Lauren Laverne

Lauren Cecilia Fisher (née Gofton; born 28 April 1978), known professionally as Lauren Laverne, is an English radio DJ, model, television presenter, author, singer and comedian.

Lauren Laverne
Lauren Laverne in 2007
Lauren Cecilia Gofton

(1978-04-28) 28 April 1978
ResidenceMuswell Hill, London, England
Sunderland, Tyne and Wear England
OccupationDisc jockey, television presenter, singer, author, comedian
Years active1994–present
TelevisionThe Culture Show
10 O'Clock Live
Graeme Fisher (m. 2005)

Laverne was lead singer and additional guitarist in the rock band Kenickie, although her greatest chart success came when she performed vocals on Mint Royale's single "Don't Falter". Kenickies album In The Club did reach the top 10 however. Laverne has presented television programmes including 10 O'Clock Live for Channel 4, and The Culture Show and coverage of the Glastonbury Festival for the BBC. Laverne has written a published novel entitled Candypop: Candy and the Broken Biscuits. She presents the breakfast show on BBC Radio 6 Music.

In September 2018, Laverne took over as the host of Radio 4's Desert Island Discs when Kirsty Young took time off due to illness.

Early years

Born Lauren Gofton, she was brought up in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, in a large family.[1][2] One grandfather had been a shipbuilder, the other a coalminer.[2] Her father, Dr Leslie Gofton was a sociology lecturer at Newcastle University, and her mother was a teacher.[2] She first attended St. Mary's R.C. Primary School in 1982, where she befriended Marie Nixon, later to become a fellow Kenickie guitarist, and then St. Anthony's Girls' Catholic School between 1989 and 1994, where she and Nixon met Emma Jackson. Laverne went on to study at City of Sunderland College from 1994 to 1996.[3]


During her time at college, Laverne, Nixon and Jackson, then all aged sixteen, formed Kenickie with Laverne's brother Peter, taking the stage names Lauren Laverne, Marie du Santiago, Emmy-Kate Montrose and Johnny X. Initially affiliated to the Slampt label and the local punk scene, the band later signed with EMI. In all, Kenickie achieved four top 40 hit singles and a top ten hit album.

Laverne, Du Santiago and Montrose became as known for their funny and acerbic onstage banter and interview style as for their music, making all three of them popular contestants on comedy panel shows such as Never Mind the Buzzcocks. On a late 1996 satellite TV children's' programme, Laverne memorably referred to girl group the Spice Girls as "Tory scum".[4][5] Laverne would later appear on Have I Got News for You.

In 2000, she brought out a solo EP, Take These Flowers Away, contributed a version of "In the Bleak Midwinter" to Xfm London's It's a Cool, Cool Christmas album, played at the Reading Festival and made the top 20 for the only time in her singing career as vocalist on "Don't Falter" by Mint Royale. She was also working on a solo album at this time, but this was permanently put on hold by the collapse of Deceptive Records.

She subsequently provided guest vocals on the Divine Comedy's 2004 single "Come Home Billy Bird".[6]


Laverne's first television presenting job was Play UK's series The Alphabet Show, with Chris Addison, made while Kenickie were still together. She subsequently presented Planet Pop and Loves Like A Dog for Channel 4, Fanorama for E4, Party in the Park with Melanie Brown and Pop for Five and Orange Playlist for ITV, as well as reporting for RI:SE, leading the house band on Johnny Vaughan Tonight and appearing as an expert in a music special of BBC One's Test the Nation. Later, she became one of BBC2's main presenters for their coverage of the Glastonbury Festival and the host of ITV2's coverage of events such as the British Comedy Awards and the BRIT Awards.

She also presented a documentary for Sky One on the rise of popularity of the US hit TV Show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, called Buffy: Television With Bite. This was done when the show was returning for its sixth season in 2001.

In 2003, Laverne was a regular team captain, along with Jason Byrne, on "Elvis Has Left The Building" a comedy music panel show hosted by Colin Murphy for BBC Northern Ireland.

