Vanessa Collingridge

Vanessa Jane Collingridge[1] (born 12 January 1968)[2][3] is a British author and broadcaster.

Early life and education

Youngest of the five children of Gordon Ernest Collingridge (1926-2007)[4] and his wife Irene (born Irene Keeping), Collingridge was born and brought up in Woking, Surrey in England. She read Geography at Hertford College, Oxford, where she earned a first class MA in 1990,[5] despite contracting viral encephalitis in her second year which caused an almost fatal swelling of her brain.[6] It was also at Oxford that she met her husband Allan Watt.[7]


After graduating, Collingridge moved immediately to a career in television, first as a question checker on game shows Wheel of Fortune and Win, Lose or Draw, and then for 14 months as a weathergirl on BBC Scotland.[6] In the early to mid-1990s she appeared from time to time on BBC television's Gardeners' World. She has since worked as a producer and presenter on all five British national terrestrial television channels, as well as BBC national radio.[5]

In 2000 she quit her job as a television presenter on Tonight with Trevor McDonald to author two biographies, one of 18th-century explorer James Cook and one of Celtic warrior queen Boudica.[7] During her research for the former, she discovered she shared ancestry with controversial Australian writer and illustrator George Collingridge, who asserted in 1895 that Australia was discovered by the Portuguese.[7][8][9]

She has described her very early interest in feminism in the introduction to her book on Boudica in 2005: "What started as a strong-willed desire for independence became a fully-fledged, bra-burning (if only I had been old enough to wear one) mentality... Certainly, I cannot remember a time when I wasn't acutely aware of the inherently political nature of woman's position in society and — much to my father's disgust and my now extreme embarrassment — by the grand old age of twelve, I would proudly read Cosmopolitan magazine and proclaim myself a feminist!"[10]

She returned to television in 2007 as writer and narrator of the four-part miniseries Captain Cook: Obsession and Discovery.[11]

Family life

Collingridge has lived in Scotland since 1989, and resides in a converted farmhouse on the shore of Castle Semple Loch near Lochwinnoch with her husband Alan Watt, and sons Archie, Angus, Finn and Dougal.[6][7][12] In 2017 she completed her PhD in historical cartography at the University of Glasgow, having worked as a broadcaster for BBC Radio Scotland's Buried Treasure and BBC Radio 4's Making History whilst studying.[1][5][6][13]


  • Cook: Obsession and Betrayal in the New World (2002), Ebury Press, ISBN 0-09-187913-2
  • Boudica (2005), Ebury Press, ISBN 0-09-189819-6


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c "Biography at Take 3 Management". Archived from the original on 30 December 2006. Retrieved 19 November 2006.
  6. ^ a b c d "You can't pigeonhole me ... because of my magpie brain" Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, interview with Stephen Phelan, Sunday Herald
  7. ^ a b c d "Fancy meeting you here ...", The Scotsman, 4 March 2002
  8. ^ Video clip of Collingridge describing her biography of James Cook (RealPlayer video)
  9. ^ "The captain and the deflater", Sara Wheeler, The Spectator, 9 March 2002
  10. ^ p.6, Boudica (2005), Ebury Press, ISBN 0-09-189819-6
  11. ^ Captain Cook: Obsession and Discovery. Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Film Australia, 2007
  12. ^ "Weather girl and now author Vanessa Collingridge at home in Lochwinnoch" Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine,, 2002
  13. ^ "PhD candidates", Department of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow
Boadicea and Her Daughters

Boadicea and Her Daughters is a bronze sculptural group in London representing Boudica, queen of the Celtic Iceni tribe, who led an uprising in Roman Britain. It is located to the north side of the western end of Westminster Bridge, near Portcullis House and Westminster Pier, facing Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster across the road. It is considered the magnum opus of its sculptor, the English artist and engineer Thomas Thornycroft. Thornycroft worked on it from 1856 until shortly before his death in 1885, sometimes assisted by his son William Hamo Thornycroft, but it was not erected in its current position until 1902.


Collingridge is an English surname. Notable people with the same surname are:

Peter Collingridge (1757–1829), English Roman Catholic bishop.

George Collingridge (1847–1931), Australian writer.

Gordon Collingridge (active 1922–1928), Australian actor.

Graham Collingridge (born 1955), British neuroscientist.

Vanessa Collingridge (active since mid-1990s), English author & broadcaster.

George Collingridge

George Collingridge (1847–1931) was an Australian writer and illustrator best known today for his early assertions of Portuguese discovery of Australia in the 16th century.

History of Hawaii

The history of Hawaii describes the era of human settlements in the Hawaiian Islands. That history begins sometime between 124 and 1120 AD, when the islands were first settled by Polynesians. Hawaiian civilization was isolated from the rest of the world for at least 500 years.

