27 August 1981

Stuart becomes Britain’s first black newsreader

Moira Stuart became Britain’s first black newsreader on this day in 1981. During the decades that followed she would present every type of BBC bulletin, with the exception of News at Ten. In 2007 she became the subject of a controversy about ageism in the media, after rumours circulated that she had been removed from her role in Sunday AM because she was considered 'too old' at 57.

Throughout her career Stuart has earned respect for her poise and professionalism, and enthusiastic praise for her physical attractiveness. She was famously propositioned by John Humphrys, who told her: ‘You’re the most sensationally sexy lady I know. The best thing we can do for the next few hours is to make mad, passionate love in the basement.’ Humphrys was by no means her only admirer, and men’s magazines were inundated with requests for her to pose naked following her initial appearances on television. The letter reproduced below is typical in its passion and enthusiasm…

Moira Stuart is widely admired for her poise and professionalism

LETTERS

Mayfair, Volume 16, Number 11

I’m sure I speak for very red-blooded male when I say that the BBC newsreader Moira Stuart is a real breath of fresh air. With her dusky good looks and fabulous body she is number one in the lady charts. Her demure manner doesn’t fool me for one minute – I know it merely covers the furnace of passion within! I wonder if she wears stockings? I hope so – tights are such a turn-off and far too common for a classy lady like Moira. I expect she favours the most elegant silk underwear, probably from the finest emporia in Paris and Milan. Only the best for Moira! She sits so elegantly when reading the news, but sometimes she moves slightly, as though crossing and uncrossing her stockinged legs. I can picture her now, with her legs crossed and a stiletto-heeled slipper dangling from her toes. At times like this I would love to be her chair!

I have a proposition to put to you. Why not ask Moira to pose for Mayfair? You could do a “Newsreader Special” with Sue Lawley, Jan Leeming and Anna Ford. (I’m sure these delectable dames would welcome the opportunity to let their hair down and show their “fun side”.) It would all be done in a dignified and tasteful manner of course – no hint of a hirsute mons veneris or anything that might damage the reputation of the BBC. If this photographic feast can be arranged, then I would be willing to make a sizeable contribution to a charity of the ladies’ choice, in return for signed pictures and the lingerie worn for the “sessions”.

L.C., Maidstone, Kent

The Editor replies: Thank you Mr. L.C., and the hundreds of others who have written in a similar vein. We invited Miss Stuart to pose for our Christmas issue, but have thus far received no word.

Picture: PA

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