Natalie Wheen

Natalie Wheen (born 1947) is an English writer and radio presenter, having broadcast on the BBC and on Classic FM.[1]

Wheen, born in Shanghai, was a presenter of BBC Radio 4's arts programme Kaleidoscope[2][3] and Radio 3's evening sequence Mainly for Pleasure (subsequently In Tune). Quentin Letts described her as "the combative Natalie Wheen, one of the BBC's best-known (and deeper) voices."[4] She broadcast on Classic FM[3][5] between 1999 and 2012. On her debut there, The Guardian described her as "someone with a compendious knowledge of classical music, allied to a camp irreverence. ... Wheen's tongue is famously withering ... With her rattling pace and deep, warm voice, this is a clever appointment."[5] One Sunday Times journalist described her as "breathy and bubbly";[6] another described her as "posher than a dowager duchess",[7] and considered her axing "inexplicable".[8]

In 1994, Wheen was one of thirty-five members of the UK arts scene who signed a letter calling for the resignation of art critic Brian Sewell.[6] Sewell responded by placing on the cover of his book The Reviews That Caused The Rumpus: And Other Pieces a version of the painting The Nightmare, in which he himself was shown sitting naked on a sleeping woman.[9] He stated that he hoped "everyone will interpret the woman who has fainted clean away as Natalie Wheen."[9]

Wheen was nominated for a Sony Award in 2000[10] and 2004.[11] She was placed third in a poll of "most attractive radio voices" by readers of the Radio Times magazine in 2002.[12][7]

Wheen now co-owns an olive oil business along with artist Deborah MacMillan, widow of choreographer Kenneth MacMillan.[13]


  1. ^ Classic FM profile
  2. ^ Review of Family Voices, 1981
  3. ^ a b Elmes, Simon (2013). Hello Again...: Nine Decades of Radio Voices. Random House. p. 341. ISBN 9780099559788.
  4. ^ Letts, Quentin (4 August 1995). "And on Kaleidoscope tonight: The axeman". The Daily Telegraph. London. p. 17. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b Karpf, Anne (15 May 1999). "Attitude Adjusters". The Guardian. London. p. 5. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b Dugdale, John (28 August 1994). "Brian Sewell vs Natalie Wheen". The Sunday Times. London. p. 21 [S7]. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  7. ^ a b Donovan, Paul (14 June 2015). "Voices of the people". The Sunday Times. London. p. 69. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  8. ^ Donovan, Paul (4 July 2010). "Pick of the day". The Sunday Times. London. p. 55. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  9. ^ a b Simple, Peter (22 May 1994). "Devil bares all in art world rumpus". The Sunday Telegraph (The Telegraph Historical Archive). No. 1720. London. p. 30. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Ross in line for radio award". BBC News. 2 May 2000. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  11. ^ "The Music Broadcaster Of The Year". Sony Radio Academy Awards. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  12. ^ "Radio Times favourite voices" (Press release). BBC. 22 January 2002.
  13. ^ "Our Story". Avlaki. Retrieved 2 April 2019.