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.
“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
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
Assistant's name: Laura McNeill
Telephone number: 020 7344 1033
Saturday 24th September 2016
Wigtown Book Festival, Scotland, 1:30pm
Venue: Festival Marquee. More info: www.wigtownbookfestival.com
Saturday 1st October 2016
Ilkley Literature Festival, Yorkshire, 2pm
Friday 7th October 2016
The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, In conversation with Libby Purves, 11am.
More info: www.cheltenhamfestivals.com
Friday 14th October 2016
Guildford Book Festival, Surrey, 11am
Venue: St Mary’s Church. More info: www.guildfordbookfestival.co.uk
Saturday 12th November 2016
Mumsnet BlogFest, time TBC
More info: www.mumsnet.com/events/blogfest/2016
RISE – Buy it here
Renowned as a highly-respected journalist and broadcaster with thirty years’ experience, Sian Williams is also a trained trauma assessor, and spent two years investigating psychological stress as part of a Master’s thesis. In RISE, Sian explores the science of resilience and growth after trauma, hears tips from the experts and learns from those who have emerged from horrific experiences, feeling changed yet stronger, with a new perspective on their life, their relationships and their work. She also documents her own path through a recent and sudden life-changing event, with candid and refreshing honesty. Her own story provides a narrative thread through a book designed to help others navigate through tough times.
Sian Williams speaks to others about how they rebuilt their shattered worlds after very different personal traumas, emerging stronger than before. Their experiences, together with the latest science on resilience, should help guide all those going through tough times. This book indicates that it is possible not just to survive them, but to thrive. To rise.
PUBLICATION DATE: 2nd June 2016