Letters: Wireless women

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The Independent Online
Sir: With reference to Nan Winton's claim to have been the BBC's first female newsreader (letter, 2 July), my aunt, Sheila Borrett, was, in fact, the first woman to read the news on the BBC. This was before the war, when she read the nine o'clock news on the Home Service. A female voice reading the news on the "wireless" caused quite an uproar and, after the BBC had received a number of letters from outraged retired colonels in Cheltenham, she was taken off.

After the war she went to Florida where, as Sheila Stewart, she continued broadcasting, both on radio and television, until she was 80. I wonder if any readers remember her deep, clear and distinctive voice?


Teddington, London