to answer the question given that the issue of equal pay is at the centre of our party’s policy,’ she explained.

Fry once claimed he was paid more to host the panel show than the £245,000 Jeremy Paxman received for University Challenge.

Asked whether she would demand the same pay as Fry when she took over QI in 2016, Toksvig told the Radio Times: ‘If you are doing the same job it seems a bit absurd if you’re not paid the same.’

QI is made by independent production company Talkback for the BBC, so the presenter’s salary is not revealed under the Corporation’s requirement to be transparent on pay.

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Published: 8 Sep 2018

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Products

Book (2012)
Valentine Grey

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