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

Publications

Sian Williams @sianwilliams100

Throwing my #JohnHumphrys anecdote in - I attempted to produce him during the 1992 general election campaign. I’d say ‘make it short John, we’re coming up to the pips’. And he would shoot me a withering glare and ignore me. Terrifying and also rather brilliant.

Possibly my favourite story about @David_Cameron today, with a starring role for his unflappable son Elwen.
@LBC's @NickFerrariLBC got the quote.
https://t.co/Ft1aRIuuX4

Very useful advice here on dealing with trolls ⬇️ https://t.co/b7bvQf33h0

Hey journalists, looking for brilliant interviewees with direct experience of some of the big social issues facing us today? I've met many of these incredible people taking part in a pilot programme to create a network of media savvy spokespeople. Check this out>> https://t.co/Jvm94XTf3j

I’ve watched this a number to times now and it’s deeply uncomfortable for the PM. Yes the man is a Labour activist but what viewers see when they watch this is a distressed father with a very sick young child who sees an opportunity to tackle the PM and takes it. https://t.co/e0RcUlyVLU

"I can never have that moment back."

A journalist told @gareththomas14 ‘s parents about his HIV status before he had. This is what it means to him.

🎧 Listen via @BBCSounds

The challenge of living with a hidden condition:
“In a supermarket queue, I’ve been asked why it’s taking me so long to decide how many bags I need. A cashier once said, ‘If it takes you this long to decide how many bags you need, then God help you!’ “ https://t.co/LjdpYtVwgR

Also v proud of the courage of those who shared what it’s like living with profound #mentalhealth issues. Thanks for trusting us with your stories @LGH_SPFT @NHSuk @MindCharity @channel5_tv

Just a little pause while I do a new 9pm series for @channel5_tv ... back on @5_News soon - don’t think the news will stop, somehow!

🌍Today is #WorldSuicidePreventionDay. An important reminder that everyone can make a difference to others who have reached the point of wanting to end their lives🤝

💚The need for suicide prevention is as great as ever: https://t.co/q7BhNkX4xO

I'll pass on the salt thanks 😬
#SaveMoneyGoodHealth https://t.co/nDvq0Qq45v

On now on @ITV #SaveMoneyGoodHealth - we've done gum disease - now - warning - we're looking at how to get rid of #dandruff. Lovely. Enjoying supper?

Up next on @ITV , @sianwilliams100 presents Save Money: Good Health and takes an in depth look at products aimed at preventing gum disease

Having trouble replying to viewer questions this morning after #SaveMoneyGoodHealth last night - they're going to everyone! Apols. @mrskarenmc and @Donster22 - this tweet was meant for you..

I'm a fan of this quote: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” ― Michael Pollan - to which I'd add - "and keep moving".

You've got a good point and I'll mention it to the production team...perhaps after Save Money Lose Weight, Good Diet and Good Health - we need a Save Money Save the Planet too...ways to reduce cash AND plastic. Thank you (and to @MicrobzPro @LetchMail @LOJ321321 @mandg17)

Cold spuds for your tum anyone? 🥔 #SaveMoneyGoodHealth @sianwilliams100

Hope you found it helpful - love and strength to all those going through tough times at the moment...#RiseAgain #Resilience @tinysciencetea1

Ooh - just seen this! Thanks @nikkibedi. It's a top team at #SaveMoneyGoodHealth. Tips on getting better sleep on @ITV now - anyone for a talking eye mask or a weighted blanket? @twofourtweets