Gyles Brandreth made his first national radio broadcast in 1969, giving a talk on
women’s rights for Woman’s Hour.
He hosted his first series for BBC Radio 4 in 1971, a panel game called A Rhyme in
Since then he has appeared on countless programmes for BBC Radios 1, 2, 3,
4 and 5 Live, including Today, Start the Week, Midweek, Loose Ends, Saturday
Live, Broadcasting House, You and Yours, The World at One, PM, Any Questions,
Broadcasting House, The Week in Westminster, The Westminster Hour, The Archive
Hour, The Brandreth Rules, Sound Advice, Great Lives, Pick of the Week, With Great
Pleasure - even The Week’s Good Cause. He was a guest on Desert Island Discs in
He has written and presented a wide range of radio documentaries on politics,
history, the arts and entertainment – and been nominated for Sony Awards for
some of them.
Since A Rhyme in Time, the panel games he has devised and chaired for BBC
Radio 4 include Funny Peculiar, Whispers and, most recently, Wordahollics.
He first appeared on Just A Minute in 1981.
He appeared on Britain’s first commercial speech radio station, LBC, on its
very first day: 8 October 1973. For five years, between 1997 and 2002, he
produced and hosted more than two hundred editions of LBC’s weekly arts and
entertainment review, Sunday with Gyles Brandreth.
LBC 1152 Sunday with Gyles Brandreth Live, every Sunday, from 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm on 1152 AM
Gyles’s guests included: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kenneth Branagh, James Fox, John
Sergeant, Hear’Say, Carol Vorderman, Felicity Kendal, Richard Dreyfuss, Ronnie Corbett,
Britt Ekland, David Suchet, Clare Francis, Sir John Mortimer, Dame Beryl Bainbridge, Joanna
Lumley, Henry Goodman, the children of Laurence Olivier, Enid Blyton and Eric Morecambe,
Paul Bailey, Josephine Cox, Anthony Gormley, Simon Jenkins, Humphrey Burton, Jeremy
Isaacs, Joss Ackland, Mark Rylance, the director of the National Portrait Gallery, the chief
executive of the British Library, Clive Francis, Lady Antonia Fraser, Lee Langley, Theo
Richmond, Harriet Walter, Deborah Bull, Katie Puckrik, Sheridan Morley, Eric Knowles,
Ken Livingstone, Jeffrey Archer, Richard Whiteley, The Earl of Bradford, Martin Jarvis, Fern
Britton, Susannah York, Anton Rogers, David Hemmings, Philip Schofield, Tim Pigott-Smith,
Anthony Holden, Joel Gray, David Croft, Jimmy Tarbuck, Angela Rippon, Auberon Waugh,
Lynda Bellingham, Jilly Cooper, Tom Conti, Su Pollard, Kriss Akabussi, Sebastian Coe,
David Troughton, Richard Dunwoody, Richard Briers, Roger McGough, Jenny Seagrove, Uri
Geller, Simon Callow, Geraldine McEwan, Prunella Scales, Patricia Hodge, Glenda Jackson,
Norman Lamont, Madhur Jaffrey, Barry Cryer, Christopher Lee, Margaret Cook, Michael
Aspel, Sir Tim Rice, Sian Phillips, Frederick Forsyth, Prue Leith, Ann Widdecombe, Quentin
Crisp, the Duke of Devonshire, Charlton Heston, Christine Hamilton, Kirsty Young, Melinda
Messenger, Paul Burrell, Barbara Dickson, Helen Shapiro, Ken Russell, Sir Harry Secombe,
Sir John Mills, Sir Patrick Moore, Matthew Kelly, Lorraine Kelly, Michael Brunson, Tony Benn,
Twiggy, Elaine Paige, Lord Snowdon, George Melly, Julie Felix, Cilla Black, Jane Asher,
Anthony Andrews, Dora Bryan, Roy Hudd, Sir Arthur C Clarke, Melvyn Bragg, Earl Spencer,
Lynn Redgrave, Dame Edna Everage, Michael Frayn, Mo Mowlam, Alan Tichmarsh, Patricia
Cornwell, the Duke of Edinburgh, Louis Theroux, Sir Ian McKellen, Steven Berkoff.
