We are delighted to welcome Katie Derham as a Patron of BFC. She is one of the best-known presenters on Radio 3 and, since 2010 has been the face of the BBC Proms.
Growing up in Cheshire, Katie read Economics at Magdalene College, Cambridge joining the BBC as a researcher on Radio 4’s Money Box. In 1995 she won the Bradford & Bingley “Best Personal Finance Broadcaster Award” for her work as a presenter on Radio 5 Live’s Moneycheck. And, after stints on other business programmes like Business Breakfast and Working Lunch, she became a reporter on Barry Norman’s Film 96 and 97.
Her broadcasting career continued to be spent in news and current affairs, first at the BBC, and then as ITV’s youngest ever newsreader, where her role as anchor meant she covered everything from elections to royal weddings and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In 2010 Katie returned to the BBC with an arts brief. As well as being closely associated with the Proms, in 2017 she joined the team of Radio 3’s drivetime programme, In Tune, fronting the show on rotation with Sean Rafferty. Other Radio 3 credits include Sound of Dance, where she explores the relationship between music and dance in varying genres, and Afternoon Concert.
On several occasions Katie has become a participant in television arts programmes. She took up the baton as a conductor in the BBC 2 programme Maestro where she leant to conduct orchestral, choral and operatic music. The factual entertainment programme First Love gave her the chance to return to the violin playing of her youth which she clearly relished. Reflecting on the experience, Katie said, “I feel I’ve got an important bit of myself back – the musical camaraderie of playing in orchestras”. And possibly most famously, Katie’s career took a decidedly glittery turn when she was partnered by Anton du Beke in the thirteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing where they danced their way to the final.
The 2020 Last Night of the Proms was never going to be as earth-shaking and joyous as usual, but Katie’s presentation of the eight weeks of musical glories which were able to be broadcast was as triumphant it should be in a year when there was precious little to celebrate.
We all look forward to the months to come and to welcoming Katie to a BFC performance – with an audience!