Sally Anne Magnusson
1955 (age 66–67)
|Education||Laurel Bank School for Girls|
University of Edinburgh
|Children||5, including Jamie Magnus Stone|
|Relatives||Jon Magnusson (brother)|
Archie Baird (uncle)
Sally Magnusson is a Scottish broadcaster and writer. She is the presenter of Reporting Scotland for BBC Scotland as well as Tracing Your Roots on BBC Radio 4 and was one of the main presenters of the long-running religious television programme Songs of Praise.
Sally Magnusson was born in 1955 and is the daughter of the Icelandic-born broadcaster and writer Magnus Magnusson. Her mother, Mamie Baird, also worked as a journalist. Footballer Archie Baird was her maternal uncle.
Magnusson was educated at Laurel Bank School for Girls, a former independent school (which later merged with another independent school, The Park School, to form Laurel Park School, itself to merge in 2001 into Hutchesons' Grammar School) in the city of Glasgow, followed by the University of Edinburgh, where she studied English Language and Literature.
Magnusson started her career in journalism at The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh and then the Sunday Standard in Glasgow. She is often seen on BBC television, most notably as a long-serving presenter of BBC Scotland's Reporting Scotland news programme, a role she shared with Jackie Bird and now Laura Millar.
In the 1980s, Magnusson was a presenter on the BBC's Breakfast Time. In 1987 she was part of the Breakfast Time team, including Frank Bough, Jeremy Paxman and Peter Snow, which covered the results of the general election. From 1989 onwards, she co-presented the programme's replacement, Breakfast News, initially with Laurie Mayer, and in later years, with Justin Webb.
In 1999, Magnusson narrated the Q.E.D. documentary Saving Trudy.
Magnusson has presented many television programmes, ranging from Reporting Scotland to Panorama to Songs of Praise. In 2005 she joined BBC Two's The Daily Politics as its Friday presenter. In 2005 she presented the BBC's Scottish Election Night coverage.
Magnusson is the author of Life of Pee: The Story of How Urine Got Everywhere. She has also written books about the Scottish runner Eric Liddell, who refused to run on the Sabbath day due to his Christian beliefs, and about the Cornish Christian poet Jack Clemo and his marriage to Ruth Peaty.
Magnusson wrote the children's book Horace and the Haggis Hunter, which was illustrated by her husband, Norman Stone.
The Seal Woman's Gift, Magnusson's first novel for adults, was published in February 2018.
The Ninth Child, her second novel, published in 2020, is set in 19th-century Scotland, weaving folklore and Victorian social history.
Magnusson is married to Norman Stone, a TV director, she is the mother of the Scottish film director Jamie Magnus Stone, and has four other children. She lives in the village of Torrance, East Dunbartonshire.
She has received Honorary degrees from several institutions: in 2009 a Doctorate of Letters from Glasgow Caledonian University, in 2015 an honorary degree from the University of Stirling and from the Open University on 29 October 2016.
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