Sally Magnusson


Broadcaster & Writer

Sally Magnússon is a Scottish broadcaster and writer, currently working as the presenter of Reporting Scotland for BBC Scotland.

Sally was educated at Laurel Bank School for Girls in the city of Glasgow, followed by the University of Edinburgh, where she studied English Language and Literature.

Sally’s career in journalism started at The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh and then the Sunday Standard in Glasgow.  In the 1980s, Sally was a presenter on the BBC's Breakfast Time. From 1989 onwards, she co-presented the programme's replacement, Breakfast News. Sally has presented many television programmes, ranging from Reporting Scotland to Panorama to Songs of Praise. In 2005 she joined BBC Two's The Daily Politics as its Friday presenter. In 2005 she presented the BBC's Scottish Election Night coverage. Sally is now often seen on BBC television, most notably as a long-serving presenter of BBC Scotland's Reporting Scotland news programme.

2009 saw Sally receive an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Glasgow Caledonian University.

In 2013 Sally founded Playlist, after being impressed by the effect of personally meaningful music on her late mother’s dementia and then researching the evidence for her memoir Where Memories Go: Why dementia changes everything. Playlist’s core work is to encourage families and other caregivers to offer people with dementia a thoughtfully compiled and highly personal playlist of the music that has been meaningful to them during their life. This music helps in enhancing awareness, improving the ability to think and restoring (to some degree) a sense of identity and independence. 

 She has also written books about the Scottish runner Eric Liddell who refused to run on the Sabbath day due to his Christian beliefs, and about the Cornish Christian poet Jack Clemo and his marriage to Ruth Peaty. Sally has also shown her talent for writing for Children with the book Horace and the Haggis Hunter which was illustrated by her husband, Norman Stone.

Interesting Fact

  • Sally speaks fluent Icelandic.
  • Sally is the author of Life of Pee: The Story of How Urine Got Everywhere, the secret history of civilisation’s most unsavoury and unsung hero, and discovers how our urine footprint is just as indelible as our carbon one.

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