Sasha was born in Yorkshire. She is a presenter, journalist, conference host and facilitator. She began her career in radio and worked as a DJ for several years at various local and regional radio stations. During her time in radio, she produced a wide spectrum of programmes, ranging from countless celebrity interviews to a week spent in orphanages and refugee camps in Bosnia during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. She also presented for a national cable kids TV channel, dishing up a weekly talk show and a series of location-based programmes about life at university.
Sasha was a network BBC TV network announcer (1998 – 2003), her voice being heard on BBC One and BBC Two as well as on BBC Prime and BBC Learning. She covered numerous live events, notably the funeral of the Queen Mother and also trained other new announcers. In August 2003, she crossed over to ITV, where she announced on ITV, ITV 2 and ITV 3. She left ITV in early 2005.
She completed a postgraduate presenters’ course at the Highbury College in Hampshire. In August 2005, she moved to Moscow to be the launch news anchor on Russia Today, a new 24-hour TV news channel, broadcasting worldwide. This was a natural progression for Sasha who was a fully qualified broadcast journalist.
In April 2007, Sasha moved back to the UK. She worked for two months as a journalist and news presenter at BBC News, writing and presenting the headline summary bulletin for the interactive service on the red button. She became a regular face on Sky News as a presenter on their rolling news channel (2007 – 2010). She presented regularly in various timeslots, including weekends, Sunrise with Eamonn Holmes and Sky News at Ten,
Other TV roles include: announcer, Sky Arts (2009 – 2012); news correspondent, ITV Anglia (2010 – 2011); London correspondent, Nine Network, Australia (2011 – 2013) – she joined the team for a special programme on the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.
In radio, she freelanced for Sky News Radio as a newsreader (2009 – 2013); was business correspondent at LBC 97.3 (2009 – 2010) and at BBC Radio Solent presented the Saturday breakfast show (2009) and the drivetime show (2016 – February 2019). In early 2019, she joined BBC World Service Radio and presents two programmes – World Business Report and Business Matters (for BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4).
Since 2005, Sasha has also worked as a conference facilitator, panel chair and award host.
Paul R. Jackson met up with Sasha at New Broadcasting House in August 2019 to discuss her career.
Tell us about your first radio job
“I did the travel news for KLFM (Kings Lynn). I went on to present the breakfast show and was reportedly the first woman to present this show.”
Adrian Finighan told us you answered the phones on his local radio show
“Yes, it was at Radio Norfolk (the show went out across East Anglia from what I recall). I was 15 and it was my first radio job. He was an inspiration and a great mentor.”
How did you get the job with BBC TV continuity?
“The job was advertised in The Guardian and I was on BBC staff. My first shift was on 19th April 1998 and I left on 8th August 2003. I’ve such fond memories of being there. It was/is an iconic job, and I’m so proud I was lucky enough to be part of that particular time in broadcasting with such legends. I still can’t believe some days that I had the privilege to announce on BBC One to the nation. I’ll never forget the thrill when I heard I was doing the Queen’s Message shift on Christmas Day. You never forget your first Christmas message ident, nor your first lottery slide!”
Any particular memories of BBC colleagues?
“The ‘old guard’ (Peter Brook, Andy Cartledge and Malcolm Eynon) were lovely. I remember that if Peter ever praised you, you were on cloud nine. I was trained by Rosanne Macmillan and Sally Lawrence – who were a formidable dream team.”
Paul mentioned that he had seen the farewell tape for Rachel Robertson (she went to live in Australia): “We were a brilliant team – some of the videos may not see the light of day again (!) but they were masterpieces. My leaving tape was a who’s who of legends and gossip.”
There were six female announcers prior to 1998 – increasing to eleven in 1998: were you aware of the change?
“There may have been a feeling by management that the channels were sounding too male and they introduced more female voices to mix it up. So there was definitely a change. Steph (Bower) and myself were the only two women used on BBC One during peak-time.”
Any memories of on-air technical issues?
“I was known as the ‘queen of breakdowns’. There was an opening to a programme which had major sports from two stadiums and as the programme started, they faded up the wrong stadium. I always seemed to get the sports ones, including when the generator got too hot in France (can’t remember what the event was) and Grandstand fell off air rather spectacularly. I also had a CBBC breakdown on my last shift – and from what I recall, had to busk for my last ever few minutes on BBC One to get to the 6pm news. Incidentally I was also the announcer in charge of the evacuation procedures for TVC.”
Tell us about your move to ITV
“ITV wanted to freshen up their on-air voices and asked me as they liked my voice. I felt that I could stay at the BBC forever, but wouldn’t progress with other voice and presenting work. I joined within a couple of weeks of leaving the BBC. Graham Bannerman was my boss – I also worked with Graham Rogers. Most of ITV 1 was live. I also recorded announcements for ITV 2, plus during my time there, I was the announcer for the relaunched Men and Motors channel.”
How did the Russia Today job come about?
“I enjoy being a live broadcaster and a lot of voice work was being pre-recorded. I decided to complete my training and was fortunate to be in the right place when they launched the new channel. I will never forget my time in Moscow. I made some amazing friendships and learnt so much – not least how to live in a country where temperatures dropped to -37!”
Video Clips on the Internet
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Sasha on BBC One continuity duty.
Sasha on BBC One continuity duty.
PICTURED: Sasha Twining. SUPPLIED BY: Sasha Twining. COPYRIGHT: Unknown.