Victoria Elizabeth Coren Mitchell (born Victoria Elizabeth Coren;[3] 18 August 1972) is an English writer, presenter and professional poker player. Coren Mitchell writes weekly columns for The Observer and has hosted the BBC television quiz show Only Connect since 2008.

Early life

Victoria Elizabeth Coren was born in Hammersmith, west London, and grew up in Cricklewood,[citation needed] north London, the only daughter of the humourist and journalist Alan Coren and his wife Anne Kasriel. Her brother is the journalist Giles Coren.[4] She is related to the Canadian journalist Michael Coren.[5]

She attended independent girls' schools between the ages of five and 18[6] and read English at St John's College, Oxford,[7] graduating with a first-class degree.


When aged 14 she had a short story published under a pseudonym in Just Seventeen magazine[8] and then won a competition in The Daily Telegraph to write a column about teenage life for their "Weekend" section, which she continued writing for several years.

Her books include Love 16[9] and Once More, with Feeling,[10] about her attempt (with co-author Charlie Skelton) to make "the greatest porn film ever".[11] Their jobs reviewing porn films for the Erotic Review led them to believe that most of what they were watching was terrible and that they could make better films themselves.[1][12]

She adapted the newspaper columns of John Diamond into a play called A Lump in my Throat, which was performed during the 2000 Edinburgh Festival at the Assembly Rooms,[13] the Grace Theatre and the New End Theatre in London, before she adapted it again for a BBC Two docudrama with Neil Pearson, broadcast in 2001.

Victoria and Giles Coren wrote an introduction to Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks,[14] an anthology of the best comic writing by their father Alan, published by Canongate in October 2008.

Her poker memoir For Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair with Poker[15] (the subtitle changed to Confessions of a Player when released in paperback in 2011)[16] was published in September 2009, and was well reviewed in The Times[17] and The Observer.[18]

Ormerod hoax

In December 2008 she revealed that in 2007 she had instigated a hoax to trap a group who turned up to memorial services for people they had never actually met. She created the fictitious and recently deceased Sir William Ormerod and placed an advertisement in the main British newspapers for his memorial service "followed by a drinks reception".[19] She reported that the group duly applied for tickets claiming to have known Ormerod.[20]


Coren Mitchell was the first woman to win an event on the European Poker Tour, the first player to win both a televised professional tournament (EPT London 2006) and a televised celebrity tournament (Celebrity Poker Club 2005), and the first player to win two European Poker Tour Main Events (EPT London 2006 and EPT Sanremo 2014). She frequently plays Texas hold 'em at the Victoria Casino in London's Edgware Road. As a commentator/presenter, she has presented Late Night Poker and The Poker Nations Cup for Channel 4, World Poker Tour for ITV2 and commentated on The Monte Carlo EPT, Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (Channel 4), Ultimate Poker Challenge (Channel 5) and William Hill Poker Grand Prix 2 (Sky Sports).

During her poker career she has become a close friend of The Hendon Mob, and mixes weekly home games with frequent visits to two regular casinos. She appeared in five episodes of Late Night Poker, although she never made it to a series grand final. However, in Late Night Poker's spin-off Celebrity Poker Club, she defeated Willie Thorne to win the series two grand final before joining Jesse May as the commentator in series three. In the 2003 Hold-Em 100 tournament in London she was a guest dealer for the final table.

On 24 September 2006 she won the main event of the European Poker Tour London earning a prize of £500,000 and defeating Australian professional Emad Tahtouh.[21] On 20 November 2011 she finished second in the International Federation of Poker's inaugural The Table World Championship, eventually losing heads-up with 29-year-old Spaniard Raul Mestre. She received $100,000 for second place, $10,000 of which she donated to Age UK. In April 2014 she won the main event of the European Poker Tour San Remo, earning €476,100 and becoming the only player to have won two EPT titles.[22] As of 2015 her total live tournament winnings exceed $2,400,000.

She has been a member of Team PokerStars Pro,[23] but in November 2014 she removed her endorsement of them a few hours after PokerStars had announced they were starting an online casino. She said she was uncomfortable about potential addiction by vulnerable people to a site where the odds are in favour of the operator, and did not want to be associated with such an operation.[24]

She has said that she regularly stays up until 6 am, "Smoking and drinking and gambling. But I like cooking and gardening too, which makes me sound like a very strange mix of an old lady and teenage boy." When asked about this she stated: "It is still true. I'll grow up one day, but not quite yet."[25]

Coren Mitchell was inducted into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame in 2016.[26]

Personal life

On 20 March 2012 she announced her engagement to actor and comedian David Mitchell.[27][28] According to Mitchell they first met at a film premiere in 2007, but only began dating three years later.[29] They married in November 2012,[29] and Coren Mitchell gave birth to the couple's daughter in May 2015.[30]

