Bernard Ponsonby
Castlemilk, Scotland [1]
Known forScotland Today, STV news, Various Political Debate Programmes

Bernard Ponsonby is a Scottish broadcast journalist for regional news and current affairs programming for STV. He joined the station in 1990 and was appointed political editor in 2000, following the retirement of longstanding political editor Fiona Ross. He is an avid walker and enjoys leisurely strolls in Chatelherault Country Park.

Political career

Ponsonby stood for the Liberal Democrats – then styled as the "Democrats" – in the 1988 Glasgow Govan by-election, losing his deposit[2][3] with a 4.1% share of the vote. He became the party's press officer following that.[2] Since the party had only recently formed after a merger between the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party, Ponsonby was the party's first ever candidate to stand in a parliamentary election.[citation needed]

For seven years, Ponsonby presented Scottish Television's political programme Platform. He currently reports and provides political commentary for all three editions of the station's flagship regional news programme, STV News at Six, in the North, East and West of Scotland. He has also contributed to the weekly political programme Politics Now,[4] for which he became presenter in January 2009, until the programme's end in 2011. He now commentates on the replacement programme Scotland Tonight.[5]

Ponsonby has presented all of STV's election, by-election and elections results programmes since 2010, and was the lead presenter in that station's coverage of the 1997 general election, the 1997 devolution referendum, the Scottish Parliamentary elections of 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011, and the British general elections of 2001 and 2010.[citation needed]

Ponsonby co-presented the political programme Scottish Questions (1992–93),[6] was the lead presenter on Scottish Voices (1994–95), co-presented Trial By Night (1993–96)[7] and more recently, Seven Days (2000–2001).[3]

Ponsonby has produced several documentary programmes in the Scottish Reporters series and produced two political documentaries (The Dewar Years and The Salmond Years)[8] on two of Scotland's most influential politicians of the postwar period.

In 2002, Ponsonby was arrested for drunk driving and convicted of being over three times the legal drink limit.[9]

In May 2009, Ponsonby became the first journalist in the UK to report the resignation of the speaker of the House of Commons and Glasgow North East MP, Michael Martin[10] – the first speaker to be forced from office since 1695.[11] Ponsonby is an avid film fan and frequents the Cineworld chain of cinemas in Parkhead Glasgow.

On 5 August 2014, Ponsonby moderated Salmond & Darling: The Debate, the first head-to-head televised debate between First Minister Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling ahead of the forthcoming Scottish independence referendum.[12]

The Prime Minister's office refused to allow Ponsonby to interview David Cameron on STV about the Scottish independence referendum, according to a report in The Scotsman.[13]


  1. ^ "Putting it to the television vote". The Herald. 7 May 2001. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b Clark, William (29 March 1989). "Church packed for MP's funeral". The Herald. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Inspirations". Sunday Herald. 2 January 2000. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  4. ^ MacMillan, Arthur (21 December 2003). "Scottish covets ITV network profile with Hain in charge". Sunday Herald. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Crow Lands Scottish Tories Post". All Media Scotland. 6 January 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Donald MacCormick". Sunday Herald. 14 July 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  7. ^ "A bit of foreboding as Dougie departs". Sunday Herald. 10 November 1994. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Connery and Ewing at loggerheads over SNP ex-leader's Kosovo speech". Sunday Herald. 22 February 2001. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  9. ^ "TV presenter given drink-driving ban". The Herald. 16 November 2002. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Michael Martin will stand down today..." STV. 19 May 2009. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Gordon Brown leaves Speaker Michael Martin's future in doubt". The Daily Telegraph. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  12. ^ "Scottish independence: Salmond and Darling clash in TV debate". BBC News. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  13. ^ "Scottish independence: Debt threat 'chilling' - PM". The Scotsman. 4 September 2014.