Helen Boaden

Helen Boaden

Helen Boaden (born 1 March 1956) is the director of BBC News, the world’s biggest broadcast news operation. Boaden controls all BBC news along with current affairs documentaries, including programmes such as "Newsnight" and "Panorama".


Boaden attended Colchester County High School for Girls, before gaining a BA Hons in English Literature at the University of Sussex. In 1999, she gained an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Boaden started as a journalist with the New York radio station WBAI in 1979. On return to the UK, she took a course in Radio Journalism at the London College of Printing (now the London College of Communication). After Radio Tees and Radio Aire, she joined the BBC in 1983 as a news producer with Radio Leeds. From there, she joined BBC Radio 4 as a reporter, then editor (in 1991), of File on 4. Boaden worked from the BBC in Manchester as a presenter for Woman's Hour and later presented other documentaries for Radio 4, and also for the Brass Tacks political programme on BBC Two.

In 1997, she became the BBC's head of business programmes, then in 1998 head of current affairs - the first womanto hold this position. She was controller of Radio 4 from March 2000 until September 20, 2004, superseded by Mark Damazer. She became controller of BBC7 in 2002, when the station started. She superseded Richard Sambrook as director of BBC News in 2004. [. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/3917563.stm Boaden takes news hot seat] BBC News Online; 22 July 2004. ]

She appeared on the 35th anniversary edition of Just A Minute in 2003. The subject she set was "Why has "Just a Minute" lasted so long?"

Boaden sacked Moira Stewart from BBC News in 2007 for being "too old" (she was 57) to public outcry. Fact|date=August 2008

Awards and honours

Boaden has won Sony Awards for a programme on AIDS in Africa, and bullying in Feltham Young Offenders Institution when at File on 4. Radio 4 won the Gold Award for Station of the Year in 2003 and 2004. In 1990, Boaden won awards from the Industrial Society for her work on safety standards in the oil industry. She has honorary degrees from Suffolk College, the University of Sussex, and the University of York. She is on the committee of the Sony Radio Academy.


Boaden is married to Stephen Burley, who works for the London Evening Standard.


External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/biographies/biogs/news/helenboaden.shtml BBC Press Office biography]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/helen_boaden BBC News blog]
* [http://www.suffolk.ac.uk/about/hon_grads/2002.htm Honorary degree from Suffolk College in 2002]
* [http://www.sussex.ac.uk/press_office/media/media325.shtml Receiving Doctor of Letters from University of Sussex on July 18th 2003]
* [http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/presspr/pressreleases/hongradsdec04.htm Receiving an honorary degree from Greg Dyke, Chancellor of the University of York on December 3rd 2004]

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