Nancy Banks-Smith

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Nancy Banks-Smith (born 1929) is a British television and radio critic, who has spent most of her career writing for The Guardian .


Life and career

Born in Manchester and raised in a pub, [1] she was educated at Roedean School.

Banks-Smith began her journalistic career in 1951 as a reporter at the Northern Daily Telegraph . In 1955, after a brief stint at the women's section of the Sunday Mirror , she moved to the Daily Herald as a reporter. She worked for the Daily Express from 1960 to 1965 as a feature writer, moving to be a TV critic for The Sun in 1965. She left the newspaper in 1969 when it was bought by Rupert Murdoch. [2]

Banks-Smith began writing for The Guardian in 1970, with her television column becoming a leading feature of the newspaper. She has remained with the paper for 50 years, [3] though by 2010 no longer wrote daily reviews. [2] Until 2017 she wrote a monthly column for the paper entitled "A month in Ambridge", reviewing recent developments in the radio soap opera The Archers .


In 1970 she was recommended for the Order of the British Empire, which she declined. [4]

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  1. Nancy Banks-Smith (2 March 2016). "Nancy Banks-Smith: 'I grew up in a pub – I thought Corrie was a documentary'". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  2. 1 2 Celebrating 40 years of Nancy Banks-Smith, The Guardian, 4 February 2010
  3. Nancy Banks-Smith (19 June 2020). "The night I watched Vera Lynn with Marlene Dietrich". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  4. "Some who turned honours down", The Guardian, 22 December 2003, retrieved 31 August 2012.