Sarah Sands

Sarah Sands (née Harvey; 3 June 1961) is a British journalist and author. A former editor of the London Evening Standard, she became editor of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 in 2017.

Sarah Sands
Sarah Harvey

(1961-06-03) 3 June 1961
EducationKent College, Pembury
(Methodist boarding school)
Alma materGoldsmiths College, University of London
OccupationJournalist, editor, novellist
Known forEditor, BBC Radio 4 Today (May 2017 - )
Editor, London Evening Standard (March 2012 - May 2017)
Deputy Editor, London Evening Standard (Feb. 2009 - Mar. 2012)
Editor-in-Chief, Reader's Digest (Feb. 2008 - Feb. 2009)
Consultant Editor, Daily Mail (Apr. 2006 - Feb. 2008)
Editor, The Sunday Telegraph
(Jun. 2005 - Mar. 2006)
Deputy Editor, The Daily Telegraph (1996 - 2005)
Julian Sands
(m. 1984; div. 1987)

Kim Fletcher
FamilyKit Hesketh-Harvey (brother)

Early life

Sands was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent in 1961, to parents in the Colonial Service.[1] Sands is the younger sister of Kit Hesketh-Harvey (of musical duo Kit and The Widow). She was educated at Kent College, Pembury (then a Methodist, now interdenominational) independent day and boarding school for girls. She later attended Goldsmiths, University of London.[2]


Sands trained on The Sevenoaks Chronicle as a news reporter, before moving to the Evening Standard, initially as editor of the Londoner's Diary, before taking further posts as features editor and associate editor. She joined The Daily Telegraph in 1996 as deputy editor, under Charles Moore, later assuming responsibility for the Saturday edition.[1][3]

Sands was appointed the first female editor of The Sunday Telegraph in June 2005, succeeding Dominic Lawson.[4] Her plan for the November 2005 relaunch of the paper was that it should be "like an iPod – full of your favourite things".[5] However the makeover was not well regarded by senior management and in an abrupt move, after just eight months and 20 days in post, Sands was sacked as editor of the newspaper on 7 March 2006 by Andrew Neil and replaced by Patience Wheatcroft.[1][6][7] Subsequently, many of her changes under her editorship were reversed (including changes to the title font).

In April 2006, Sands was appointed consultant editor on the Daily Mail.[8]

In August 2006, Sands wrote an article about the emo musical genre, which stated that Green Day and My Chemical Romance encourage self-harm among teenagers.[9] Upon hearing about this article while on tour in the UK, My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way led a chant of "fuck the Daily Mail" (as Sands's article ran in this newspaper) during one of their live shows.[10] Kerrang! magazine, in particular, took offense at the article.[11]

In February 2008 she was appointed editor-in-chief of the UK edition of Reader's Digest.[8] In February 2009 it was announced that she would be taking up the role of deputy editor on London Evening Standard.[12] She became editor of the London Evening Standard following Geordie Greig's departure for the Mail on Sunday in March 2012.[13]

In January 2017, she was appointed editor of the BBC Radio 4 Today programme and took up her appointment later in the year.[14]

Sands has written three novels: Playing the Game (2003), Hothouse (2005) and The Villa (2006).

Private life

Sands’s first marriage was the actor Julian Sands, with whom she had a son. Her second marriage was to Kim Fletcher, a former editorial director of the Telegraph group and editor of the Independent on Sunday, with whom she has two children.[1][4]


  1. Anthony, Andrew (5 February 2017). "Sarah Sands: lively new boss of the BBC's breakfast club". The Observer. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  2. Day, Julia (7 March 2006). "Sinking Sands". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  3. "person - Sarah Sands". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  4. "'Something very lovely will happen at the Telegraph'". The Independent. 28 August 2005. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
  5. "I want the paper to be like your iPod", The Guardian, 20 June 2005
  6. Brook, Stephen (28 July 2006). "My Sunday Telegraph plans 'strangled at birth', says Sands". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  7. "The media column – Peter Wilby bids farewell to Sarah Sands", New Statesman, 13 March 2006
  8. Sweney, Mark (21 February 2008). "Sarah Sands joins Reader's Digest". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  9. Sarah Sands "EMO cult warning for parents", Daily Mail, 16 August 2006
  10. "gerard way fuck the daily mail". YouTube. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  11. Chemical reaction in the Emo world, Sarah Sands, TES, 11 May 2008
  12. Mark Sweney "Sarah Sands named deputy editor of London Evening Standard", The Guardian, 20 February 2009
  13. "Sarah Sands is new editor of London Evening Standard". The Guardian. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  14. Grierson, Jamie (30 January 2017). "Sarah Sands named editor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
Media offices
Preceded by
Simon Heffer and Veronica Wadley
Deputy Editor of The Daily Telegraph
Succeeded by
Neil Darbyshire and William Lewis
Preceded by
Dominic Lawson
Editor of The Sunday Telegraph
Succeeded by
Patience Wheatcroft
Preceded by
Andrew Bordiss
Deputy Editor of the Evening Standard
Succeeded by
Ian Walker
Preceded by
Geordie Greig
Editor of the Evening Standard
Succeeded by
George Osborne
Preceded by
Jamie Angus
Editor of Today
Succeeded by
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