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Sarah Kennedy
Born 8 July 1950 (1950-07-08) (age 59)
East Grinstead, West Sussex, England
Occupation Radio Presenter
Spouse(s) Adrian McGlynn
Children None

Sarah Mary Kennedy MBE[1] (born 8 July 1950[2] in East Grinstead, West Sussex) is a British TV and radio broadcaster. She has presented her own daily early morning radio show, The Dawn Patrol, on BBC Radio 2 since 1993.

Kennedy was honoured in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2005, when she was awarded the MBE for services to broadcasting.[1]


Personal life

Sarah Kennedy was born in West Sussex. Her father was a stockbroker and her mother a nurse. She grew up in East Grinstead. She studied for two years at drama school, becoming a drama teacher. She was a Matron at Copthorne Prep School.

In her twenties she married a member of the armed forces. She has a partner, Eton-educated Adrian McGlynn, a director of horseracing's administrators, Weatherbys, whom she refers to as her Much Beloved. He has become a popular character in the show. He is sixteen years younger than Kennedy. They met at the wedding of Desmond Morris's son, where McGlynn was best man. They reside in Bedfordshire.

Career history

Kennedy began her career with the British Forces Broadcasting Service in Singapore, before moving to BBC Radio 2 in 1976,[3] where she presented Family Favourites and did the final closedown before the station moved to 24-hour broadcasting in January 1979. She is also president of the hospital radio station known as "Radio Horton", based in the Horton Hospital, Oxfordshire.[4]

Kennedy's first on-screen job was reading the news on Southern Television's Day by Day. She came to prominence in TV as one of the hosts of the ITV light entertainment show Game for a Laugh from 1981 to 1984. She was also one of the team involved with the short-lived BBC current affairs programme 60 Minutes, which ran from 1983 to 1984, and was the main presenter of the ITV game show Busman's Holiday for several series in the 1980s. She also co-hosted The Animals Roadshow and Animal Country with zoologist Desmond Morris in the late 1980s and 1991 respectively.

In 1992, Kennedy returned to Radio 2, where she has since presented the weekday early morning show, called the Dawn Patrol. It was originally broadcast from 5 am to 7 am each day, but moved to the time-slot of 6 am to 7.30 am in the mid-1990s. In 1995, Kennedy received a prestigious Sony Gold Radio Award. She has a regular audience of around 4.5 million listeners on Radio 2.[citation needed] Due to Terry Wogan's retirement from his breakfast show and the subsequent re-shuffle of the schedule, Sarah will once again move to a 5am - 7am timeslot, with Chris Evans' new show starting at the earlier time of 7am (as opposed to Wogan's 7.30).

Kennedy has also published a novel, Charlotte's Friends, as well as two collections of listeners' tales, called Terrible Twos (two editions) and Terrible Pets.

Characteristics and mannerisms

Her reworking of English words is a distinctive element of the show. She changes names as follows: "The Eaglingtons" (Eagles), "The Kinkingtons" (The Kinks), "Sainsbugs" (Sainsbury's), "Colleag-wees" (colleagues), "supermercado" (supermarkets as in Spain), "busticles"/"chesticles" (breasts), etc. She frequently reads out the expression "SWs to you" from listeners who write in. "SWs" is shorthand for "Love the show" (as in the oft-quoted phrase by Steve Wright on his programmes, hence the use of his initials). Many listeners write in to ask what "SWs" actually means, but she rarely explains it. Kennedy is also said to have been the first person to use the term 'white van man' in 1997.[5]

Career incidents and controversies

Kennedy has sometimes suffered with her health, and has had to take time off work. Her slurred speech throughout her show on 13 August 2007 made the headlines, giving listeners cause for concern, but the presenter blamed a sore throat. She presented the following day's show as normal, before taking a month-long break, leaving the show to be presented by colleagues Pete Mitchell, Alex Lester, Aled Jones and Richard Allinson.[6] It was later reported that Kennedy was recovering from pneumonia.[7] She returned to work on 10 September 2007.

She also attracted concern after a bizarre performance while standing in for Terry Wogan in May 1999. This included calling Ken Bruce an "old fool" and referring to the presenter of the day's Pause For Thought slot as "an old prune". She blamed the incident on a lack of sleep the previous night and apologised to listeners. She had been due to stand in for Wogan the following week, but took time off instead.[8]

In October 2007 she was reprimanded after joking that she had almost run over a black pedestrian because she couldn't see him in the dark. The BBC later apologised for the comment.[9] She has previously opined that black men dominate athletics because they are accustomed to being pursued by lions.[10]

She was also "spoken to" by BBC bosses after she praised Enoch Powell during a show in July 2009, describing Powell as "the best Prime Minister this country never had".[11]

Many believe her strange behaviour on air is due to her being drunk and even Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles made public accusations of this nature whilst at Terry Wogans leaving party. People have even set up a Facebook page entitled 'Sarah Kennedy why the f**k is she on the radio?' outlying their distain at her bizarre style of broadcasting as well as her racism and lack of knowledge regarding popular music.


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