Sian Williams

Sian Williams

Author, Journalist

Sian Williams is a journalist, broadcaster and writer, with a background in psychology.

For more than thirty years, she has worked in daily broadcast news – as a reporter, producer and anchor of some of the BBC’s biggest shows. She is the main anchor on ITN/C5 ‘5 News’ and continuing to make network television and radio shows for the BBC, too.

She is also passionate about learning how our brains work and whether they can be re-wired, especially after a period of adversity or trauma.

Sian has an MSc in Psychology (Distinction), is a trained trauma assessor and has made two Radio 4 series on the mind and the brain, ‘The Thought Chamber’ and ‘How to Build a Better Brain’. The latter was described by The Psychologist magazine as ‘touching and illuminating, a great listen’.

The latest, a R4 documentary on ‘The Science of Resilience’ airs soon.

Her book ‘Rise: Surviving and Thriving after Trauma’ is out at the beginning of June. It’s a personal story of how we can rebuild after a traumatic event shatters our life. It’s illustrated by testimony (including her own) and backed up by science.

What the Papers Say:

“Colleagues at the BBC testify to her grit and skill as a hard news journalist”   Daily Telegraph

“Sian is… valued as a political interviewer” Daily Mail.

“Gordon Brown didn’t expect to be grilled by Sian Williams on his untrue claim that he has lowered that national debt, Sian challenged him, rightly” Fraser Nelson, Spectator

“Modern BBC newsreaders like Huw Edwards, George Alagiagh and Sian Williams have impeccable journalistic credentials. They wade through reams of wire copy and speak to correspondents themselves before writing cues, rather than reading out loud, stuff that’s been written for them” Brian Viner, Independent

“Sad news indeed that the wonderful Sian Williams is quitting BBC Breakfast when the programme moves North, despite pulling double the audience of its rival Daybreak” Amanda Platell, Daily Mail

“The Queen of the Breakfast Sofa” Peter Preston, Observer

“Breakfast TV’s answer to Anna Wintour..her controlled sass is as much a part (of the programme) as the red sofa or the Breakfast logo” Imogen Fox, Guardian

“The departure of popular Sian will be a huge blow to BBC bosses..she and Bill Turnbull have an army of fans” Daily Mirror

“For the past decade, she has been the doyenne of the BBC’s popular Breakfast show… the show has doubled its audience since she joined” Polly Dunbar, Daily Mail

Career to date:

1985 – 1990: BBC trainee reporter. BBC Radio Merseyside, Liverpool. Covered stories like the demise of Militant tendency and the Hillsborough disaster.

Jan – June 1990: Regional Journalist, North West Tonight, Manchester.

July 1990 – July 1997: Editor of the Day. Radio 4 The World at One and PM.

1990 – 1997: Editor R4 Specials. Budgets, Local and European Election coverage. 1992, special programme following the then Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, as he launched his campaign to be US President. Also live programmes on the release of Beirut hostages and the Moscow riots as Yeltsin stormed Parliament. During the Bosnian peace talks, secured an exclusive interview with Radovan Karadic, the Bosnian Serb war criminal.

May 1997: Studio producer, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5, General Election programme.

June 1997: Editor. BBC News 24 (now the BBC News channel).

Nov 1997 – July 1999: Presenter 1600-1900 BBC News 24.

1999 – 2001: Special Correspondent, BBC Six O’Clock News.

2000: Presenter, BBC1 Millennium Programme.

2001 – 2005: Presenter, BBC Breakfast. Fri-Sun.

2005 – 2012: Presenter, BBC Breakfast, Mon-Thurs.

May 2010: Presenter, BBC1 General Election Coverage programme, 1000-1400.

July – August 2012: Presenter, BBC Olympic Breakfast.

1997 – 2013: Newsreader, BBC1 bulletins.

