Profile: Mariella Frostrup


Not only are we going to be blessed with the presence of Hilary Clinton but broadcast giant Mariella Frostrup is getting in on the party. Mrs Frostrup will be chairing a Q&A after Mrs Clinton speech about her new book “What happened”.

Mrs Frostrup’s journey to stardom hasn’t exactly been plain sailing. The possible 3rd member of the Ab-Fab family only with an abundance of class, an extra sprinkling of good humour but a similar affiliation when it comes to talking about sex.

The Norwegian born journalist has hosted and appeared on many shows. She’s worked with broadcaster and Mastermind host John Humphry, BBC news presenter Clive Myrie and BBC foreign affairs correspondent Fergal Keane on a BBC Panorama series exploring ‘What Britain wants’. Mariella specifically focused on the UK housing crisis and what it meant to own a home. She presents Open Book and fronted the Memory Season for BBC Radio 4 as well as presenting the Book Show for Sky Arts. She has written for nearly every publisher under the sun and is the Guardian’s own agony aunt in her series called ‘Dear Mariella’.

The Book Show
Mariella Frostrup
©Sky Arts/Andi Southam

The 48-year-old moved from Norway to Ireland at the age of 6 and then at the age of 15, after the death of her father, she moved to London with a close friend where she landed a job in Music PR.

In the 80’s she worked with bands like Dire Straits, UB40 and the Boomtown Rats and still holds music very close to her heart. Only look through her twitter to see references to musical greats like Leonhard Cohen and Tom Petty.

But nothing seems to top a book for Mrs Frostrup. Her cameo appearance on Ab Fab revealed her fiery nature to those who call ‘OK’ magazine a good read. In an interview with Mathew Stadlen, she revealed that she could read up to 3 books a week hence this makes her a fairly laudable candidate to talk to Mrs Clinton this Sunday.

Her big break into TV happened in 1993, at the age of 31, on ‘The Little Picture Show’. Since then Mariella has become a familiar face on the screen, a regular on radio and even named the sexiest female voice on TV with her distinct, grainy tones.

Mrs Frostrup has held events similar to this one. She frequently chairs authors at Hay and Dalkey book festivals and has experienced taming political heavyweights. She chaired the Labour party conference Q&A with Gordon Brown in 2007 where she was criticised of losing her “TV persona”. As Mariella said at the beginning of her TedxObserver talk back in 2011 journalism is one of the “few career choices where you’re past mistakes increase your qualifications”.

In more way than one, Mrs Frostrup has never been to keep her opinion to herself. She’s made a career by telling people what to read, what to watch or preaching how erotic fiction can improve anyone’s sex life.

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