Celebrity Wiki

Philippa Hamilton-James (previously known as Philippa Forrester) is a British television and radio presenter producer as well as an author.

Early life

Philippa Clare Ryan Forrester was born September 20, 1968 in Winchester, Hampshire. She was educated at Westgate School, a co-educational comprehensive school in Winchester, Hampshire, and at Peter Symond's College in the same city.


Philippa first worked for the BBC as a presenter on Children's BBC alongside Toby Anstis from July 1990 until 1994 (she was gunged on Get Your Own Back). She then went on to host many programmes including Tomorrow's World (with Peter Snow), Barking Mad, The Heaven and Earth Show and Robot Wars.

Her job as a pit reporter for Robot Wars was highlighted in the British sit-com Spaced. In episode 2.3 "Mettle," Simon Pegg's Character Tim is explaining the name of the robot he and Mike (Nick Frost) built to Daisy (Jessica Hynes) and he says "Phillipa would have loved it." He goes on to explain that she no longer is on Robot Wars because she had a baby, and then asks Daisy to interview him and pretend to be Phillipa. The mock interview is conducted with sexually suggestive questions/answers about the robot. The joke ends when Mike enters looking off put, and Tim explains Mike usually likes to be Phillipa. [1]

She also co-presented the BBC's coverage of the total solar eclipse of August 1999. At the end of the same year she was also part of the corporation's team covering the turn of the new Millennium, and was duped into appearing on the spoof documentary Brass Eye's notorious 2001 paedophilia special, in which she wore a large pair of gloves, and explained how a paedophile could use them to touch children through a screen, such as a television screen.[2]

She has appeared in television adverts for Lloyds Pharmacy[3] and supports the Recycle Now campaign to encourage more people to take up home composting.[4]

In 2007, she co-produced with her husband An Otter in the Family, a short documentary series about the adoption of an otter cub called Grace and their attempts to raise her as a wild animal in order to be released into the wild.[5] She is a co-presenter with Brett Westwood on World on the Move, a BBC Radio 4 series that started in 2008 on migration in the animal kingdom.

Philippa and her husband are currently producing a new four part series for BBC television, to be shown in the spring of 2010. In diary form, the series follows the wildlife to be found in the garden of their home near Bristol, UK, concentrating on the conservation and protection aspects.

Personal life

In July 2004, Philippa married her long-time partner, wildlife cameraman and producer Charlie Hamilton-James[6]. The couple live just outside Bath, Somerset, run Halcyon Media which specialises in wildlife productions, and have three sons. The arrival of the first, Fred, in 2000, is described in her book The River. Since getting married, Philippa has gone by her married name of Philippa Hamilton-James for both professional and private purposes.

She is an avid environmentalist[4] and took a part-time degree in Ecology and Conservation at Birkbeck, University of London when presenting Tomorrow's World. Her love of nature conservation has continued throughout her life and she is now the vice-president of the Avon Wildlife Trust. Phillipa also holds a degree in English from the University of Birmingham.[7]


  • "A few weeks ago, it was Fred's birthday, and we hired a magician to entertain the kids at his party. Afterwards, when we asked Fred what his favourite bit of the magician's show was, he said it was 'watching Mummy get sawn in half' - The things you do for your children!!"
  • (On her husband's choice of gifts for her) "I tend to get a new camera for Christmas and birthday and Easter! He probably buys them so I don't touch his precious photographic equipment. At least they are my toys to play with."
  • "I can honestly say that working with my husband is a joy. We've been working together for about 10 years and I cannot imagine (and wouldn't really want to) working with anyone else. We work really well together."
  • (On the filming of her nature series Halcyon River Diaries) "We invited TV cameras into our family to live with us for a whole year. What was I thinking?"
  • (Speaking about her home town) "For me Winchester is the perfect package. It's beautiful, it's historic and the geology of the area makes its plants and countryside unique. You can walk everywhere from the shops, to the Cathedral, to the water meadows. You never feel lost or insecure and you always meet someone you know."
  • (On working on Tomorrow's World) "I was no techno-expert. People still think I am a gadget-freak even after all these years. I just learned things as I went along. I turned the garbled technical details into a script that people could find interesting, easy to understand, but that was still accurate. Finding a way of demonstrating a gadget so people could see clearly how it worked, while they sat and ate their tea was the challenge."
  • (on being diagnosed gluten-intolerant) "I was put on a strict diet for two months of no dairy foods, no alcohol, no caffeine and no wheat or grains. I took vitamin supplements and then slowly reintroduced different foods into my diet."