In 2004 she was a regular guest on the quiz show HeadJam. In 2005, she became host of ITV's Saturday morning music show CD:UK, along with Myleene Klass and Johny Pitts, starting on 17 September with a programme featuring Laverne interviewing former The Beatles and Wings member Paul McCartney. The show finished in April 2006.

in April 2006, she appeared as guest host of Never Mind the Buzzcocks. In August, Laverne presented Channel 4's coverage of the V Festival. In March 2007, she presented the NME Awards live from the Hammersmith Palais.

In July 2007, Laverne appeared on the satirical comedy show Mock the Week, and on Have I Got News for You on 14 December of the same year. She appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks on 10 January 2008, this time as a guest. In September 2008, Laverne appeared again on Mock the Week.

In March 2008, Laverne appeared on the Lily Allen and Friends show with fellow Sunderland musicians the Futureheads, and on Would I Lie to You?.

From 2006 to 2010, she was a regular presenter with the weekly BBC arts magazine programme The Culture Show, alongside Mark Kermode. She also presented the second series of the late-night Channel 4 music show Transmission with T-Mobile opposite Steve Jones.

Laverne replaced radio DJ Jo Whiley on the talent show Orange Mobile Act Unsigned, which searches for the top unsigned acts in the country.

Laverne became a regular presenter in the new 'magazine' format third series of It's Not Easy Being Green, first broadcast on BBC Two in January 2009. She also narrated Tough Guy or Chicken? on BBC Three in August 2009.

On 6 May 2010, she was a co-host of Channel 4's Alternative Election Night, along with Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell and Charlie Brooker. Starting 20 January 2011, she re-joined her co-hosts on Channel 4's satirical news programme 10 O'Clock Live.[7]

Laverne narrates the animated series 'Tee and Mo' about a little monkey and his monkey Mum, as shown on the BBC CBeebies channel.


Having previously sat in for BBC Radio 1's Steve Lamacq, Laverne joined Xfm London in 2002, co-hosting a Saturday morning show with Mark Webster, while occasionally standing in for various DJs on BBC Radio 6 Music, including Phill Jupitus' breakfast show where one morning she interviewed her own brother Pete (who records under the name J Xaverre) Laverne took over XFM's drivetime slot from Zoë Ball at the start of 2004, winning Best Newcomer at the Commercial Radio Awards in 2004.[8]

She became host of the XFM breakfast show on 31 October 2005 after Christian O'Connell moved to Virgin Radio, but left suddenly in April 2007 to pursue her television interests. However, Laverne went on to guest present on BBC Radio 2.

Laverne re-joined 6 Music in June 2008 to present a weekend show[9] before taking over the Monday to Friday morning (10:00 to 13:00) slot from George Lamb in November 2009.[10] From January 2019, Laverne replaced Shaun Keaveny on the 6 Music Breakfast Show in a station schedule re-shuffle, which airs Monday - Friday, 07:30 to 10:30.

In 2014, Laverne guest-edited Woman's Hour on Radio 4, and in 2015 began hosting Late Night Woman's Hour, a spinoff series.[11]

In September 2018, Lauren took over as host to Radio 4's Desert Island Discs when Kirsty Young took time off because of fibromyalgia illness treatment. In August 2019 The Spectator columnist Melanie McDonagh criticised Laverne for being "lightweight and uncerebral".[12]


In 2010, she published her first novel Candypop – Candy and the Broken Biscuits, about rock chick Candy Caine, 15, on her journey to the world's biggest music festival, Glastonbury. The book is published by HarperCollins. Laverne was a columnist for The Guardian from 2012 to 2014, writing about style and British Culture.

In April 2015, Laverne launched The Pool, an online platform aimed at women.[13] The site was co-founded with writer and magazine editor Sam Baker and included features from British journalists including Sasha Wilkins, Sali Hughes and Viv Groskop. The website also included regular podcasts and videos with Caitlin Moran. The platform entered administration in January 2019.[14]

Personal life

Laverne married the television producer and DJ Graeme Fisher in County Durham in August 2005; the couple live in Muswell Hill, London and she also has a flat in Sunderland. The couple had their first child, a boy, in October 2007. On 30 March 2010, she announced on her BBC Radio 6 Music show that she was pregnant, and she gave birth to their second son in September 2010.[15][16][17]

Laverne is a vegetarian.[18]

In 2005, Laverne's passion for her home city resulted in her becoming an ambassador promoting and raising awareness of Sunderland. She is a supporter of Sunderland AFC in football.[19][20] She received an honorary fellowship from the University of Sunderland in July 2009.