Television and radio credits

Show Role Year
Off the Page: Radio 4 presenter
Fourth Column: Radio 4 presenter
100% performer 1992[31]
The Pedants' Revolt guest 2004
I Love the 80s guest 2001
Double Entry judge 2003
Balderdash and Piffle presenter 2006–07
Only Connect host 2008–present
Heresy presenter 2008–present
You Have Been Watching guest 2009–10
The Wright Stuff guest panellist 2009–10
The Bubble guest panellist 2010
Question Time guest panellist 2010
Have I Got News for You guest panellist 2010–14
guest host 2014–17
My Teenage Diary: Radio 4 guest 2010
Frank Skinner's Opinionated guest 2011
Would I Lie to You? guest 2011
QI guest 2012–present
Room 101 guest 2013
8 Out of 10 Cats guest 2013
Goodbye Television Centre presenter 2013
The Secret Life of Mary Poppins: A Culture Show Special presenter 2013
The Unbelievable Truth guest 2014
How To Be Bohemian With Victoria Coren Mitchell (3 episodes): BBC Four presenter 2015
The Great Sport Relief Bake Off celebrity contestant 2016
Chain Reaction: Radio 4 interviewer/guest 2016
Women Talking About Cars: Radio 4[32] host 2016–present


  1. ^ a b Coren, Victoria (19 August 2002). "I made a porn film for my 30th". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 17 June 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Victoria Coren: Life as I know it". Daily Express. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Victoria Coren's new moniker unveiled". Evening Standard. 14 May 2013. Archived from the original on 19 June 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Giles Coren: I married my wife for Christmas". Archived from the original on 16 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "I seldom hear about her [Heather Mallick], but did when she wrote an obsessively fawning piece after the British author and journalist Alan Coren died. The reason was that the noted editor and TV personality was my cousin, and a dear man who helped me more than I can say and whom I miss very much." Opinion column by Michael Coren entitled "Canada: A rogue state?" Hardly Ottawa Sun 5 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Interview: Victoria Coren". The Jewish Chronicle. 17 September 2009. Archived from the original on 30 August 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Interview: Victoria Coren". The Cambridge Student. 13 November 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Coren, Victoria (19 March 2012). "Girls' mags are not sexy, but sweet". The Observer. Archived from the original on 4 February 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Coren, Victoria (1989). Love 16. Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0712-63012-2. 
  10. ^ Coren, Victoria; Skelton, Charlie (2010). Once More, with Feeling. Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-1841-15437-4. 
  11. ^ Victoria Cohen; Charlie Skelton. Once more, with feeling : how we tried to make the greatest porn film ever. ISBN 978-1841154374. 
  12. ^ Carpenter, Louise (10 August 2002). "Proud to be pornographers". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  13. ^ Sands, Sarah (25 August 2000). "You've got to laugh – haven't you?". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  14. ^ Coren, Alan; Coren, Giles; Coren, Victoria (2009). Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks. Canongate. ISBN 978-1847-67320-6. 
  15. ^ Coren, Victoria (2009). For Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair with Poker. Canongate. 
  16. ^ Coren, Victoria. "Twitter status, 31 January 2013". Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Times Review". The Times. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  18. ^ Edward Docx (27 September 2009). "For Richer, for Poorer by Victoria Coren". The Observer. Archived from the original on 4 February 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  19. ^ The Times, 14 August 2008.
  20. ^ Victoria Coren (12 December 2008). "Victoria Coren: My dad's memorial service was going so well. Then the ghouls turned up". The Observer. Archived from the original on 4 February 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  21. ^ "The European Poker Championships, Main Event – No Limit Hold'em: Hendon Mob Poker Database". Pokerdb.thehendonmob.com. 24 September 2006. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  22. ^ "EPT 10 Sanremo 2014 – Victoria Coren Mitchell makes History". PokerStars.com. Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Victoria Coren". Team PokerStars Pro. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  24. ^ Coren Mitchell, Victoria. "Goodbye Team Pro". Coren Mitchell's blog. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  25. ^ "Vicky Coren, the Royal wedding and cucumber sandwiches". PokerStarsBlog.com. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  26. ^ "Victoria Coren-Mitchell, Debbie Burkhead Earn 2016 Induction into Women in Poker Hall of Fame – Poker News Daily". 21 May 2016. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. 
  27. ^ "David Mitchell and Victoria Coren: Engagement Announcement". The Times. Retrieved 21 March 2012. [dead link]
  28. ^ "David Mitchell and Victoria Coren announce engagement". BBC News Online. 20 March 2012. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  29. ^ a b Freeman, Hadley (19 October 2012). "David Mitchell: goodbye lonely nerd". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  30. ^ Eames, Tom (22 May 2015). "David Mitchell and Victoria Coren have a baby girl: 'We're extremely happy and sleepy'". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  31. ^ The Video Shelf (2 August 2014). "A 19 year old Victoria Coren doing stand-up comedy". Archived from the original on 11 February 2017 – via YouTube. 
  32. ^ "Women Talking About Cars". BBC Radio 4. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016. 

External links