Mary Elizabeth MarquisMBE is a Scots telly news presenter, nou retired.
She wis a leadin interviewer an presenter on BBC Scotland frae the mid-1960s, an became the face o the netwirk’s fore-nicht news programme Reporting Scotland till 1988, notably includin the whole o the 1970s Nationwide era when input frae BBC broadcasters based at the corporation’s ither studios aroond the UK contributit tae a naitional programme.
Born in Glesga an a anerly bairn, her faimily muivit tae Kirn athort the watter in Argyll when she wis vera young, tae run a smaw hotel, efter her faither haed suffered a hert attack. As a bairn she suffered an attack o tuberculosis an uised a wheelchair for a time, which kindled a dream o becomin a actress. At the age o 17 she wan a place tae RADA, but insteid trained in Glesga, nearer tae her faimily.
Suin efter the daith o her faither she jyned Border TV as a onscreen continuity annooncer, initially thinkin she wad anerly dae it “for a month”, but it became her career for the next twinty-seiven years. She wis the first body seen on screen at Border, openin the station’s transmission wi the wirds “Good Evening and welcome to Border Television” when it went on air at 5:45 on 1 September 1961.
Twa years later she muivit tae BBC Scotland, travellin aw ower Scotland tae interview fowk for A Quick Look Round (an later for her awn series First Person Singular form 1970 – 75), afore becomin ane o the three leadin presenters o Reporting Scotland at its inception in 1968, an subsequently the programme’s main anchor for the next twinty years. Wi the stairt o Nationwide in 1969, she became a frequent face on telly athort the whole o the UK, an several times covered for its regular presenters in Lunnon for twa or three weeks.
In the 1970s she wis heid-huntit bi ITN tae become their first female newscaster. But Mary Marquis preferred tae stay in Glesga whaur she coud leuk efter her mither an faimily, an the job insteid went tae Anna Ford in 1978.
Follaein the daith o her mither, an a chynge o management at the BBC, she steppit doun frae Reporting Scotland in 1988. She haes subsequently been involvit wi various airts, medical an academic organisations, an did a series o live interviews at the Edinburgh Festival an aw. She wis appointit Member o the Order o the Breetish Empire in the 1983 New Year Honours leet, an honoured wi a special awaird for ‘Special Contribution to Scottish Broadcasting’ at the 2007 Scottis BAFTA awairds.
Marquis returned tae BBC Scotland tae mark its muive intae new state-o-the-airt heidquairters at Pacific Quay an wis interviewed for the programme. frae the auld studios in Queen Margaret Drive. RSAMD awairds a annual Mary Marquis prize for student performance in telly, commemoratin her time thare.