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Sian Mary Williams, ([ˈʃɑn]; born 28 November 1964) is a Welsh journalist and current affairs presenter, best known for her work with the BBC.[1][2]

Sian Williams
Sian Williams, May 2010 crop.jpg
Williams in 2010
Sian Mary Williams

(1964-11-28) 28 November 1964 (age 54)
Paddington, London
OccupationJournalist, presenter
EmployerChannel 5
Notable credit(s)
BBC Breakfast
Your Money Their Tricks
Sunday Morning Live
5 News at 5
Save Money: Good Health
Spouse(s)Neale Hunt (m. 1991–2001)
Paul Woolwich (m. 2006)

From 2001 until 2013, Williams regularly presented weekday editions of BBC Breakfast as well as all main news bulletins on BBC One. She presented two series of BBC One's discussion programme Sunday Morning Live from 2014 until 2015.

Since January 2016, she has been the main presenter of 5 News at 5.[3]

Early lifeEdit

Williams was born in Paddington, London, to Welsh parents and was raised in Eastbourne, East Sussex.[2] Her mother, Katherine Rees, was from Llanelli and had moved to London to become a nurse.[2][4] Williams' father was from Swansea, and his family had been farmers in Glamorgan.[2][4] He was a journalist, working first in print and later in radio.[5] She gained a BA in English and History from Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University) and went on to study critical journalistic writing at the University of Rhode Island in America.[6]


Williams joined the BBC in 1985 and began working as a reporter and producer for BBC Local Radio stations in Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester. From 1990 to 1997, she was editor for BBC Radio 4's The World at One and PM programmes. Williams was also a programme editor for a number of news and election specials across Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live.[7][8]

Prior to the channel's launch in 1997, Williams joined BBC News 24 as an output editor. During screen tests for potential presenters, one applicant became unwell and Williams was asked to step into the role.[8][9] Producers were impressed with her performance and they offered her the prime presenting slot of 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm alongside Gavin Esler.[9] She remained with the channel for nearly two years before joining BBC One's Six O'Clock News in 1999 as Special Correspondent.[7] She became a relief presenter of the bulletin and in 2001 she became its main Friday presenter during Fiona Bruce's maternity leave. Williams also became a main presenter of the BBC One weekend news bulletins.

Williams joined BBC Breakfast on 12 January 2001 as a relief presenter, initially presenting on Friday–Sunday alongside Darren Jordon, to cover for main presenter, Sarah Montague, and then later with Jeremy Bowen, to cover for Sophie Raworth.[9] She also regularly deputised on both the Six O'Clock News and the One O'Clock News during this period. In 2004, Williams covered for Raworth on the Six O'Clock News during her maternity leave, co-presenting with George Alagiah, and the following year, reported from Sri Lanka and Thailand on the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and from Pakistan on the Kashmir earthquake.[9]

In May 2005 she was confirmed as the main female presenter of BBC Breakfast, presenting initially with Dermot Murnaghan and then Bill Turnbull from 2008. Williams left BBC Breakfast on 15 March 2012 after the programme's production team was relocated to Salford. She briefly rejoined BBC Radio 4 to co-present Saturday Live.[10]

Williams has presented programmes outside of news and current affairs including The One Show, Big Welsh Challenge, Now You're Talking and City Hospital. In 2010, Williams was a reporter for Watchdog.[11] In 2013, she hosted Your Money, Their Tricks with Nicky Campbell and Rebecca Wilcox. Williams also presented a three-part interview series for BBC One Wales titled The Sian Williams Interview featuring Tanni Grey-Thompson, Suzanne Packer and Siân Phillips.[12]

In June 2014, Williams became the new presenter of Sunday Morning Live, BBC One's religious and ethical debating programme.[13] She presented the programme for two series before being replaced by Naga Munchetty in June 2016.

