Victoria Coren Mitchell might have popped up on your radar for any number of reasons. As a young girl barely in her teens her first story appeared in an edition of Just Seventeen magazine. Her successes only gathered momentum when she started her own column in The Daily Telegraph that dealt with the topics of being teenagers in 1980s UK. A real-life Carrie Bradshaw, Victoria Coren, as she was known then (and still prefers to be called), wrote works pertaining to dating, sex and romance.
If that sort of topic isn’t your proverbial cup of tea, you may know her from her numerous and increasingly common appearances on UK panel shows such as QI, Have I Got News for You?, and The Unbelievable Truth. The host of the latter, David Mitchell, became her husband in 2012.
Never one to shy away from an intellectual confrontation, she is the current host of BBC Radio 4’s Heresy program, in which fervently held beliefs such as “travel broadens the mind”, “women look better in men’s clothing than [vice versa]”, or “the bankers are to blame for getting us into this mess” are put to the test by Victoria and her guest panel. No less of a mental romp, she also hosts the game show Only Connect in which two teams are pitted against one another to find connections between clues that are at first glance entirely unrelated. The game is well-known for being fiendishly difficult and arguably “Britain’s hardest quiz show” as the Guardian suggests.
Before her career as a presenter, however, she was a professional poker player. With a degree from Oxford University and a solid intellectual background as demonstrated by her numerous achievements, it’s no surprise that as a poker pro she was the first ever to win the European Poker Tour twice, as we read on her 888poker profile. Of course, this was after breaking the gender barrier the first time she won the prestigious competition. Not one for greed, she donated a portion of her nearly 2m euro winnings to Age UK, a charity that looks after elders residents in the UK.
As if an enviable career as a professional poker player and presenter for TV and radio shows wasn’t enough — to say nothing of her career as a teenage writer for a well-established newspaper — she also adapted John Diamond’s columns into a play before adapting it again into a program that was broadcast on the BBC.
Victoria continues to demonstrate her prowess across the spectrum of all entertainment media. It’s s a genuine wonder that she has found the time to become a mother in 2012. With a stamina that feels almost superhuman when compared with how difficult it is for the average person simply to get down to the gym in the mornings, she’s certainly one to keep eye on — and easily done as it seems there’s hardly a field in which she hasn’t plunged into with a splash of success!