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Stephanie Hope Flanders (born 5 August 1968) is a British broadcast journalist, and is the BBC economics editor. She is the daughter of British actor and comic singer Michael Flanders and Claudia Cockburn.


Early lifeEdit

Flanders' father, Michael Flanders, died in 1975 when she was six years old. She went to the independent St Paul's Girls' School and was a student at Balliol CollegeUniversity of Oxford, where she obtained a first class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics . She then attended Harvard University as a Kennedy Scholar.

[edit]Early careerEdit

Flanders began her career as an economist at the London Business School and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. She then became a leader writer and columnist at the Financial Times from 1994. She became a speechwriter and advisor to U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers in 1997, and joined the New York Times in 2001.

[edit]NewsnightEdit

Flanders joined the BBC's Newsnight in 2002. A keen cyclist, in 2005 she presented a review of Britain's economic status for Panorama from her bicycle, travelling the length of the country. She also contributed (with reference to her father's song "A Transport Of Delight") to the BBC News coverage of the last of Routemaster buses. In 2006 and 2007 she presented some relief shifts for BBC News between 2pm and 5pm. She has anchored editions of Newsnight with an economic focus.

On a Newsnight programme in August 2007, Flanders interrogated Conservative Party leader David Cameron about his proposed policy of tax breaks for married couples while questioning him with other journalists, asking him whether he had ever met anyone who would get married for an extra £20 per week. As an unmarried mother, she also asked Mr. Cameron whether the Conservative Party would like her to be married. Her contribution was criticised by Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn on 31 August 2007, where he made references to her "privileged" educational background and later wrote that "If Stephanie Flanders speaks for Britain, then I'm a gnu" (in reference to The Gnu - a song sung by her father and his stage partner Donald Swann).

[edit]Economics editorEdit

In February 2008 it was announced that she would replace Evan Davis as BBC economics editor, since he was moving to present Radio 4's Today programme. She took up this position on 17 March.

From June 2008 until January 2009 Hugh Pym temporarily replaced her as the BBC's economics editor whilst she was on maternity leave.

Since 2008 she has been a visiting fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. She presented The Andrew Marr Show during August 2009 to cover for Andrew Marr.

She presented a programme called "Stephanomics" on BBC Radio Four during July 2012. This programme asked questions about the world's economy, such as whether China or the United States would be the more important economic power. Another series of this programme began to be broadcast on Radio Four in April 2013.

In 2012, Flanders presented Masters of Money, a BBC Two documentary series exploring the lives of Karl MarxJohn Maynard Keynes, and Friedrich Hayek.

In August 2012 Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith made a formal complaint to the BBC claiming that there was a pro-Labour bias in her coverage of unemployment figures. The BBC stated in response that they were satisfied that their coverage was impartial.

On 28 February 2013, she presented the 2013 Bob Friend Memorial Lecture (by Stephanie) at the Pilkington Lecture Theatre at the University of Kent’s Medway Campus in Chatham. The University of Kent’s Centre for Journalism has had since 2009, the Sky News Bob Friend Memorial Scholarship.

[edit]Family and personal lifeEdit

She is grand-daughter of the radical journalist Claud Cockburn, whose journalist sons Alexander CockburnAndrew Cockburn and Patrick Cockburn are uncles. The US-based journalist Laura Flanders is her sister, and the film and television actor Olivia Wilde is a cousin. The writer and translator Lydia Davis is an aunt. She is distantly related to the novelist Evelyn Waugh.

Flanders and her partner John Arlidge (another journalist who has written from The GuardianThe Observer and other newspapers ) have a son, born in 2006, and a daughter, born in 2008. She previously dated Ed Balls and Ed Miliband who went on to become Shadow Chancellor and leader of the Labour Party respectively.

In June 2007 Flanders presented an edition of BBC Radio 4's Archive Hour about her father's career, titled Flanders on Flanders.

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