Martha Kearney is a British journalist and broadcaster. She was the main presenter of BBC Radio 4‘s lunchtime news programme The World at One for 11 years, and in April 2018 became a presenter of early morning Today programme. In 1998, Kearney became a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4‘s Woman’s Hour. In 2000 she became political editor of BBC Two‘s Newsnight programme. She presented Newsnight and its weekly consumer survey of entertainment and culture, Newsnight Review, with increasing frequency. She was a candidate to succeed Andrew Marr as the BBC‘s political editor in 2005, but lost out to Nick Robinson.
Kearney featured in a spoof segment of the BBC comedy series Time Trumpet, titled Honey, I Shrunk Martha Kearney, in which Jeremy Paxman, in a fantasy version of Newsnight, interviewed her a third of her normal size. She also featured later in the episode in a spoof report from Notting Hill. In 2006, she presented with her father a Radio 4 series on the history of universities in Britain, The Idea of a University. Kearney presented her final Woman’s Hour on 19 March 2007 and her final Newsnight on 23 March 2007. She became the main presenter of Radio 4‘s lunchtime news programme The World at One on 16 April 2007. She presented Newsnight Review which became The Review Show from 2006 until 2014.
Kearney was nominated for a BAFTA award for her coverage of the Northern Ireland Peace Process in 1998. She was, with Jenni Murray, 2004 TRIC radio presenter of the year, and won a Sony bronze award for a programme on child poverty. She was awarded Political Commentator of the Year by the House magazine in 2006. In 2014 The Voice of the Listener and Viewer awarded her Best individual contribution to Radio. In 2013, Kearney won her episode of the Great Comic Relief Bake Off competing against Claudia Winkleman, Ed Byrne and Helen Glover. Kearney joined Today on Radio 4 in April 2018 as a main presenter, swapping posts with Sarah Montague.
Other BBC work includes Who Killed The Honey Bee (2009) for BBC Four, The Wonder of Bees (2014) for BBC Four, a two part nature documentary Hive Alive (2014) alongside Chris Packham for BBC Two, The Secret World of Lewis Carroll (2015) for BBC Two, Being The Brontes (2016) for BBC Two, The Great Butterfly Adventure (2016) for BBC Four, The Books That Made Britain (2016) for BBC One, Great Irish Journeys (2017) for BBC Four, and MAKE! Craft Britain (2017) for BBC Four. She has also presented Talking Books for the BBC from Hay Festival interviewing Kazuo Ishiguro and Marlon James amongst others.
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