Sandi Toksvig Poster

Biography

Born 3 May 1958 in Copenhagen, Denmark as Sandra Birgitte Toksvig, she is a British-Danish actor, comedian, writer, producer, and activist. Her father, Claus Toksvig, was one of the most important figures in Danish broadcasting. Her mother, Julie Anne Toksvig (née Brett), was British. Her brother Nick is a bureau chief and senior news editor for Al Jazeera English and her sister Jenifer is an author, lyricist, and playwright. Because of her father's work as a foreign correspondent for the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, she grew up abroad, mostly in New York City. In 1969, at the age of 11, she was at Mission Control in Houston during the moon landing of the Apollo 11 mission, and she later recalled holding the hand of Neil Armstrong's secretary in order to calm her down. During her father's stay in London she attended Tormead School in Guildford, Surrey, England. She studied law, archaeology and anthropology at Girton College, Cambridge, where she also started her comedy career by participating in the first all-woman show of the Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club. She was also a member of the Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society. In 1979 she performed during the opening night of the Comedy Store in London. In the early 1980s she begun her television career by presenting children series such as No 73 (1982), The Saturday Starship (1984), Motormouth (1988), and Gilbert's Fridge (1988) as well as appearing on a number of factual shows. She went on to appear on a number of comedy shows, including Call My Bluff (1965), Whose Line Is It Anyway? (1988), Mock the Week (2005), Have I Got News for You (1990), and QI (2003). In 1993 she wrote a musical called "Big Night Out at the Little Sands Picture Palace", in which she co-starred with Anita Dobson and Una Stubbs. In the 1990s she voice acted on a number of interactive CDs and in 1994 she published her first book, "Tales from the Norse's Mouth". Throughout the 2000s she appeared on a number of radio panel shows, such as "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue", "The Unbelievable Truth", and "The News Quiz". In 2006 she appeared in the Big Finish audio drama "Red", which takes place in the Doctor Who (1963) universe and stars Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor. In 2007 she joined her partner Debbie, a psychotherapist, in a civil partnership. From 2008 to 2009 she hosted What the Dickens? (2008), a panel TV show about arts. May 2011 marked the premiere of Toksvig's play about post-traumatic stress among British servicemen, called "Bully Boy" and starring Anthony Andrews. From 2013 to 2014 she hosted the show 1001 Things You Should Know (2012). In 2013 she became a British citizen and in the 2014 New Year Honours she was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to broadcasting. In February 2017 another play by Toksvig, "Silver Lining" starring Rachel Davies, opened. Since 2014 she's been the host of Fifteen to One (1988), in 2016 she took over from Stephen Fry as the host of QI (2003) and in 2017 she and Noel Fielding were announced as the new presenters of The Great British Baking Show (2010). She writes regularly for "Good Housekeeping", "Sunday Telegraph", and "The Lady". She helps to raise money for the Women's Equality Party. She has two daughters and a son, who were carried by her then partner Peta Stewart and who were conceived through artificial insemination by donor Christopher Lloyd-Pack. She and Debbie live on houseboat in Wandsworth, England, UK.