On 5 November 2015, Williams announced she would be leaving the BBC to become the new main presenter of 5 News. She presented her first 5 News bulletin on 4 January 2016.[3] In 2017, she co-presents Save Money: Good Health alongside Ranj Singh on ITV.[citation needed]

Other workEdit

Williams was president of TRIC (Television and Radio Industries Club) for 2008–09. She became an Honorary Fellow of the University of Cardiff in July 2012.[14]

In 2014, she began studying for a master's degree in Psychology at the University of Westminster, specialising in the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on journalists and reporters.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

In February 1991, Williams married Neale Hunt, a former director of advertising firm McCann Erickson, with whom she had two sons. Following the couple's divorce, Williams married Paul Woolwich in 2006 and gave birth to her third son in October 2006, later disclosing in an interview that she received two litres of blood following complications.[8] Williams gave birth to a daughter in March 2009.[citation needed]

Williams ran the 2001 New York City Marathon and spent several days recovering in hospital from hyponatraemia. After several years not participating in running, she completed the Virgin London Marathon in 2013.[16]

During filming for the BBC's Coming Home in November 2010, Williams discovered she was the first member of her family to have been born outside Wales in 350 years of her known family tree.[2][4]


In May 2016, Williams revealed she had undergone a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The Channel 5 newsreader told Woman and Home magazine that she was diagnosed in 2014, a week after her 50th birthday. She said she had always thought she was healthy as she "did all the right things - I was a green tea drinker, a salmon eater, a runner". She said her main fear was not seeing her two youngest children grow up.[17]


  • City Hospital
  • BBC Breakfast (2001–2012) – Co-presenter
  • Watchdog (2010) – Reporter
  • Crimewatch (2012, 2015) – Stand-in presenter
  • Your Money Their Tricks (2013) – Co-presenter
  • The Sian Williams Interview – Presenter
  • Sunday Morning Live (2014–2015) – Presenter
  • 5 News at 5 (2016–present) – Anchor
  • Save Money: Lose Weight (2017) – Co-presenter
  • Save Money: Good Health (2017–present) – Co-presenter


  1. ^ Who's Who 2009
  2. ^ a b c d e Rowland, Paul (3 January 2010). "Sian Williams 'may quit' Breakfast show". WalesOnlinewebsite. Cardiff: Media Wales Ltd. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  3. ^ a b Sweney, Mark (5 November 2015). "Sian Williams leaves BBC to front Channel 5 News". Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Jones,Tudur H (27 November 2010). "Coming Home: Sian Williams". Daily Post Cymraeg website. Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales Limited. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  5. ^ Webb, Claire. "Watchlist: Sian Williams". Radio Times (21–27 June 2014). p. 154.
  6. ^ "Sian Williams". BBC News. BBC. 9 March 2004.
  7. ^ a b "Sian Williams, BBC Breakfast presenter". Biographies. BBC Press Office. September 2008.
  8. ^ a b c "Now I value every day" (PDF). The Donor. National Blood Service. Summer 2008.
  9. ^ a b c d "Sian Williams". BBC News. 31 January 2002. Retrieved 12 July 2008.
  10. ^ "BBC - Sian Williams to join Radio 4's extended Saturday Live - Media Centre". Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  11. ^ Which Breakfast star's in our Meriva car? Archived 3 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine Watchdog, BBC, 29 September 2010
  12. ^ "The Sian Williams Interview - BBC One". BBC. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  13. ^ Sunday Morning Live returns to BBC One with new presenter Sian Williams BBC Media Centre, 9 June 2014
  14. ^ "Honorary Fellowships". Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Sian Williams: from breakfast TV host to trauma psychologist". Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  16. ^ Marathon Talk "Episode 185 – Sian Williams", 24 July 2013.
  17. ^ "Sian Williams tells of double mastectomy". 26 May 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2018.

External linksEdit

Media offices
Preceded by
Emma Crosby
Main Presenter: 5 News
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Natasha Kaplinsky
Main Presenter: BBC Breakfast
Succeeded by
Susanna Reid
Preceded by
Natasha Kaplinsky
Deputy Presenter: BBC News at Six
Succeeded by
Fiona Bruce