Born Nancy Wigginton, Nan was co-presenter on BBC TV’s Information Desk (1955 – 1956) and Mainly for Women (1957).  She was a reporter on BBC TV’s Panorama (c. 1959) and presented on BBC regional TV’s Town and Around (1959 – 1960) and Living Today (1962 – 1963).  She was a panellist on Call My Bluff (1967 and 1969).  She was also a BBC TV in-vision announcer (1958 – 1961) and has a unique place in broadcasting history, as she was the first female to read the national news on BBC Television (19th June 1960 – 14th March 1961) and not Angela Rippon, as many people still mistakenly claim. Some sources date Nan’s national news debut as 20th June 1960. However, the original BBC announcement stated that her first TV news bulletin would be on a Sunday.

Nan later complained about her treatment in the Daily Mail (1964): “I suffered at the time.  I suddenly felt like a Jew or a Negro and now I understand a little better how such people feel when faced with prejudice and discrimination.  I believe there is certainly discrimination against women in this country.  There were times when I was doing the announcing when I wanted to shout aloud like Shylock ‘hath not woman eyes, ears, senses?’  In Italy and Spain they have women newsreaders who are beautiful and sexy too. We’re afraid of that here.”

Nan was invited to the 25th anniversary reunion of BBC TV News in July 1979, but declined to attend as she was not interested in being remembered for her TV work.

Nan also presented on BBC Radio: In Town Tonight (1959 – 1960); In Town Today (1960 – 1961 and 1963 – 1965); Listening Post (1964 – 1965); Petticoat Line (1965 – 1966, 1968 – 1970 and 1974) on the Home Service; Woman’s Hour.  She was a panellist on: Treble Chance (The Light Programme, 1962 – 1967 and 1970 – 1971); Forces’ Chance (1971 – 1974); Treble Chance Quiz (BBC Radio 2, 1972).

She was formerly married to actor Charles Stapley, who was well-known as Ted Hope in Crossroads.

The retired television and radio broadcaster, who lived in Bridport, Dorset, died in hospital, aged 93. An inquest was opened into her death at Bournemouth Coroner’s Court on 16th May 2019.


Personal Information

Date of Birth: Unknown/Incomplete
Date of Death: 11th May 2019
Honours: Not Applicable

Online Presence

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Video Clips on the Internet

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