Patrick J Connolly
|Residence||Belsize Park, London|
|Education||St Joseph's Catholic School, Swindon|
|Occupation||Journalist, editor, broadcaster|
|Known for||Consultant Editor, Daily Mail (Dec. 2009 – )|
Fmr. Assistant Editor, The Daily Telegraph (Nov. 2006 – Dec. 2009)
Fmr. Assistant Editor, The Times
Fmr. Political Editor, The Times
journalist, features writer, author and broadcaster
Pierce was born in Bristol to a devout Roman Catholic Irishwoman and an unknown father. He spent the first two years of his life in Nazareth House, a Catholic orphanage in the spa town of Cheltenham, and was adopted by a family from Swindon and brought up on a council estate there. His adoptive father worked on the assembly line at British Leyland, a former state-owned car factory.
Career in journalismEdit
Pierce first became interested in politics as a first-time voter in 1979. He is a former Assistant Editor of both The Daily Telegraph and The Times newspapers, and an ex-Political Editor of the latter. He is a columnist and Consultant Editor for the Daily Mail, which he joined in 2009.
Pierce presented a Sunday morning political radio show on commercial radio station LBC 97.3 from 2008 until he left in 2012. That radio programme was in the latter years presented as a double-headed show with Kevin Maguire from the Daily Mirror. Pierce and Maguire continue their double act reviewing, previewing and dissecting the media and politics on the BBC, ITV and Sky News. He started presenting a Saturday Breakfast show on LBC Radio from 22 March 2014.
In 2014, the Daily Mail had to pay damages to Kirsten Farage after Pierce falsely claimed in a column that she had been a mistress of Nigel Farage, then the leader of UKIP, while he was still married to his first wife. In May 2018, the Daily Mail paid £11,000 towards the legal costs of the writer Kate Maltby after the publication of an article by Pierce about the claims of sexual harassment Maltby made against the politician Damian Green. The article was removed from the Mail's website without the publication having made an admission of fault.
His LBC show currently runs Friday evenings 6–10 pm.
Pierce was raised, and remains, a Roman Catholic. He is openly gay, strongly supports civil partnerships, and lives in a long-term civil partnership, legalised by the Labour Government's Civil Partnership Act 2004. He was, and remains, opposed to same-sex marriage, legalised by the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. He stated that his opposition to its introduction was the lack of public support for it, the creation of a possible schism between Church and State, and that there were no new rights accorded to it that did not already exist under Labour's 2004 civil partnership law. He also cited the views of several prominent gay people opposed to it, such as Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, and those unsure about it, such as historian David Starkey, and its absence from the election manifestos of the political parties that introduced it. He said it was therefore pointless to introduce it, and criticised Prime Minister David Cameron for treating it as a priority.
In a BBC documentary in 2018 about Greg Owen and the court case National AIDS Trust v NHS Service Commissioning Board, Pierce strongly criticised the idea of taxpayer-funded PrEP, a preventative medication to protect against contracting HIV: "That's what this is about: indulging gay men who don't want to use a condom. Well that's outrageous. Why should the taxpayer subsidise a reckless sex life of people in the gay community?"
The Iris Prize Festival is a five-day public event in Cardiff, Wales, which includes screenings of the 30 short films competing for the Iris Prize. The Iris Prize is supported by the Michael Bishop Foundation and is the world's largest LGBT short film prize giving the winning filmmaker £30,000 to make their next short film in the UK. Iris produced shorts include Burger (2013) directed by Magnus Mork List of films at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and Followers (2015) directed by Tim Marshall, both selected for the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Andrew Pierce became Patron of the Iris Prize in 2007, and in 2013 became its first Chair.
During his tenure as chair of the Iris Prize, Pierce has overseen a number of key developments in the festival. In 2014 at a launch reception Pierce announced a new strand at the Iris Prize Festival, Best British Short, and helped secure a sponsorship deal with Pinewood Studios Group totalling £14,000 in post-production sound for the winning filmmaker. In January 2015 it was also announced that the Iris Prize would be increasing from £25,000 to £30,000.
- Andrew Pierce (27 January 2007). "Speaking as an adopted gay Catholic . ." The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- Andrew Pierce (10 May 2013). "Embarrassing? Yes. Eye-watering? Definitely. ANDREW PIERCE was horrified to discover he had thinning hair but 55 excruciating injections (and wearing a hot water bottle) worked wonders". Daily Mail. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- Josh Pettitt (16 March 2013). "Cameron 'going out of his way to upset Tory supporters', says Daily Mail columnist Andrew Pierce". Ham & High News. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "The top 50 newsmakers of 2006 – 48. ANDREW PIERCE". The Independent newspaper. 18 December 2006. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "More about Andrew Pierce". LBC. Archived from the original on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- Andrew Pierce (3 February 2010). "Why I, as a gay man, agree with the Pope – Harriet Harman's equality mania only promotes intolerance". Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "Patrons – Andrew Pierce – Chair, Iris Prize". IrisPrize.org. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- Andrew Pierce (15 April 2008). "How Margaret Thatcher won me over". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- Compton Miller (27 June 2005). "Have you heard the latest? – The Times – Andrew Pierce". The Independent newspaper. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- Brook, Stephen (17 July 2006). "5pm: Andrew Pierce to join Daily Telegraph". The Observer.
- Plunkett, John (9 December 2009). "Andrew Pierce to join Daily Mail: Daily Telegraph columnist and assistant editor to leave after three years to take new wide-ranging role". The Observer.
- Lloyd, Peter (9 December 2009). "Openly-gay journalist Andrew Pierce to join Daily Mail". Pink Paper. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- "Gay journalist gets his own radio show". Pink News. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
- Dominic Ponsford (12 May 2014). "Daily Mail pays damages and legal costs to Farage wife after saying she was previously his 'mistress'". Press Gazette. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
- Elgot, Jessica (23 May 2018). "Daily Mail to pay Kate Maltby £11,000 costs over negative article". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
- Andrew Pierce (28 March 2014). "Why gay weddings do NOT advance the cause of equality". The Mail on Sunday.
- Andrew Pierce (12 June 2012). "I'm a gay man who opposes gay marriage. Does that make ME a bigot, Mr Cameron?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
- "The people who oppose the gay marriage law". BBC News Online. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- The People vs The NHS: Who Gets the Drugs?. BBC Two. 27 June 2018.
- "Iris Prize will celebrate 'Best of British'". pictureville.net. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "PINEWOOD STUDIOS REPRESENTED ON MAIN INTERNATIONAL JURY FOR IRIS PRIZE FESTIVAL 2014". pinewoodgroup.com. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "Iris Prize, the award for LGBTI short films, increased to £30,000". gaystarnews.com. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015.