Europeans led by British explorer James Cook arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1778. However some researchs state the Spanish captain Ruy López de Villalobos to be the discoverer of the islands in 1542. Within five years, European military technology helped Kamehameha I conquer and unify the islands for the first time, establishing the Kingdom of Hawaii. The kingdom was prosperous and important for its agriculture and strategic location in the Pacific.

American immigration began almost immediately after European contact, led by Protestant missionaries. Americans set up plantations to grow sugar. Their methods of plantation farming required substantial labor. Waves of permanent immigrants came from Japan, China and the Philippines to work in the fields. The government of Japan organized and gave special protection to its people, who comprised about 25 percent of the Hawaiian population by 1896.The native population succumbed to disease brought by the Europeans (particularly smallpox), declining from 300,000 in the 1770s over 60,000 in the 1850s to 24,000 in 1920. Americans within the kingdom government rewrote the constitution, severely curtailing the power of King "David" Kalākaua, and disenfranchising the rights of most Native Hawaiians and Asian citizens to vote, through excessively high property and income requirements. This gave a sizeable advantage to plantation owners. Queen Liliuokalani attempted to restore royal powers in 1893, but was placed under house arrest by businessmen with help from the US military. Against the Queen's wishes, the Republic of Hawaii was formed for a short time. This government agreed on behalf of Hawaii to join the US in 1898 as the Territory of Hawaii. In 1959, the islands became the state of Hawaii of the United States.

Huw Lewis-Jones

Huw Lewis-Jones (born 2 May 1980) is a British historian, editor, broadcaster and art director. Formerly a historian and Curator of Art at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Lewis-Jones left Cambridge in June 2010 to pursue book and broadcasting projects. He is the Editorial Director of the independent publishing company Polarworld.

Red Lodge Museum, Bristol

The Red Lodge Museum (grid reference ST582731) is a historic house museum in Bristol, England. The original building was Tudor/Elizabethan, and construction began in 1579–1580, possibly to the design of Serlio. The main additional building phases are from the 1730s and the early 19th century.The Red Lodge is a free museum but runs on donations, and is managed as a branch of Bristol City Council.

The museum is open from 1 April to 31 December on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 am – 4 pm.

Reporting Scotland

Reporting Scotland is BBC Scotland's national television news programme, broadcast seven days a week on BBC One Scotland from the headquarters of BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay in Glasgow.

The programme's editor is Andrew Browne.


Timewatch is a long-running British television series showing documentaries on historical subjects, spanning all human history. It was first broadcast on 29 September 1982 and is produced by the BBC, the Timewatch brandname is used as a banner title in the UK, but many of the individual documentaries are unbranded with BBC continuity outside the domestic British market.

Tonight (1999 TV programme)

Tonight (often referred to as The Tonight Programme) is a British current affairs programme, produced by ITV Studios (formerly Granada Television) and ITN for the ITV network, replacing the long-running investigative series World in Action in 1999. Previously airing twice-weekly, on Monday and Friday evenings at 8.00pm (ITV Wales, STV and UTV would often air the programme at different times or different days, to make way for regional programming), the show runs the gamut from human interest-led current affairs to investigative journalism. Tonight has conducted interviews with a plethora of political and public figures, including U.S. President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S First Lady Hillary Clinton. From 1999–2007, the programme was known as Tonight with Trevor McDonald.

The programme currently airs in the Thursday night timeslot at 7.30pm, with Julie Etchingham as host.

Trees for Life (Scotland)

Trees for Life is a registered charity working to restore the Caledonian Forest and its unique wildlife to the Scottish Highlands.

The Caledonian Forest once covered a large area of the Highlands of Scotland as extensive stands of majestic Scots pine, interspersed with birch, rowan, juniper and aspen trees, but is now reduced to about 2% of its former extent. Through planting native species of trees, removing non-native species and fencing seedlings to protect them from overgrazing by deer and sheep, Trees for Life aim to help the natural regeneration of the forest. Their long-term goal is to create a fully restored, healthy ecosystem, which will include the reintroduction of missing species of wildlife, such as the European beaver, wild boar, Eurasian lynx and Eurasian wolf.

The vast majority of their work is carried out by volunteers. By engaging people from diverse backgrounds, they aim to achieve a powerful and educational experience that will promote the work of restoration to wider audiences and lead to increased support for the return of the forest and its species.

Twenty Twenty

Twenty Twenty is a British independent television production company which joined the Shed Media Group (now Warner Bros. Television Productions UK) in September 2007. The company produces documentaries, current affairs, drama, living history, and children's television.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.