Mary Nightingale’s career
After studying English at London University, Mary worked for a few years as a Eurobond dealer, joining the City just as it was revolutionised by the so-called ‘Big Bang’ in 1986. She left the Square Mile to join Sir Keith Mills’ team at Airmiles, helping to launch what was then a ground-breaking sales promotion concept to the British Public.
In 1990 Mary had her first taste of television, when she was invited to screen test for a popular daily programme on TV Tokyo: World Business Satellite. She got the job, and spent the next 5 years reporting the main financial news from Europe – combining her writing skills with valuable city experience. She covered many high profile stories during that time, including the toppling of Margaret Thatcher, and the release of Nelson Mandela.
In 1991 Mary expanded her TV experience on the newly launched BBC World Service Television – presenting World Business Report – a twice daily live half hour programme.
She first broadcast to a UK audience in January 1993, when Carlton succeeded Thames Television in the London region; initially presenting the late night bulletin on London Tonight, and then joining Alastair Stewart as main co-presenter in 1996.
During that time Mary also worked as a newsreader on BBC Radio Five Live, presented for Reuters Financial TV, reported for BBC Ski-Sunday, and fronted the ITV Rugby World Cup from South Africa – one of the first women to present such a high profile sports event.
Mary took a break from News in 1999, when she landed what was often called “the best job in television” – hosting the hugely popular ITV travel show Wish You Were Here. During her travels Mary crossed the Atlantic on the QE2 and Concorde, learnt to scuba dive, and herded cattle by horseback on a ranch in Arizona. She also saw more golden beaches and cruise ships than she can possibly remember!