Victoria Elizabeth Coren Mitchell (born Victoria Elizabeth Coren; 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.
Victoria Elizabeth Coren was born in Hammersmith, west London, and grew up in Cricklewood, north London, the only daughter of the humourist and journalist Alan Coren and his wife Anne Kasriel. Her brother is the journalist Giles Coren. She is related to the Canadian journalist Michael Coren.
When aged 14 she had a short story published under a pseudonym in Just Seventeen magazine 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 and Once More, with Feeling, about her attempt (with co-author Charlie Skelton) to make "the greatest porn film ever". 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.
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, 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, 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 (the subtitle changed to Confessions of a Player when released in paperback in 2011) was published in September 2009, and was well reviewed in The Times and The Observer.
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". She reported that the group duly applied for tickets claiming to have known Ormerod.
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. 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. As of 2015 her total live tournament winnings exceed $2,400,000.
She has been a member of Team PokerStars Pro, 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.
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."
Coren Mitchell was inducted into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame in 2016.
On 20 March 2012 she announced her engagement to actor and comedian David Mitchell. According to Mitchell they first met at a film premiere in 2007, but only began dating three years later. They married in November 2012, and Coren Mitchell gave birth to the couple's daughter in May 2015.
|Off the Page: Radio 4||presenter|
|Fourth Column: Radio 4||presenter|
|The Pedants' Revolt||guest||2004|
|I Love the 80s||guest||2001|
|Balderdash and Piffle||presenter||2006–07|
|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|
|My Teenage Diary: Radio 4||guest||2010|
|Frank Skinner's Opinionated||guest||2011|
|Would I Lie to You?||guest||2011|
|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||host||2016–present|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Victoria Coren|