Martha Kearney is best known for her television and radio broadcasting work, having hosted several documentaries on history, literature, nature and art for the BBC.
She has also presented World at One for over a decade, and now presents BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Martha is now a popular booking for corporate events, available for hosting duties, moderation, award ceremony presentations, and after-dinner speaking.
Contact Great British Speakers today to book BBC broadcaster, host and speaker Martha Kearney for your next event.
Martha Kearney’s career started on radio as a lobby correspondent for LBC/IRN, before joining the political weekly review show A Week in Politics (1987-88) on Channel 4. By the end of the 1990s, she was one of the country’s most respected journalists, working with the BBC hosting Woman’s Hour before becoming the political editor for Newsnight – two jobs she held for well over a decade.
Throughout her news and political career, Martha has reported from the UK – including Holloway Prison – India, Pakistan, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan. She has interviewed every British Prime Minister since 1987, reported on US elections, interviewed parliamentary prisoners, and has covered the Northern Ireland Troubles. Her interviewees range from politicians including Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice and Bob Dole, singers Amy Winehouse and Courtney Love, authors Hilary Mantel and Arundhati Roy, actress Jane Fonda, and artists Tracey Emin, Cornelia Parker, Anthony Gormley, Peter Doig, and Ed Ruscha.
She has also presented on news shows such as Good Morning Britain (2017), Late Review (2006-14), Newsnight (2003-13), Daily Politics (2005-06), and Panorama (1992-93). She has also presented various documentaries and entertainment shows, including Books That Made Britain (2016), The Great Butterfly Adventure: Africa to Britain With the Painted Lady (2016), MAKE! Craft Britain (2016), Great Irish Journeys (2015), The Secret World of Lewis Carroll (2015), The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher (2013), Jane Austen: The Unseen Portrait (2011), and the BBC Proms in 2009.
Her ease on a television screen has seen her appear in several comedy sketches, including The Idea of a University, and Honey, I Shrunk Martha Kearney with TV presenter Jeremy Paxman, as well as reality shows such as Celebrity Antiques Road Trip (2015), The Great Comic Relief Bake Off (2013), The Weakest Link (2008), and University Challenge (2004).
She is also an award-winning writer and literary expert, having judged competitions including the 2004 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction, the 2012 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, and the 2013 Man Booker Prize.
In her career, Martha has won the Sony Radio Bronze Award, the 2004 TRIC Radio Presenter of the Year Award, the 2006 Political Commentator of the Year Award, the 2004 Voice of the Listener & Viewer Award, and has been nominated for a BAFTA for her coverage of the Northern Ireland Peace Process.
From entertainment to politics to breaking news and literature, Martha Kearney is a popular keynote speaker. Audiences come away from her events enlightened, informed, and entertained, enthused by her passion for whatever subject she has chosen.
In the corporate world, Martha is a confident conference facilitator, awards host and after-dinner speaker, engaging with her audience through debate and thought-provoking commentary.
Clients include the Army Families Federation, the British Chambers of Commerce, English Heritage, the Equality and Human Rights Commission Debate, and the Northern Way Annual Summit.
Feedback from attendees has indicated that they found this to be hugely enjoyable, helpful and mature debate: due in no small part to your excellent chairing.
Human Rights Debate
It was a fantastic evening. I can only admire how skilfully you managed the event, keeping the debate engaging and to time, not an easy task with a group of people with a lot to say!
Heritage: A Sense of Place
From everyone at NHS Providers, I wanted to say a big thank you to Martha for her excellent chairing and for playing a major role in ensuring we were able to put on such a high quality event. We’re delighted with the feedback we’ve had from those who attended and all the interest we had on twitter and other channels. It’s been very well received and that is in no small part down to Martha.
Martha was a great host and we have received some excellent feedback on how well the whole AGM went. We would certainly be more than happy to work with Martha again, she was extremely professional and also very friendly towards myself and my team.
NHS England AGM
Martha was excellent and the audience really enjoyed it.
BBC Countryfile Live