The Info List - Libby Purves

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Elizabeth Mary "Libby" Purves, OBE (born 2 February 1950) is a British radio presenter, journalist and author.


1 Early life and career 2 Later career 3 Personal life 4 Bibliography 5 References 6 External links

Early life and career[edit] Born in London, a diplomat's daughter, Purves was raised in her mother's Catholic faith and educated at convent schools in Israel, Bangkok, South Africa and France, and at Beechwood Sacred Heart School, Tunbridge Wells.[1] Purves won a scholarship to St Anne's College, Oxford, where she was awarded a first class degree in English.[citation needed] She was elected Librarian of the Oxford Union. In 1971, she joined the BBC
as a studio manager. By the mid-1970s she was a regular presenter on BBC Radio Oxford where she could be frequently heard on the station's early morning shows. In 1976, she joined Brian Redhead on the BBC's Today programme.[citation needed] In 1983 she was editor of Tatler magazine for four months.[2] Later career[edit] For her column in The Times
The Times
newspaper, Purves was named columnist of the year in 1999 and in the same year was appointed an OBE for services to journalism.[citation needed] She has written books on childcare, twelve novels including Mother Country, a memoir of religious upbringing, Holy Smoke (1998), and a travel book, One Summer's Grace (1989), about a 1,700-mile sailing journey round Britain with children aged three and five.[citation needed] Purves has a monthly column in the sailing magazine Yachting Monthly and is a contributor to The Oldie
The Oldie
magazine. She was appointed a patron of the British Art Music Series Trust [3] along with James MacMillan and John Wilson. She served ten years as a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum. In February 2010 she was appointed The Times
The Times
drama critic, succeeding Benedict Nightingale,[4] but her work for The Times
The Times
in this area ended in autumn 2013.[5] On being sacked without explanation as Chief Theatre Critic, she announced in the London
Evening Standard two days later, 13 October 2013, that her commitment to, and interest in, theatre commentary was so great that she intended to continue, and on that day she inaugurated theatrecat.com, a review website covering much the same first nights as before.[6] Purves is in favour of gay rights, and has written articles supporting this position.[7][8] However, she has spoken out against the "coercive liberalism, one-note righteousness" of the National Trust
National Trust
following its "outing" of Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, saying that "Crassly reducing any human being to a sexuality, posthumously enlisting him or her in a phantom regiment under your orders, is almost as belittling as persecution itself."[9] In 2009, Purves debated at the Cambridge Union
Cambridge Union
against Dr. Glenn Wilson and Rupert Myers on the motion This House Would Rather Be Gay.[10] Following a column on the anti-gay policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Greek businessman Demetri Marchessini took out a quarter-page advertisement in The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
on 28 January 2014 to criticise her views on homosexuality and religion. According to Purves, while Marchessini is "free to approve of the beatings and hangings of young men across the world in the name of what he considers religion" she is also "free to say he is a loony."[11] Purves presented Midweek on BBC
Radio 4 for 30 years, but left the educational programme The Learning Curve in the 1990s.[citation needed] Personal life[edit] Purves is married to broadcaster Paul Heiney. The couple has one surviving child.[citation needed] Their first child, Nicholas, died on 26 June 2006, at age 23. He hanged himself in the family home in Westleton, Suffolk[12] after a serious mental illness. A collection of his poems and sea-logs of a Pacific journey under square rig, The Silence at the Song's End, has been published, inspired a song cycle by Joseph Phibbs, and was broadcast on Radio 4.[13] Bibliography[edit]

Britain at Play (1982) Adventures Under Sail (1982) Sailing Weekend Book (with Paul Heiney, 1985) How Not To Be A Perfect Mother (1986) One Summer's Grace (1989) How Not to Raise a Perfect Child (1991) How Not To Be The Perfect Family (1994) Casting Off (1995) A Long Walk in Wintertime (1996) Home Leave (1997) More Lives Than One (1998) Holy Smoke (1998) Regatta (1999) Passing Go (2000) A Free Woman (2001) Mother Country (2002) Continental Drift (2003) Acting Up (2004) Love Songs and Lies (2005) Shadow Child (2007)


^ "Presenters: Libby Purves". BBC. Archived from the original on 19 August 2007.  ^ Libby Purves "Profane, sniggering, rum-swigging: my merry hell as editor of Tatler", Daily Mail, 11 October 2009 ^ "The British Art Music Series - BAM Series". bamseries.com. Retrieved 13 April 2015.  ^ Preston, Peter (7 February 2010). "A cinema critic who's making her big-screen debut (Organ Grinder blog)". The Guardian.  ^ Nicola Merrifield "Times axes theatre critic Libby Purves", The Stage, 16 September 2013 ^ " Libby Purves 'axed' as lead theatre critic of The Times", What's On Stage, 16 September 2013 ^ Rejoice! Bring out the pink champagne, The Times, 12 December 2006. ^ "Gay-bashers bashed", The Times, 1 November 2007 ^ Purves, Libby (7 August 2017). " National Trust
National Trust
chases rainbows to its cost". The Times. Retrieved 7 August 2017. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ "This House Would Rather Be Gay : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". archive.org. Retrieved 13 April 2015.  ^ "Pro-gay Libby Purves gets a ticking off from Ukip", London
Evening Standard, 28 January 2014 ^ Libby Purves: ‘There is no solution to grief’ Daily Mail Online Retrieved 2016-11-04. ^ A testament of youth, The Times, 31 October 2007, accessed 15 November 2007.

External links[edit]

Libby Purves's blog The Silence at the Song's End by Nicholas Heiney, Libby Purves, Duncan Wu (editor), Alan Parker (illustrator), Song's End Books (31 Oct 2007) ISBN 0-9557085-0-8 RE Nicholas Heiney's suicide

Media offices

Preceded by Tina Brown Editor of the Tatler 1983 Succeeded by Mark Boxer

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 44392767 LCCN: n82210467 ISNI: 0000 0000 7833 508X SUDOC: 033593671 BNF: cb12444539b (da