Anne Gregg

Travel journalist and broadcaster


Anne Deirdre Gregg, journalist and television presenter: born Belfast 11 February 1940; died London 5 September 2006.

Away from the cameras, Anne Gregg was known for being just as bubbly, warm and kind as she was on screen - something reflected in her reaction to being ousted as presenter of the BBC's Holiday programme 15 years ago.

Newspaper headlines screamed of her "sacking", when in fact she had resigned after being asked to revert to the role of reporter, with a new presenter being brought in, but Gregg was philosophical. "When you have a job like mine, your fall from grace is very public," she said. "But, for people in this industry, losing a job is just as bad, if not worse, and only your family hears about it."

The revamp of Holiday was seen by some as proof of an ageist attitude in the media, but Gregg pointed to the survival of Esther Rantzen and Sue Lawley in high-profile jobs, insisting: "Simply, there were changes and I didn't fit in with them, so I decided to walk away and let them get on with it."

Neither was she impressed - or flattered - to have been dubbed "the thinking man's crumpet". "It's just one of those glib phrases," she said:

The only thing that pleases me about it is that I am in good company, as the likes of Joan Bakewell,

Joanna Lumley and Felicity Kendal have all been similarly described.

The presenter's departure from Holiday was met with more than 1,000 protests to the BBC but, as Anneka Rice - almost 20 years her junior - replaced her, Gregg switched channels to ITV to host her own programmes and continued to write for various newspapers and magazines, as she had done for the previous quarter-century.

Born in 1940 in Belfast, where her father worked in the Ordnance Survey office and her mother was a dressmaker, Gregg became a civil servant herself, working as a book-keeper after leaving Strathearn Grammar School. Her first plane journey, at the age of 18, to the Expo '58 event in Brussels, left a lasting impression that would lead her into travel writing. A year later, she changed career when she became an announcer and reporter with the newly established Ulster Television, ITV's Northern Ireland contractor. In 1963, she switched to Anglia Television, in Norwich, before joining the BBC in London as a continuity announcer.

However, she then left television for print journalism, joining Good Housekeeping magazine as features editor in 1966 and rising to deputy editor, before taking over the editorship of Woman's Journal in 1978. Two years later, she went freelance, continuing to write but also returning to the screen as a reporter on the Holiday programme, eventually becoming its presenter, following in the footsteps of Cliff Michelmore.

After her abrupt departure, Gregg presented ITV's travel-religion programme Annie Across America (1992), about Christianity in the United States, enthusing:

It was fascinating to hear the totally opposed views of people who all profess to be Christians. You go from the Southern Baptists, who think gays ought to be boiled in oil, to a gay priest in Los Angeles fighting for human and civil rights.

The following year, she travelled with various preachers to different places of pilgrimage for Package Pilgrims (1993).

Gregg also hosted the ITV travel programme Getaways (screened in the Meridian and HTV regions, 1993-98) and Places Apart (for BBC Northern Ireland, 1996-97), as well as one series of the BBC Radio 4 programme Breakaway (1997).

At various times, she was travel editor of Radio Times, Living, Catalyst and BBC Homes & Antiques magazines and, from 1979 until her death, editor of The Traveller in France. In 2003 France awarded her the Médaille d'Or du Tourisme.

Gregg's love of France led her to write the book Tarragon and Truffles: a guide to the best French markets (2006). Her other books included The Perfect Holiday (1989), Dalton's Directory of British Holidays (1993) and the "Heritage Guides to Great Britain" series (1995).

Anthony Hayward

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Co-ordinator

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Required skills include SQL querying, SSRS, u...

Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?