Vicki Butler-Henderson

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Vicki Butler-Henderson
Butler-Henderson in 2008
Victoria Jemma Butler-Henderson

(1972-02-16) 16 February 1972 (age 49)
Hertfordshire, England
Occupation Racing driver
Television presenter
Years active1994–present
Phil Churchward
(m. 2007)

Victoria Jemma [1] Butler-Henderson (born 16 February 1972) [2] is a British racing driver, former presenter of Top Gear and current presenter of Fifth Gear .



Butler-Henderson was born into a racing family. Her grandfather used to race a Frazer Nash at Brooklands, her father was in the British karting team and her brother Charlie is a racing driver. She has an older sister, Lottie, who does not race[ citation needed ]. Butler-Henderson grew up on the family farm, and was educated at the independent Perse School for Girls in Cambridge. [3] She is the great-granddaughter of Eric Butler-Henderson, a director of the Great Central Railway, after whom the preserved GCR Class 11F locomotive Butler-Henderson is named.

Butler-Henderson started racing karts at the age of 12, being overtaken by David Coulthard in her first race. [4] She holds a car race licence as well as a power boat racing licence. After supplementing her income as a racing instructor at Silverstone Circuit, she also undertook a dual career in journalism where she worked on numerous British motoring magazines including Auto Express , What Car? and Performance Car . She was the assistant launch editor and mechanic in Max Power magazine, referred to simply as "VBH." [3]

Media career

In 1997, she joined the BBC's flagship motoring show Top Gear . After the BBC cancelled the original show in 2001, Butler-Henderson, along with co-presenters Quentin Willson and Tiff Needell, moved to Channel 5 in 2002 to continue their work on a show now called Fifth Gear. In 2004, she presented ITV's coverage of the British Touring Car Championship, in which her brother Charlie briefly competed in 2004; and from February 2006 the ten-part series Wrecks To Riches for Discovery Real Time. [5]

Butler-Henderson has in later years broadened her media career outside racing and cars to become a general presenter. After co-hosting radio shows on Virgin Radio, in 2005, she presented a daytime television show for ITV called Date My Daughter in which a single man 'dates' three mothers after which they decide if he is worthy enough to date their daughter. [6]

She has recorded voice overs for radio and television advertisements, including Wrigleys Extra Thin Ice and Sony Centres. She also provided a voiceover for the PlayStation 2 game Gran Turismo 4 Prologue . In January 2006, Butler-Henderson appeared in a TV commercial for the Kent & Medway Safety Camera Partnership [7] in which she stated that the Partnership "don't want your cash, they just want you to slow down". Butler-Henderson was also a narrator for National Geographic Channel (UK)'s science documentary entitled I Didn't Know That . In 2009, she starred in several Dutch commercials for Toyota. She worked at Absolute Radio doing traffic news on the Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show. She left the breakfast show on 9 July 2009. [8]

Butler-Henderson lent her views in the Golden Garages Award, [9] a search for the United Kingdom's best garage run by Motor Codes. Butler-Henderson was part of a professional panel of six independent judges including the Telegraph's Honest John [10] and motoring editor of Which? magazine, Richard Headland. She later presented the prize in person to the winners of the competition, Kinghams of Croydon. [11]

In 2016, Butler-Henderson's fourteen-year stint at Fifth Gear ended after the show was cancelled. In 2018, the programme returned on Quest with all of the original presenters (incl. Butler-Henderson) returning. [12]

Personal life

In 2007 Butler-Henderson married television producer and director Phil Churchward. Churchward worked on several motoring programmes as a producer of Fifth Gear , series director of Top Gear and The Grand Tour . [13]

Butler-Henderson owns a Mk II Golf GTI, a Honda S2000 and a Ducati Monster 750. [3] [14]

At Autosport International on 15 January 2011, Butler-Henderson's Fifth Gear co-presenter Jason Plato announced that she would not be able to attend as she was having a baby girl. Her second child, a son, was born in 2015. [15]

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  1. ltd, company check. "MS VICTORIA JEMMA BUTLER-HENDERSON director information. Free director information. Director id 909024706". Company Check. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  2. "Me and my health". Retrieved 8 September 2009.
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  6. "Upclose". ITV . Internet Archive. 22 November 2005. Archived from the original on 22 November 2005.
  7. Kent & Medway Safety Camera Partnership
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  14. "Typical biker: Vicki Butler-Henderson". The Daily Telegraph. London. 21 November 2000. Archived from the original on 11 September 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  15. "Moments: Vicki Butler-Henderson – – For Modern Mums".