Laverne is a supporter of the Labour Party, and called the Spice Girls "Tory scum" for their support for the Conservatives in the 1997 general election.[5] Laverne's mother, Celia Gofton, was elected a councillor for the Pallion ward in the City of Sunderland in 2006, and sought nomination as Labour candidate in 2008 in the Sunderland Central constituency but was defeated by Julie Elliott, who went on to win the seat for Labour in the 2010 general election.[21]

Laverne is a Roman Catholic. In 2011, she said, "Once a Catholic ... it's like the Mafia ... you don't get to leave. I'm not sure I'd want to, but I'm incredibly angry with the Church at the moment."[22]


Solo singles
  • Take These Flowers Away EP (did not chart)
  1. "I Fell Out of a Tree"
  2. "Good Morning Sunshine"
  3. "To Have a Home"
  4. "Some Kind of Other Presence"
  5. "If You Phone (Netmix)" (internet only bonus track)
Other solo releases
  • "Don't Falter", Mint Royale featuring Lauren Laverne, No.15 (w/b 31 January 2000)[23]
  • "In the Bleak Midwinter" (on It's A Cool Cool Christmas compilation) (did not chart)
  • "Come Home Billy Bird", the Divine Comedy (uncredited vocalist), No. 24 (w/b 28 March 2004)
Miscellaneous solo songs

Other solo songs performed on radio sessions include:

  • "Don't Falter (acoustic)"
  • "Mexico"
  • "Thank You"
  • "Ian"
  • "Open"


  1. Philby, Charlotte (29 November 2008). "My Secret Life: Lauren Laverne". The Independent. London. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  2. Joanna Moorhead (29 December 2012). "Lauren Laverne: My family values | Life and style". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  3. Murray, Janet (13 November 2007). "Laverne attended City of Sunderland College 1994-96". The Guardian.
  4. Melody Maker 11 January 1997, sidebar profile accoompanying To Hell With Teen Spirit Kenickie cover feature interview by Simon Price
  5. Hyde, Marina (29 May 2004). "This week". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 3 March 2007. In the history of British celebs wading into politics, then, there have been minimal bright moments. Xfm DJ Lauren Laverne (then in rival band Kenickie) dismissing the Spice Girls as "Tory scum", for instance...
  6. "Review: Absent Friends". BBC Music. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  7. "10 O'Clock Live microsite on". Channel 4. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  8. "DJ Fox honoured at radio awards". BBC News. 24 June 2004. Retrieved 3 March 2007. Others honoured at the Commercial Radio Awards included XFM's Lauren Laverne for best newcomer.
  9. "BBC 6 Music". BBC. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  10. Tryhorn, Chris (2 November 2009). "George Lamb to leave 6Music daytime slot". The Guardian. London. Lauren Laverne to replace controversial DJ after he moves to weekend show on 6Music
  11. "Lauren Laverne raises eyebrows with Radio 4's Late Night Woman's Hour". The Guardian. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  12. The Spectator
  13. Jackson, Jasper (30 March 2015). "Lauren Laverne launches online platform aimed at women". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  14. Editor, Jim Waterson Media (31 January 2019). "Online women's magazine The Pool enters administration". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  15. "GRO Marriage Index on". Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  16. "Taking it all in her stride — ChronicleLive". 14 December 2005. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  17. "Lauren Laverne". Sunday Mirror. 6 May 2007. Archived from the original on 3 December 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2009 via Find Articles.
  18. "The 2008 World's Sexiest Vegetarians Are... // Out There // peta2". Archived from the original on 18 May 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  19. "Sunderland fans give their reaction after Black Cats' cup loss - the Journal".
  20. "Off to bed, feeling so happy that London is full of my people! Good luck tomorrow @safcofficial!!!". Twitter. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  21. "The NS Interview: Lauren Laverne". New Statesman. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  22. "MINT ROYALE | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 9 January 2019.
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