Sandi Toksvig

Infobox actor


name = Sandi Toksvig
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caption = Toksvig performing in 2008.
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location = Copenhagen, Denmark
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Sandi Toksvig (born 3 May 1958 in Copenhagen) is a Danish born but British naturalised comedian, author, radio and television presenter based in the United Kingdom.

Career

Toksvig began her comedy career at Cambridge University where she wrote and performed in the first all-woman show at the Cambridge Footlights. She was also there at the same time as some of the most famous members (Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson), and wrote some additional material for the Perrier award-winning Cambridge Footlights Revue. She was also a member of Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society while a student at Girton College, Cambridge, and moved via children's television onto the comedy circuit. She performed at the first night of The Comedy Store in London and was once part of The Comedy Store Players, an improvisational comedy team. [ [http://www.comedystoreplayers.com/history.html Comedy Store Players Official Site - History] -retrieved on 16 May 2008]

Her television career has included presenting the children's series "No. 73", "The Saturday Starship", "Motormouth" and "Gilbert's Fridge", and on factual programmes such as "Island Race" and "The Talking Show", produced by Open Media for Channel 4. She has appeared as a panellist in shows such as "Call My Bluff", "Whose Line Is It Anyway?", "Mock the Week" and "Have I Got News for You". She appeared in the very first episode of "Have I Got News For You" in 1990. [ [http://www.tv.com/have-i-got-news-for-you/show/2627/episode_listings.html?season=1&tag=nav_bar;1 Have I Got News For You episode guide] at TV.com - retrieved on 16 May 2008]

She is a familiar voice for BBC Radio 4 listeners, as the chair of "The News Quiz", having replaced Simon Hoggart in September 2006. She continues to be the main presenter of the BBC Radio 4 travel programme "Excess Baggage". She is also a frequent guest on shows such as "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue". For three years until December 2005 she presented a weekday lunchtime programme on London talk radio station LBC 97.3, featuring regular guests including Bonnie Langford, Alkarim Jivani and Annie Caulfield.

She is the current host of "What the Dickens", a Sky Arts quiz show.

She has written several fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults, starting in 1994 with "Tales from the Norse's Mouth", a fiction tale for children. In 1995, she sailed around the coast of Britain with John McCarthy. In 2003, she published her travel biography, "Gladys Reunited: A Personal American Journey", about her travels in the USA retracing her childhood. She writes regular columns for "Good Housekeeping" and the "Sunday Telegraph". In October 2008 she will publish 'Girls Are Best', a history book for girls.

In February 2006 she joked that, as a result of being Danish and having studied Muslim law, in the light of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, she had never been so sought-after.cite episode |title=Mock the Week|episodelink=Mock the Week|serieslink=Mock the Week|airdate=2006-02-10|seriesno=2|number=4]

She appears in "Doctor Who" audio drama "Red" by Big Finish Productions which was released in August 2006.

In December 2006, she hosted and sang at the London Gay Men's Chorus' sold out Christmas Show, "Make the Yuletide Gay" at the Barbican Centre in London.Fact|date=April 2008

In 2007 she was named Political Humourist of the Year at the Channel 4 Political Awards [ [http://admin.channel4.com/blogs/page/newsroom?entry=behind_the_scenes_at_the Channel 4 Newsroom Blog - Behnind the scenes at the Channel Four Political Awards] retrieved on 16 May 2008] and Radio Broadcaster of the Year by the Broadcasting Press Guild. [ [http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org/?page_id=101 2007 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards] - retrieved on 16 May 2008] Over Christmas and New Year 2007/8 she played the narrator in the pantomime "Cinderella" at the Old Vic Theatre.

Politics and activism

Sandi Toksvig has been a supporter of the Liberal Democrats.Fact|date=August 2008 In 2003 she stood as a candidate in the election for the Chancellor of the University of Oxford, supporting a campaign against student fees. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/2793657.stm Toksvig enters chancellor race] ] She was defeated in the first round of voting, achieved 1179 first-place votes out of about 8000 castcite web |url=http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/news/story/0,9830,915896,00.html?=rss |title=Patten wins Oxford prize: EducationGuardian.co.uk |author=Polly Curtis|authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2003-03-17 |format= |work= |publisher=The Guardian |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= |accessdate=2008-05-24] . The election was won by Chris Patten.

