Mariella is a writer and broadcaster, firmly established as an intelligent and accessible commentator on a wide range of programmes and publications. She is currently best known as presenter of Radio 4’s long-running weekly programme Open Book, and until recently presenter of Sky Arts Mariella’s Book Show.
She co-hosts The Big Painting Challenge alongside Rev Richard Coles; which pits amateur artists against each other. The series recently transmitted on Sunday nights on BBC1 to audiences in excess of 4 million. Other recent broadcasting projects include Bringing Up Britain, the Radio 4 series which looks at the challenges of modern parenting; and Objects of Desire for Sky Arts, a 6-part series exploring the world’s most desirable objects.
Mariella has had her own weekly dilemma column, Dear Mariella, for the Observer newspaper for the last 10 years, and writes regularly for other newspapers and magazines. She is much in demand as a live events presenter, awards host, and voice-over artist.
Mariella is passionate and knowledgeable about the arts, including film, literature, music and popular culture, as well as politics and current affairs, and over her career has interviewed many famous figures from Paul McCartney to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Susan Sarandon to Nick Clegg. She has been on the judging panels of various awards including The Booker Prize, the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Evening Standard Film Awards, the Turner Prize, the Amnesty International Media Awards, the London Film Festival, the BBC National Short Story Award and the RIBA Stirling Prize Awards.
Mariella is a Trustee of The Great Initiative; a charity which promotes gender equality. She lives in London and Somerset with her husband and two children.