Tonight sees the return of Fake Or Fortune? in which news anchor Fiona Bruce investigates the mysteries behind well-known paintings.
We did a bit of investigating of our own by having a dig around in the world of Fiona Bruce. Here’s what we dug up…
1. Fiona was born in Singapore
…to a Scottish dad and English mum – and has taken her children on holiday to see the more exotic island she came from. She studied French and Italian at Oxford University and once dyed her hair blue for a week in her student ‘punk’ period.
2. She is a feminist
Naturally. She’s well aware of the way female newsreaders are judged more on their appearance than men are, and apparently, at 19, she once told her dad, with a straight face: “Feminism isn’t a hobby, Dad, it’s a way of life’.”
3. She thinks social media can be nasty
Fiona was Rear of the Year in 2010 (Clive Gee/PA)
Particularly the way men write about women online in this digital age. She has said: “I’m astonished at the freedom with which a depressingly large number of men feel they can just say what they want and write the most hideously misogynistic stuff about women, I look at my daughter and think, ‘God, I didn’t think this was coming your way.’ I really didn’t. The misogyny on the internet is a whole area that I would never have thought was coming.”
4. She dyes her hair for the news
In 2012, she confessed: “I have a few grey hairs. I dye them. I don’t let my grey hair show when I’m reading the news. Of course, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation if I was a man. I used to get cross about that, but what’s the point? I’m never going to change things on my own. If age does become an issue, I’ll deal with it.”
5. She was criticised for returning to work 16 days after her daughter was born
Fiona loves her job (John Millard/PA)
But she only went in for three hours to show off her new baby and recorded a voice-over for Crimewatch. She also continued to read the news up until four days before she gave birth. At the time, she said: “I’m not some mad career monster. 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.”
6. She feels guilty as a mum
Fiona Bruce busy chatting the Queen (Gareth Fuller/PA)
She has a son, Sam, 17, and daughter Mia, 13, with husband Nigel Sharrocks. Like many working mums, Bruce isn’t 100% sure she’s got the balance right – and has admitted: “I’m sure I could be a better mother. I feel guilty about a lot of things, a lot of the time.”
7. She’s returning to Fake Or Fortune?
Fiona and art dealer Philip Mould on Fake Or Fortune? (BBC)
The series began in 2011 and is co-hosted by art dealer and art historian Philip Mould. So far, they have investigated the authenticity of works by Chagall, Degas, Turner, Monet, Rembrandt and Constable. She has said of the show: “When we set out with these stories, because they were happening in real time, we had no idea how they were going to end. So they don’t follow that niche narrative arc of television programmes… Sometimes they have a happy ending, and sometimes they don’t.”
8. Fiona Bruce likes to dance
Fiona having fun for Children In Need in 2010 (Yui Mok/PA)
She’s turned down Strictly Come Dancing, saying it will “never happen”, but that doesn’t mean doesn’t like a boogie. “Parties where nobody dances are boring, there’s nothing worse,” she’s confessed. “For me, if people come round to our house and we have dinner and drinks, if it doesn’t end with a bit of dancing, even if it’s dancing in the kitchen, it’s not a success.”
The fourth series of Fake Or Fortune? begins on BBC1 tonight (5 July) at 8.00pm.