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Why Fiona Bruce was forced to defend this parenting choice early on in her career

The presenter was criticised following the birth of her daughter

fiona bruce© Photo: Rex
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
February 14, 2021
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Fiona Bruce has been a familiar face on our TV screens for many years now. Presenting the likes of Antiques Roadshow, Question Time and the BBC News at Ten, the BBC just wouldn't be the same without her. But did you know she was once criticised for working too hard?

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Back in 2000, the presenter was forced to defend herself after she returned to work at the BBC just sixteen days after giving birth to her second child, Mia. At the time she told The Telegraph: "I'm not some mad career monster" in response to criticism that she returned to work too soon.

"I don't want people to think I'm setting a terribly bad example here - the last thing I would advocate is women rushing back to work with a baby."

WATCH: Fiona Bruce asserts her authority as host on first Question Time

According to the newspaper, Fiona's schedule was a lot less demanding than viewers thought. At the time, she was a newsreader on the BBC Six O'Clock News but only appeared on screens once or twice a week and occasionally at weekends. As for her other role fronting Crimewatch, she only spent three days working on the show which aired monthly.

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Explaining her decision further, the mum-of-two said: "With my first baby, Sam, I was a full-time reporter on Newsnight and took seven months off. If I was still doing that job, that's what I'd have done again."

fiona bruce mia

At the time Fiona had just given birth to daughter Mia

"Lots of people have asked if my bosses have been cracking the whip, but they went to great lengths to make sure this was my decision and not theirs.

She continued: "I said to them, 'This is what I want to do'. My boss called me in and said, 'Are you sure? We don't want you to feel that you have to come back and no one's done this before'."

fiona bruce question time© Photo: BBC

Alongside Antiques Roadshow, Fiona also presents Question Time

These days, the 56-year-old can be found fronting the charming BBC series Antiques Roadshow as well as Question Time, a role which she took over from veteran newsreader David Dimbleby in 2019.

Her two children, whom she shares with husband Nigel, Sam and Mia are now 22 and 19 respectively. Speaking more recently about her decision to be a working mum, Fiona said: "My kids once said, 'What would you do if you hadn't got us?' I replied, 'I'd be more successful and I'd have more friends, but I wouldn't be as happy.'"

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