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

At a conference and - not for the first time - someone’s said ‘are you @KayBurley?’

I've finally made it into the @Eastbournenews.
40 years after they turned me down for a job.
And look @DavidWil26 - you're there too!
Thanks again @macmillancancer
Great day, great walk, great cause x

Tonight: #resilience and #thriving in a time of change and why embracing uncertainty is key.
6.45pm at the @Wimbookfest, chatting to the brilliant
@profelainefox about developing a #mindset for life

Lunch at 15.5miles with Breanda and the Pink Ladies gang
See you at the end!

Could not be more apt! @what3words

Almost off! Good luck everyone @macmillancancer

Just arrived in Brighton to walk the Mighty Hike with my brother for @macmillancancer…
It’s 26+ miles over the beautiful South Downs - see you on the other side - and if you’re listening to @BBCSussex at 8.25!

Really looking forward to @Wimbookfest where I will be chatting to @sianwilliams100 about my new book Switchcraft and how to develop a #mindset for life. Join us if you can on Monday evening 13 June #psychology #resilience

Calling #AcademicTwitter!
My study into #cancer and #mindfulness is finally back from peer review.
One says it’s ‘comprehensive, articulate, valuable and refreshing’
The other says it needs ‘major improvements’ and ‘rewriting from an English language expert’
Is this usual?!

Thanks for the invite and I know this isn’t the point, but I look TINY behind that lectern…

This week, I start a new job as a psychologist in the #NHS helping people deal with #stress and #trauma - six years to the day since my book ‘Rise: Surviving and Thriving after Trauma’ came out…

What a journey. Am excited, humbled and grateful x

The scene out of my back door. Right now.
Sunshine, rain and this!

Embracing colour, using @tiktok_uk and ‘making myself shown’

How @Faz_Khalifa deals with the trauma of a violent past.
Thank you for sharing your story.


I do love our village.

Beautiful line in ‘The Vanishing Half’ by @britrbennett

‘Now time had fallen right out of his pockets when he wasn’t looking’

(thanks for the recommendation @sophieraworth)

Most #journalists do not get #PTSD #trauma or moral injury - but rates can be higher than the general pop.
What to watch out for and how to help our storytellers?
Thanks to @ClothildeR @rorypecktrust @HANNAHSTORM6 @drtrude Session will be posted online by @cityjournalism

Tonight - free - a great panel - a few spaces left and a ‘reception’ afterwards (biscuits, probably).
Bring questions and an open mind…
#journalism #mentalhealth

You can still register for this event with @sianwilliams100, where our director @HANNAHSTORM6 is also among those speaking on #journalism #mentalhealth

Exactly this👇
There’ll be sadness leaving the place and people you love @mrdanwalker - but moving from the @bbcbreakfast sofa to the @5_News studio is a LOT of fun - and you’ll find the folks there are just lovely xx

I got it!
V proud to be joining the #NHS as a #psychologist.
Still broadcasting (@channel5_tv #MindMatters and other stuff)
But the #NHS runs deep in our family - Mum, brother, son - and I’m so chuffed to be doing my bit 🙏