Sandi Toksvig

Sandi Toksvig

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Birthday: May 03, 1958

Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark

A prolific presence in British television, publishing and politics, Sandra Toksvig was a wry and acerbic presence as host of such popular panel and competition series as "QI" (BBC One/Two/Four, 2003- ) and "The Great British Baking Show" (BBC One/Two/Channel 4, 2010-) while also penning numerous books for both children and adults and serving as co-founder of the Women's Equality Party in 2015. Born Sandra Birgitte Toksvig on May 3, 1958 in Copenhagen, Denmark, she was the daughter of Danish foreign correspondent Claus Toksvig and his British wife, Julie Anne Brett. Due to her father's job, Toksvig spent much of her childhood years in international locations, including the United States and Africa, before settling in London, England. There, she attended the Tormead School before studying law, archaeology and anthropology at Girton College, Cambridge. The college also became the launching point for her career in comedy, which began with writing and performing in the first all-women show by the famed Footlights theatrical club, which counted members of Monty Python, Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie among its past members. Upon graduating with a first-class degree, Toksvig performed in various improvisational comedy groups and in 1982, made her television acting and writing debut on the popular children's series "Number 73" (ITV, 1982-1988). More work in children's television led to appearances on variety and sketch comedies series, including the long-running "Whose Line is It Anyway?" (Channel 4, 1989-1991) and "Have I Got News For You" (BBC One/Two, 1990- ), and writing for the comedy series "The Big One" (Channel 4, 1992), among other series. In 1993, Toksvig wrote her first musical, "Big Night Out at the Little Sands Picture Palace," which was followed by her first novel for children, The Norse's Mouth (1994). That same year, she came out publicly as a lesbian, a decision that was met with an angry response from some viewers, and for a brief period, Toksvig and her then-partner, Peta Stewart, were forced to go into hiding. The furor eventually died out, and Toksvig returned to her career with remarkable intensity: she penned nineteen more books for young readers between 1997 and 2009, as well as nine books for adult readers, including Island Race: an Improbable Voyage Round the Coast of Britain with journalist John McCarthy in 1995. She was also a tireless television presenter and guest performer, most notably on the panel show "Call My Bluff" (BBC One/Two, 1965-2005), and began hosting BBC Radio 4's "The News Quiz" (1977- ) in 2006. In 2010, she created "Playhouse Live" (Sky Arts, 2010-2013), which showcased live dramas for television audiences, and returned to playwriting with 2011's Bully Boy, about post-traumatic stress among the British military. A longtime advocate for liberal politics and gender equality, Toksvig began to move into roles outside of the entertainment industry in 2012, when she assumed the position of Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth; she left her hosting duties on "The News Quiz" in 2015 to form a new political party, the Women's Equality Party. However, she remained a prolific presence on television, adding hosting duties on "1001 Things You Should Know" (Channel 4, 2012-2013) in 2012 and on the notoriously difficult "QI," for which she replaced her former Cambridge classmate, Stephen Fry in 2016, pausing briefly between these assignments to be named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2014. In 2017, she earned what was possibly her largest television audience to date by joining comic Noel Fielding to join the global hit "The Great British Baking Show" in its eighth season.

Filmography

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet QI Unknown (Guest Star),
Host
2016-2020 2011-2012 2009
90% 98% The Great British Baking Show Judge 2019
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Great British Baking Show Host 2017-2019
No Score Yet No Score Yet Fifteen to One Host 2019 2014-2017
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Graham Norton Show Unknown (Guest Star),
Guest
2016 2007-2008
No Score Yet 94% Kingdom Unknown (Guest Star) 2009
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mock the Week Unknown (Guest Star) 2009 2006
No Score Yet No Score Yet Whose Line Is It Anyway? Unknown (Character) 1989-1991

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