Sandi Toksvig OBE

Doctor of Letters, Tuesday 17 July at 11am


Sandra (Sandi) Birgitte Toksvig, OBE was born in Denmark, but due to her father’s job as a Danish journalist, broadcaster and foreign correspondent, she spent most of her youth outside Denmark. Her mother is British and Toksvig attended an independent girls’ school near Guilford. She read law, archaeology and anthropology at Girton College, Cambridge, graduating with a first class degree and receiving two prizes for outstanding achievement.

It was at Girton College where Toksvig began her comedy career, writing and performing in the first all-woman show at the Footlights (Cambridge University’s amateur dramatics club). She was in good company with fellow students Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery and Emma Thompson. She was also a member of the University’s Light Entertainment Society.

While still at university, Toksvig performed at the first night of The Comedy Store in London and for many years was part of The Comedy Store Players, an improvisational comedy team.

Toksvig’s theatre career included performances in musicals and straight plays. Her television debut was presenting the children’s series No. 73 (1982-1986) and Toksvig then went on to do other children’s television including The Saturday Starship, Motormouth and her own show Toksvig. Since then, Toksvig has been immersed in a wide range of television work including factual programmes, panel shows and comedies. Most recently, Toksvig has been the host of the BBC television quiz show QI and the co-presenter of The Great British Bake Off alongside Noel Fielding.

Toksvig is joint founder of the Women’s Equality Party (established in March 2015).

Press comment

“I am thrilled to be receiving this unexpected honour.”

Video of Sandi Toksvig’s oration and response

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