The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) has appointed the Danish-British broadcaster, actor, comedian, novelist and producer Sandi Toksvig OBE as its new president.
A long-term member of the guild, Toksvig’s writing credits span theater, TV, radio, fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults. Her adaptation of Mamma Mia the Party will open at London’s 02 later this year. She has also fronted such shows as QI, The Great British Bake Off and 15 to 1. A political activist and champion for gender equality, Toksvig co-founded the Women’s Equality Party and supported WGGB’s Equality Writes campaign. In 2015, Toksvig hosted the relaunch of the Writers’ Guild Awards.
Toksvig commented: “I am honored to take my place at the end of such a long line of illustrious presidents—JB Priestley, Maureen Duffy, David Edgar, David Nobbs and Rosemary Anne Sisson, to name but a few. They were all leading writers and campaigners of their times and I pick up the baton from Olivia Hetreed, who worked tirelessly to stamp out the bullying and harassment and gender inequality that blights the screen and other industries in which we writers work. I also join the Writers’ Guild as it celebrates its diamond anniversary and I look forward to playing my own part in helping to write the next chapter of its important history.”
Outgoing WGGB President Olivia Hetreed said: “It’s been a real honor to represent the guild over the last six years and to see how it’s developed from strength to strength as a powerful campaigning union that is really effective in fighting for its members—but also knows how to have fun. I could not be more delighted to welcome the next president, Sandi Toksvig, herself a brilliant campaigner and a seriously funny woman, to carry the fight forward.”
WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers added: “Members are at the heart of WGGB—they campaign, negotiate and give up their hard-earned free time to help run their union and better the lot of all writers. I am therefore delighted to welcome Sandi Toksvig as our new president, a long-term member herself. All writers owe a huge debt to Olivia Hetreed, our outgoing president, who has moved mountains during her time in the role. She helped secure a landmark deal for film writers with the BFI, revamped the Writers’ Guild Awards to much acclaim and has passionately beat the drum for better equality—and against bullying and harassment—since she first set foot in office.”