2010 – 2013 : Presenter of prime time series: National Treasures Live (x 6), Goodnight Britain (x 2), Your Money, Their Tricks (x 4). Guest presenter Crimewatch, The Andrew Marr Show.

April 2012 – August 2013: Co-presenter, BBC Radio 4 Saturday Live.

August 2013: The Sian Williams Interview Show (BBC Wales)

June 2013 – 2015: Presenter, BBC1 Sunday Morning Live.

January 2016 – present: Presenter, ITN/Channel 5 News, Presenter R4 documentaries


Sian Williams @sianwilliams100

Coming up on #5News:
- We go inside Notre Dame cathedral after the devastating fire;
- Millions have been pledged to rebuild the famous Paris icon but it could take years to return it to its former beauty.

We're live in Paris on 5 at 5.

I took this photo as we were leaving #NotreDame about an hour before it caught on fire. I almost went up to the dad and asked if he wanted it. Now I wish I had. Twitter if you have any magic, help him find this 🙏🏼

Just thrilled!! The government has today pledged free menstrual products will be extended to primary schools, too! Now, no child in education in England will ever need to worry about their next period again. #periodpoverty #freeperiods

Thinking of the thousands of craftspeople across the centuries whose names we'll never know, their work going up in flames in Paris #NotreDame

Cathedral Builders, by John Ormond

Both @Sathnam and @tweeter_anita were excellent this morning on @BBCRadio4 #Today. Catch up if you can. Btw is this taught in schools today?

Coming up on #5News:

- An emotional reunion for the mum who was arrested in Dubai for calling a women a horse;
- And upskirting becomes an illegal offence - we speak to the women who helped bring in the law.

Join @sianwilliams100 on 5 at 5

Coming up on #5News:

- The speedboat killer is finally behind bars as a judge condemns him for escaping justice;
- The moment one of the world's most wanted fugitives, Julian Assange, is dragged from his hiding place of seven years.

Join @sianwilliams100 on 5 at 5

Who's the female MP quite close to the mic in the #Commons #May speech who's saying things like 'Suck it up'? Fascinated by noises off...

This is so cool “In an ever-changing environment, the ability to process relevant signals during light sleep offers substantial benefits,” the researchers write. “In particular, it would allow signalling the presence of events, necessitating a rapid reversal towards wakefulness.”

Brexit latest:

Tusk: “Please do not waste this time”

UK: The Commons rise today at 5pm and will not return until Tuesday April 23

Brand new series returns tonight @sianwilliams100 @DrRanj #SaveMoneyLoseWeight

Coming up on Five News.
- Another miserable day on the High Street as Debenhams calls in the administrators. What does that mean for customers?

- And, how the government wants to end the blame game by making it easier to divorce

join @sianwilliams100 on Channel 5, at 5

This was a brilliant show. If you have any interest in research and how it can change lives/perceptions - and also enjoy hearing scientists talking about ‘beautiful, clean results’, listen again @bbcsounds
@jimalkhalili @BBCRadio4

And I had a laugh on @BBCR2 with @CCfunkandsoul - so we’re back tonight at 7.30 @itv with #SaveMoneyLoseWeight -

My lovely co-host @drranj was on @itv @thismorning to talk about tonight’s #SaveMoneyLoseWeight via @thismorning

Talking about dry wells and lost towns - explorer @aliceoutthere1 is on the @BBCRadio4 #today prog about her epic 1,500km walk

So a poll where the most popular choice at 37% is a 2nd referendum, with No Deal on26% - gets spun like this :). #splendid #liesdamnliesandstatistics

Dispatches Investigative Journalism Training Scheme 2019 is now live. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone who wants to start out in journalism/change professions. So many top film makers have been through this scheme (pls RT)

The picture is clearly not Craig, Billy or me. But there you go, the link still goes to @BBCR2 (should I know who it is btw...?)

Am on @BBCRadio2 this afternoon, chatting to @CCfunkandsoul - @billybragg is on too. #UnlikelySkiffleGroup