Read Victoria Derbyshire’s Radio Times interview in full as she apologises for rule of six comment

The BAFTA winner also talks about her favourite recent dramas and how she switches off.

Victoria Derbyshire

Victoria Derbyshire has apologised and retracted her statement saying that she would break the rule of six on Christmas Day. She made the comment in this week’s Radio Times magazine.

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The journalist posted to Twitter earlier today: “I talked about my mum, her partner & my dad-in-law spending it with us – making seven in our home in a Tier One area (medium). It was hypothetical – however I was totally wrong to say it & I’m sorry. We’ll of course continue to follow whatever rules are in place on Dec 25th.”

Read the full interview with Victoria Derbyshire as it appears in this week’s Radio Times magazine, on sale now.

Interview by David Brown

Where do you watch TV, Victoria?
In the front room. But the TV isn’t very big – it’s only 32 inches and sits in the corner. We have a lot of screens in the house – phones, PS4s and the rest of it. But my boys [Oliver, 16, and Joe, 13] and my husband Mark often say, “Can we not get a bigger TV so we can have friends round to watch it?” I don’t want the TV to dominate the room, so I always say no. I do now have to bring my chair closer to the screen to see it. But that’s because I’m 52.

Do you watch as a family?
Hardly ever. We’ll watch live football, particularly if it’s England. And we did watch Stranger Things together during lockdown, but the boys are mostly watching other kids on YouTube playing Fifa, which I refuse to get involved with.

So, what have you and your husband been gripped by?
We found Life very moving and sad, though there were uplifting moments. We had a debate about Us – I thought they should have stayed together; Mark said it was more realistic for them to split up. And Des was brilliantly acted – a BAFTA-winning performance from David Tennant, without a doubt.

Your show Victoria Derbyshire was sadly axed earlier this year – but is there still room on the BBC for the public-interest stories you used to cover?
During lockdown I felt there was no particular place where domestic abuse could be discussed in depth. Which was why I went to the Panorama editor to ask if I could cover it for them. And she said yes. [Derbyshire’s Panorama special is still available on iPlayer.] So, I was gratified that the BBC still has a programme like Panorama to cover stuff of such importance.

With a rapidly changing news agenda, is it difficult to find time to provide that context?
We have to work really hard at that because, yes, the news is relentless. It’s good for a journalist to pause, take a breath and provide an overview, whether that’s with a guest or a correspondent. We have to acknowledge the scale of what we’re living through right now. It’s tricky to do – there’s so much news.

How do you switch off?
I like walking on the beaches of Northumberland. And I also love mooching around antiques fairs and markets, but there hasn’t been much of that in the last couple of months.

Are antiques fairs what you’ve been missing the most?
No, what I’ve missed most is having loads of people round my house and seeing family. My mum lives in Bolton, I live in London, so I’ve not been able to see her much. We do Zoom calls every Saturday, but that’s it. It’s mad.

What will you do if things haven’t changed by Christmas?
If the rule of six is still in place at Christmas, we’re breaking it to have the rule of seven. We just are. Joining me, my husband and our two boys will be my mum, her partner and my husband’s dad. It’s fine. We’ll do it knowing what the risks are. We’re not stupid. We’re going to be sensible and buy a thermometer gun. But we have to be together at Christmas. It feels almost irresponsible saying that, but I don’t think we’re alone in feeling that way. We need to see my elderly mum and my husband’s elderly dad. We just do.

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This interview originally appeared in the Radio Times magazine. For the biggest interviews and the best TV listings subscribe to Radio Times now and never miss a copy. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.