Journalist, Broadcaster, Author, Entrepreneur
Muriel Gray is a Scottish author, broadcaster and journalist.
Born in East Kilbride, Gray is of partly Jewish ancestry. She presented a documentary for Channel 4 tracing her Jewish roots on her mother's side, entitled The Wondering Jew (1996), in which she discovered her maternal line descended from Moldova.
A graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, she worked as a professional illustrator and then as assistant head of design in the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh.
After playing in punk band, The Family Von Trapp, she became an interviewer on the early Channel 4 alternative pop show The Tube from 1982 and presented "Frocks on the Box" (1987-88) and The Media Show (1987–89) for the same channel. She was a regular stand-in presenter on BBC Radio 1 during most of the eighties. She also presented regularly on BBC Radio 4.
Later she presented The Munro Show (which documented her climbing Scotland's highest hills, the Munros). She accompanied this with the book The First Fifty – Munro Bagging Without A Beard. She also presented various other TV shows like Ride On, a motoring magazine show for Channel 4, The Design Awards, for BBC, and Art Is Dead – Long Live TV and the definitive documentary The Glasgow Boys.
Gray has been a columnist for many publications, including Time Out magazine, the Sunday Correspondent, the Sunday Mirror, Bliss magazine, and now writes a regular column in the Sunday Herald. She won Columnist of the Year in the 2001 Scottish press awards.
She became a bestselling horror novelist with the publication of her first novel The Trickster (1995), which was followed by two more, Furnace and The Ancient. She wrote the definitive history of Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum to mark its re-opening in 2006.
She started her own production company in 1989, originally named Gallus Besom, then renamed to Ideal World in 1993. It merged in 2004 with Wark Clements. The partners then sold the new company in 2005 for an estimated £12 million.
She is a former Rector of the University of Edinburgh, the only woman ever to have held this post, and in 2006 was given an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Abertay Dundee and 2013 from Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow University.
In 2005, she became Patron of the Scottish charity Trees for Life (Scotland) which is working to restore the Caledonian Forest. She is also a patron of the Craighalbert Centre, a conductive education school in Cumbernauld Glasgow, as well as serving as a trustee on a number of boards.
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