Personal life

Her father (Claus Toksvig) was a foreign correspondent for a Danish television channel (Danmarks Radio) and Sandi spent most of her youth abroad. She studied law and archaeology and anthropology at Girton College, Cambridge graduating with a first class degree and receiving two prizes for outstanding intellectual achievement (The Raemakers and the Theresa Montefiore Awards). Her brother, Nick Toksvig, attended Hull University and was a friend of journalist and Beirut hostage John McCarthy (with whom Sandi undertook a round Britain yachting adventure in 1995). Her sister Jenifer Toksvig is a musical playwright, who has adapted Sandi's young adult novel "Hitler's Canary".

She and her ex-partner Peta (Petaline Stewart) are mothers to three children, conceived through artificial insemination by donor Christopher Lloyd-Pack: two daughters (born 1988 and 1990) and a son (born 1994). In 1994 Save the Children dropped her services after she came out, although the charity later apologised. [cite journal
last =David
first =Smith
title =Comedian and actress Sandi Toksvig, a well-known face on the popular comedy improvisation TV show, "Whose Line is it Anyway", came out as a lesbian in the pages of the Sunday Times and Daily Mirror
journal =Gay Times
volume =
issue =194
publisher =Millivres
date =November 1994
id =ISSN 0950-6101
]

References in popular culture

In "Little Britain", starring Matt Lucas and David Walliams, the character Bernard Chumley lives in a building called Sandi Toksvig House. [Cite web | url =http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/l/littlebritain_1299003526.shtml | title = BBC comedy guide to Little Britain | accessdate = 2007-01-06] In "Bottom", Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson have used 'Sandi Toksvig' as a particularly heinous swear word (Toksvig having once described Bottom as looking like it had been "written on the back of a packet of fags").Fact|date=September 2008 In the TV Series "Shooting Stars" Bob and Vic would often mimic her walk. She has been referred to by Jan Ravens on "Dead Ringers" as "the original Hobbit".Fact|date=April 2008

Bibliography

Books for children

* "Hitlers Kanarie" Sandi Toksvig, Valerius uitgeverij, Vlaardingen, Holland, April 2006 ISBN 90-78250-02-X [Dutch translation]
* "Hitler's Canary", Sandi Toksvig, Doubleday, July 2005
* "The Troublesome Tooth Fairy", Sandi Toksvig, Transworld, November 2000, ISBN 0-552-54663-1
* "Super-Saver Mouse to the Rescue", Sandi Toksvig, Transworld, April 2000, ISBN 0-552-54541-4
* "Super-Saver Mouse", Sandi Toksvig, Transworld, September 1999, ISBN 0-552-54540-6
* "If I Didn't Have Elbows", Sandi Toksvig, Deagosti, April 1998, ISBN 1-84089-048-7
* "Unusual Day, Sandi Toksvig", Transworld/Corgi, April 1997, ISBN 0-552-54539-2
* "Tales from the Norse's Mouth", Sandi Toksvig, BBC Books, March 1994, ISBN 0-563-40358-6

Books for adults

* "Melted into Air", Sandi Toksvig, Little Brown, July 2006
* "Whistling for the Elephants", Sandi Toksvig, Little Brown, August 1999
* "Gladys Reunited: A Personal American Journey", Sandi Toksvig, Little Brown, 2003, ISBN 0-7515-3328-9
* "The Travels of Lady Bulldog Burton", Sandi Toksvig and Sandy Nightingale, Little Brown, September 2002
* "Flying Under Bridges", Sandi Toksvig, Little Brown, April 2001
* "Whistling for the Elephants", Sandi Toksvig, Transworld, August 1999, ISBN 0-593-04480-0
* "Great Journeys of the World", Sandi Toksvig et al, Penguin, 1997
* "Island Race: an improbable voyage round the coast of Britain", John McCarthy and Sandi Toksvig, BBC Books, 1995

References

ee also

* The News Quiz
* Just a Minute
* I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue
* Call My Bluff
* Tormead School

External links

* [http://www.musicaltalk.co.uk/episodes_0036.html MusicalTalk Podcast featuring interview with Sandi Toksvig and Bonnie Langford]
* [http://www.nyt.co.uk/sandi.toksvig.htm Profile] at the "Now You're Talking" speaker agency
* [http://sanditoksvig.blogspot.com LBC 97.3 radio show related blog] (no longer maintained)


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