The Radio Times 30 most powerful women on TV and radio

From Olivia Colman and Miranda Hart to Sue Vertue and Sally Wainwright, here are the biggest names both on and off screen



Olivia Colman

Age: 40. Award-winning star of Twenty Twelve and Broadchurch. Equally adept in comedy or drama.

Mary Berry

Age: 79. The Great British Bake Off turned this septuagenarian into television royalty.

Clare Balding

Age: 43. Intitially a face of horse racing, she’s now a versatile presenter on both TV and radio.

Julie Walters

Age: 64. From Acorn Antiques to Mo, she’s stuck with TV alongside film success. Now a BAFTA fellow; currently filming c4’s Indian Summers.

Victoria Wood

Age: 61. From As Seen on TV to Housewife, 49, the multi-talented actress/writer/director returns soon with musical drama Tubby and Enid.

Dawn French

Age: 56. French and Saunders, The Vicar of Dibley, The Wrong Mans…constantly working, constantly popular.

Sheridan Smith

Age: 33. The current go-to girl, picking up awards on stage and screen. And busy: The 7.39, The Widower and the forthcoming Cilla have all been on TV this year.

Mary Beard

Age: 59. Cambridge classics professor who came to wider attention after presenting Pompeii and Meet the Romans and dealing creatively with internet trolls.

Sarah Lancashire

Age: 49. She’ll always be grateful for the start on Coronation Street, but is now impressing audiences in Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax.

Joanna Lumley

Age: 68. In The New Avengers, Absolutely Fabulous and Sensitive Skin this actress and campaigner has always been  a scene stealer.

Claudia Winkleman 

Age: 42. Film 2014, The Great British Sewing Bee and Strictly Come Dancing have made her a household name.

Sarah Millican

Age: 39. Stand-up whose DVD has the highest sales for a female comedian – and Radio Times columnist!

Kirstie Allsopp

Age: 42. With Location, Location, Location she found homes for people. Now queen of craft.

Miranda Hart

Age: 41. The lead in her own eponymous comedy show and cherished in Call the Midwife.

Anne Reid

Age: 79. A star whose appeal has spanned 50 years.

Kirsty Wark

Age: 59. Journalist best known for fronting Newsnight and its sister programme The Review Show.


Heidi Thomas

Age: 52. Award-winning writer breathing new life into old stories. Currently heading to Broadway with a new version of Gigi.

Abi Morgan

Age: 45. Bafta and Emmy-winning writer of Sex Traffic and political thriller The Hour.

Beryl Vertue

Prolific TV producer, from Steptoe and Son to Men Behaving Badly. Chairman of Hartswood films.

Sue Vertue

Age: 53. Producer, formerly at Tiger Aspect (Mr Bean, The Vicar of Dibley), now working with her mum Beryl at Hartswood Films.

Jay Hunt

Age: 47. Chief creative officer at Channel 4, commissioning everything from Educating Yorkshire to Gogglebox.

Sally Wainwright

Age: 50. Writer with the golden touch, from At Home with the Braithwaites to Happy Valley.

Nicola Shindler

Age: 45. Founder of Manchester-based award-winning Red Production Company.

Elisabeth Murdoch

Age: 46. Founder and chairwoman of Shine, purveyors of popular factual shows, including tasty hits like Masterchef.

Pippa Harris

Age: 46. Co-founder of Neal Street Productions, working across film, theatre and TV.

Charlotte Moore

Age: 46. Controller of BBC1. Former commissioning editor of documentaries at the BBC.

Helen Boaden

Age: 58. The former controller of Radio 4 was until recently the BBC’s director of news. Now director of BBC Radio.

Anne Mensah

Age: 42. Sky’s head of drama has the biggest budget in TV, and access to some of the biggest stars and writers.

Hilary Bevan Jones

Age: 61. Producer with a strong track record. Up next: Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, with Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman.

Kim Shillinglaw

Age: 45. The recently appointed controller of BBC2 has already made it plain she wants to see more women on screen.


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