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Sarah Anne Louise Montague, Lady Brooke (born 8 February 1966),[1] is a British journalist, best known as one of the regular presenters of the BBC Radio 4 early morning current affairs programme, Today. After 18 years, she left the programme in April 2018 to take over the lead on the station's lunchtime news broadcast, The World at One.[2]

Sarah Montague
Sarah Montague -NHS Confederation annual conference, Manchester-11July2011.jpg
As conference chair at the NHS Confederation annual conference (2011)
Born (1966-02-08) 8 February 1966 (age 53)
Alma materUniversity of Bristol
  • Stockbroker (former)
  • Journalist
  • Radio & television presenter
AgentNoel Gay
Known for
Spouse(s)Sir Christopher Brooke
WebsiteBBC webpage

Early lifeEdit

Montague was born to John Montague, a Colonel in the British Army, and Mary (née O'Malley) on Guernsey, a British Crown Dependency and one of the Channel Islands. After attending Blanchelande College, a local independent school for girls, she read biology at the University of Bristol, gaining a BSc.[3]


Montague's first occupation was as a stockbroker for County NatWest and then a Eurobond dealer with NatWest Capital Markets in London.[4] She then went into business in London with the owner of Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts.[5]

Montague began her journalistic career with Channel Television in 1991. She joined Reuters in January 1995 and then became business correspondent for Sky News in January 1996.[4]

She joined the BBC during October 1997, and presented Newsnight and BBC News, before joining the Today news programme on BBC Radio 4 in 2002.[1][6] She presented the very first programme on BBC News 24 with Gavin Esler on 9 November 1997. She has also presented HARDtalk on BBC News.[7] In December 2008, she hosted BBC World's Nobel Minds in the library of the Royal Palace, Stockholm. The 2008 Nobel Prize winners in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Economics, and Literature had a round-table discussion on issues of global concern and their own contributions to the world of knowledge.

On 6 November 2010, Montague broke a strike at the BBC called by the National Union of Journalists. She arrived to present the Today programme at 3:30 am, along with fellow presenter Evan Davis, thereby not technically crossing the picket line.[8] On 15 July 2011, she again broke an NUJ strike by presenting Today with Justin Webb, again by arriving early.[9]

In 2013, she was awarded an honorary degree Doctor of Letters by the University of Sussex. On 10 February 2015, she was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa from the University of Bristol.[10]

After 18 years, she left Radio 4’s flagship current affairs programme in April 2018 to take over the lead on the lunchtime news broadcast The World at One from Martha Kearney.[11] She was earning much less than her male colleagues, with John Humphrys earning more than four times her salary.[12] She described herself as "incandescent with rage" when she found out she was earning less than other presenters.[13][14][15]

In 2018, she was criticised for attempting to sanitise the Electoral Commission's findings that the Vote Leave campaign broke the law in the 2016 referendum, thereby protecting several government ministers from pressure to resign. She repeatedly referred to “these allegations”, when they were, in fact, the findings – the verdict – of the statutory body charged with protecting the 2016 referendum and the integrity of UK elections.[16]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2002, Montague married businessman Richard Christopher Brooke.[4] They are friends of former Prime Minister David Cameron, with whom Brooke went to Eton College.[17] Montague is the mother of three daughters and also has a stepdaughter. In 2012, Mrs. Brooke became Lady Brooke, when her husband inherited the family baronetcy, to become Sir Christopher Brooke, Bt.[18]


  1. ^ a b Who's who
  2. ^ "Sarah Montague leaves BBC Radio 4's Today programme after 18 years". Radio Times.
  3. ^ Debrett's People of Today 2005 (18th ed.). Debrett's. p. 1155. ISBN 1-870520-10-6.
  4. ^ a b c Leonard, Tom (21 June 2002). "'I'm all mouth - I like feisty discussions'". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Sarah Montague". Chartwell Speakers. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  6. ^ Wells, Matt (29 November 2001). "Today loses its velvet voice after 18 years of male jibes". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  7. ^ Steve Keen on BBC HARDtalk [good sync]. 25 November 2011 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ Hastings, Chris (7 November 2010). "Dragons' Den star defies BBC strikers: Furious row as Evan Davis crosses the picket line to keep news show on air". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  9. ^ Deans, Jason (15 July 2011). "BBC strike disrupts news programmes". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Public and Ceremonial Events Office. Honorary Degrees. Sarah Montague". University of Bristol. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  11. ^ Furness, Hannah (30 March 2018). "Sarah Montague signs off Today programme with final jibe at John Humphrys". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  12. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (1 July 2018). "Trouble at the Today programme: is it losing its grip?". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Sarah Montague: I was incandescent with rage over Today pay gap". The Telegraph. Press Association. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  14. ^ Montague, Sarah (8 April 2018). "Sarah Montague on her gender pay gap: I'm furious about being paid less than men at the BBC". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 8 April 2018. (subscription required)
  15. ^ "Radio 4 host 'incandescent with rage' over pay". BBC News. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  16. ^ Freedland, Jonathan (20 July 2018). "The will of the people? These Brexit ideologues are destroying democracy | Jonathan Freedland" – via
  17. ^ McSmith, Andy (18 December 2014). "Andy McSmith's Diary: The enemy within Chequers at Sam Cam's delayed 40th". The Independent. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  18. ^ Kay, Richard (1 November 2012). "Proud parents Tony and Cherie Blair see daughter Kathryn called to the Bar – Daily Mail Online". Daily Mail. Retrieved 30 September 2015.

External linksEdit