Louise Minchin on hosting a ‘Breaking Bias’ panel for International Women’s Day

Virgin Radio

7 Mar 2022, 11:25

Chris Evans and Louise Minchin at Virgin Radio

Chris Evans and Louise Minchin at Virgin Radio

Television presenter and journalist Louise Minchin joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about tomorrow’s International Women’s Day.

Louise is hosting a panel for The Sun Online, recording today and broadcasting tomorrow, for International Women's Day (8th March). The presenter told Chris: “We’re going to be talking about breaking the bias and what that means for, I suppose, me and our guests as well.”

The panel will talk about the prejudices they’ve faced in their careers, and pass on valuable advice for overcoming the obstacles women often face. Revealing who will be on the panel with her, Louise said: “We’ve got Anne Hegerty from The Chase. Truly terrifying when she’s on The Chase. She’s chased me! But actually she’s the most wonderfully funny, lovely person. And she’s going to be talking to us a little bit around the barrier she faced, because many years later in her life, she discovered she’s on the autism spectrum, so she’ll talk about that.

“We’ve got Charlene White as well, who is obviously a fellow colleague newsreader. She was the first black woman to present the News at Ten.”

Also on the panel is TOWIE star Ferne McCann, “who I think we’ll talk to a little bit about being judged. Particularly being a single mum, as well,” Louise said. 

She added: “What am I going to talk about? Lots of things! As women, we tend to undersell ourselves, so I want to ask them what they’re most proud of, because I think sometimes we kind of cover it up.” 

The Sun has teamed up with a charity called The Girls' Network which works with disadvantaged young women in education with mentoring. Approximately 90 girls will form the panel’s live audience. “We’ve got some young girls who are going to be in the audience, and we’re talking about mentoring, which is one of the things I’ve done over the last year-and-a-half,” Louise explained. “I set myself, in lockdown, on a mentoring course. Being me, people did ask me if I would mentor them, and I thought, ‘Oh, I can’t do that until I know how to do it properly’. So, I think that’s really important. Some of the young girls there will be mentored there.”

The presenter anchored Breakfast on BBC One for almost 20 years. In 2019, she talked about the menopause, describing her experience of suffering hot flushes on-set. It led to them lowering the temperature. “I talked about going through menopause, and I was so nervous and so scared because I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a massive taboo, people are going to think my brain doesn’t work and I’m absolutely useless’, and all the rest of it,” she told Chris.

“So I took a big deep breath. It was like jumping off a cliff, and you don’t know what you’re going to land in, and I got such an incredible response from the audience, who were like, ‘Thank goodness you're talking about this, you’re explaining it.’ I got so much love from men, actually going, ‘Oh my gosh, you’ve explained so much about my wife.’” 

Louise added: “You’ve got to release the shackles of your own inhibitions sometimes and then you maybe help other people as well.

The Breakfast host left the show in September last year. She told Chris: “I think it’s six months next week. It’s gone so quick! It went particularly quickly over three weeks when I went to a castle in Wales. You might have noticed that - to I’m a Celebrity! 

“They’ve asked me for years and I’ve said no. And I think I’ve even said no a few times last year and I just thought, ‘I’ve always wanted to do it’. You’ve got to live life, haven’t you?”

And Louise, who is an amateur triathlete, told Chris about another project she’s working on. “I’m writing a book,” she said. “It’s called Adventures With Superwomen. I’ve just cycled across Argentina, with one of these amazing women. That was eight days, 100 miles a day on the bike.”

Speaking more about what her new book will be about, Louise said: “It’s about telling women’s stories particularly, because the lady I went with, she’s called Mimi Anderson. She’s our top endurance athlete, runner, in the UK, and lots of people probably don’t know her name, so the point is, I go and do some mad adventure with her, tell her story, and also go along and do something with her.” 

On other outdoor pursuits that she is taking on, Louise said: “I’m learning how to freedive,” and “I’m going to do a long swim. Windermere. I think it’s 11 miles.” 

International Women’s Day 2022 is on Tuesday, 8th March. Watch the panel discussion via thesun.co.uk tomorrow.

Additionally, Jayne Middlemiss celebrated the women of Britpop on Virgin Radio in a very special show... 

Women in Britpop focuses on the talent of artistry within the scene that arguably had a bigger contribution to future generations than 'boys with guitars', a part of it that gave women the confidence to front their own bands and to say what they really thought.

Jayne Middlesmiss talks to Louise Wener from Sleeper and Saffron from Republica about the impact of women in Britpop, along with contributions from Shirley Mansun from Garbage and Skin from Skunk Anansie

Listen on-demand to Women in Britpop here, or on the free Virgin Radio UK app!

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.