Regular features included: WORD OF MOUTH: The best - and worst - in arts and
entertainment: reviews, news, in-depth interviews, writers, critics, actors, directors, from
Oscar winners (eight in all) to Nobel laureates (only two actually). STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN:
The week’s star interview - from Joanna Lumley to the Duke of Devonshire. A celebrity goes
to heaven and reveals what they’ll miss on earth and who they hope to find in Heaven. THE
HAPPY HOUR: The Brandreth guide to how to find heaven on earth.
Gyles Brandreth first appeared on national television in 1968 when he was
interviewed for Panorama by Robin Day.
As a student at Oxford in the late 1960s he appeared in TV debates broadcast
from the Oxford Union and, for BBC2, took part in Kenneth Tynan’s One Pair of
Eyes (directed by Fred Burnley).
In 1969 he hosted his own programme, Child of the Sixties, for ITV (directed by
In 1970 he presented his first documentary for BBC2, A Day in the Life of a
Cathedral, and his first documentary for ITV, The Saint and the Cynic.
In the 1970s and 1980s he appeared in a wide variety of light entertainment
programmes and game shows, ranging from Opportunity Knocks! and Give Us A
Clue to Spellbound and Blankety-Blank.
A regular on All Star Secrets and Babble, he was the original host of Catchword,
and created the games for Ultra Quiz with David Frost and Vintage Quiz with
Derek Nimmo and Patrick McNee.
The host of ITV’s Star Quality, the host of Memories (where Diana Dors was
his first guest), he was the presenter of the ITV children’s series Puzzle Party
(produced by Anne Wood) and his own favourite game show for BBC1, The
Railway Carriage Game (produced by Peter Ridsdale Scott).
His favourite TV documentary series from the 1980s was Discovering Gardens,
(produced by Peter Watson-Wood), which he co-presented with his wife, Michele
For BBC2 in the 1980s he also scripted two series of the situation comedy, Dear
Ladies, and two ‘specials’ with Dr Evadne Hinge and Dame Hilda Bracket.
From 1983 to 1990 he was a regular presenter at TV-am, the UK’s first
commercial breakfast television station.
He recorded his first appearance in Dictionary Corner on Countdown for Channel
4 in December 1982. Over more than thirty years he has been Dictionary
Corner’s most frequent guest, making several hundred appearances, and hosted
a special programme to mark Carol Vorderman’s departure from the show in
In 1990 Gyles Brandreth gave up his colourful jumpers and took a break from
television to go into politics.
When he lost his seat in 1997, he returned to TV, making a series of
documentaries about politics and public life for ITN Factual. He presented the
documentary series Philip & Elizabeth for Channel 5 and hosted Public Opinion
For ten years he presented Letter from London for Up to the Minute on CBS
He has been a frequent guest on Have I Got News For You (and a guest host on the
programme) and has appeared on QI, Room 101, The Matt Lucas Awards Show,
Celebrity Mastermind, Pointless, The Chase, This Morning, Loose Women, among
other programmes. In 2009 he hosted the BBC2 series, Knowitalls.
In 2003 he was the subject of This Is Your Life.
Since 2007 he has been one of the family of reporters on BBC1’s The One Show
and has presented several hundred reports for the programme from throughout
the British Isles.
Gyles on The One Show, 2016
Gyles with Russell Brand, Alex Jones, Chris Evans and Angela Rippon on The One Show, April 2011
Barney Coleham, David Frost, Gyles Brandreth, Ultra Quiz, 1984
Gyles in Norton Disney for The One Show
Gyles on The One Show, 2016
The Railway Carriage Game, BBC1, 1984-85
The Countdown Final, Channel 4, 1986
The Saint and the Cynic, ITV, 1970
Countdown, Channel 4, 1985
Catchwood, BBC1, 1986
Give us a clue, ITV, 1988
Gyles Brandreth as Rhett Butler, TV-am, 1987
Gyles and The One Show Team at Buckingham Palace with Gary Barlow
Gyles and The Voyage of Donald Crowhurst on The One Show, 2016
The TV-am team celebrates its second birthday, 1985
With Henry 'The Fonz' Winkler on The One Show
Gyles on The One Show
Gyles and Hampstead Heath Ski Club on The One Show, 2016
Gyles Brandreth and Michele Brown, Discovering Gardens, ITV, 1988-89
David Walliams & Friends
Dear Ladies, Dame Hilda Bracket and Dt Evadne Hinge, 1983-85
Kenneth More, Lisa Goddard, Cyril Fletcher, Kenneth Williams, Liz Gebhardt, Gyles Brandreth and Nicholas Parsons launching BBC Radio 4's summer season in 1971