International Women’s Day is just around the corner on the 8th of March. Thousands of events will be held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. Here at Freeview, we decided to delve into the world of TV and champion some of Britain’s top female talent who not only grace our TV screens week in week out but also go above and beyond in the name of great causes.
Jo is a triple threat; she’s a comedian, writer and actress. Before this she was a psychiatric nurse. She is best known for her sharp wit and cutting comedy and often is a guest on numerous panel shows. When she isn’t getting down to funny business, Jo is a patron of the National Self Harm Network, The International Animal Rescue and the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association, London Nightline and she is the president of The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust. She is also a regular on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
Olivia is a three time BAFTA award winner and one of the best-loved British actresses. She has flexed her comedic muscles in shows such as Green Wing, Peep Show and Black Books, and most recently is starring as Ellie Miller in the critically acclaimed ITV drama Broadchurch. Away from the screen, she is a patron of domestic abuse charity Tender, which aims to use theatre and the arts, to engage young people in violence prevention.
Emma currently hosts The Voice UK, and famously filled the big shoes of Davina as the main host of Big Brother, and the brilliant spin-off show Bit On The Side. She found her presenting stride hosting ‘The Hub’ on This Morning. As well as being well on her way to becoming the Queen of TV presenting, she makes time to be an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, where she is a role model for young people nationwide.
Helen is best known for co-presenting the BBC children’s programme Blue Peter. Away from the screen she is a real life wonder woman. She is the second woman ever to finish the 78-mile Namibian ultra marathon, she walked a 150-metre tightrope between chimneys at Battersea Power Station to raise money for Comic Relief and she raised more money for Sport Relief by becoming the first person to reach the South Pole using a bicycle. She is living proof that you can push your physical boundaries and achieve whatever you set your mind to.
Dame Maggie Smith
Dame Maggie Smith is proof that you can be a leading lady at any age. At 80, she is one of the world’s most famous and distinguished actresses. Known for her frosty put-downs, Maggie’s character Violet, also known as Dowager Countess of Grantham, has been a part of world famous show Downton Abbey since it began in 2010. Maggie is the patron of many charities and causes, The Fenton Trust, to support the creative arts, and the IGA for those with glaucoma. Her philanthropic endeavors span the decades. She is a quintessential British treasure both on and off screen.
You can see some of these inspirational women gracing your screen this weekend and next week. Catch Emma Willis presenting The Voice at 7.30pm this Saturday on BBC One, Jo Brand on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off on BBC Two (13th March, 10pm) and Maggie Smith in The First Wives Club on Film 4 (11th March, 6.55pm).