BBC’s first female TV newsreader Nan Winton dies aged 93

Nan Winton, the first female newsreader on BBC television, has been hailed as a “trailblazer” for women in the media after her death at the age of 93.

Born Nancy Wigginton but known by her professional name, she was an experienced journalist who worked on shows such as Panorama and was also a continuity announcer.

She broke new ground for the BBC as its first female newsreader in 1960 as part of an experiment, following the decision by rival ITN to give Barbara Mandell the same on-air responsibilities in 1955.

Nan Winton worked on shows such a Panorama before making the move to newsreading (BBC/PA)
Nan Winton worked on shows such a Panorama before making the move to newsreading (BBC/PA)

However, she was removed from BBC TV a short while later due to audience research concluding that it was “not acceptable” for a woman to read the late news.

Winton was the only woman to have read the national news on BBC TV until Angela Rippon in 1975.

Following her BBC career, Winton went on to work for ITV as a TV and radio news broadcaster.

Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s director of news and current affairs, said in a statement: “We send our condolences to Nan’s family and friends.

“At a time when we have a host of brilliant women who present, edit, film and report the BBC news, we should look back and pay tribute to trailblazers such as Nan, the first female newsreader on the BBC.”

Bridport resident Winton was admitted to Dorset County Hospital following a fall at her home on May 8, and she died in hospital on May 11.

An inquest into her death was opened on May 16 and adjourned.

Coroner’s officer Ken McEwan said the former broadcaster had become frail and suffered frequent falls.

Winton died following surgery for a fractured femur.

- Press Association

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