Guest Chair – a history

Viv Lumsden is our Honorary Guest Chair and we know how lucky we are to have her!

Viv was born and educated in Edinburgh. At 17, she undertook a cultural upheaval and moved to Glasgow where she studied speech and drama at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. After a year at Jordanhill Teacher Training College, she decided to reject a career in teaching and joined the newly-established Radio Clyde as a relief presenter.

For the next few years, she opted out of a career to become a full-time wife and mother, picking up the broadcasting threads again in the early eighties as the radio voice of the AA morning traffic reports and afternoon Flightwatch information.

An invitation followed to join BBC Scotland as the early morning news presenter on Breakfast Time, then a year later, Viv moved on to the flagship evening news programme, Reporting Scotland. Until 1989, she continued to front the nightly news, interspersed with other programmes, including Children In Need. In 1988, she presented the daily live Garden Party programme from the Glasgow Garden Festival for BBC Network.

She then crossed channels to anchor Scottish Television’s flagship news, Scotland Today. For that channel, she hosted the BAFTA Scotland Awards, Telethon, her own chat show, and The Business Game, a televised competition for entrepreneurs.

She is married to broadcaster and media training specialist Alan Douglas with whom she presented, for six years, the highly successful BAFTA-winning Home Show on Scottish Television, a series of half hour programmes looking at property, style and design around Scotland.  She has also presented programmes on Radio 2 and BBC Radio Scotland.

Viv spent many years on the board of The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice which she still wholeheartedly supports and is currently helping to raise awareness and funds for Cancer Support Scotland, formerly known as TakTent.

Now retired from broadcasting, Viv still pops up on radio from time to time and occasionally works in the corporate world, hosting business conferences where she is well known for her lively handling of an audience. She also keeps her hand in with voice-overs and commentaries.

Viv has two children – son, Chris, runs SMOAK, a street-food business and daughter, Victoria, who, in a neat twist of fate, broadcasts travel reports on BBC Radio Scotland. Victoria and her husband, Lewis Macleod – an actor, impressionist and comedian – have two daughters, Tilly, 6, and Maisie, 3. Between them, Viv and Alan have seven grandchildren under six!

Those who have been kind enough to act as Guest Chair at our previous lunches include :

Viv Lumsden
Shareen Nanjiani
Jenny Younger
Fiona Armstrong
Sheena McDonald
Hannah Gordon
Kaye Adams
Bridget McConnell
Sally Magnusson
Sally McNair
Kirsty Wark
Martha Steedman
Joanna Service
Dr. Anne Lorne Gillies
Mrs. Grant of Rothiemurchus
Group Captain Elizabeth Sandison
Air Commodore Helen Renton
Brigadier Helen Cattanach
Commandant Vonia McBride
Brigadier H. G. Meechie
Lady Fraser (Sir William)
Lady Fraser (Sir Campbell)
Lady Muir
Lady Edmonstone
The Hon. Mrs. Jean Bruce of Glen Tanar
Lady Strange
Lady Rotherwick
Lady Moncrieff
Lady Maclean
The Lady Macdonald of Macdonald
Lady Clydesmuir
Lady Jean Wemyss
Lady Mariota Napier
Lady Muriel Barclay-Harvey
Lady Ruth Balfour of Balbirnie
The Viscountess of Arbuthnott
The Countess of Wemyss and March
The Countess of Strathmore
The Countess of Moray
The Countess of Minto
The Countess of Mar and Kellie
The Countess of Mansfield and Mansfield
The Countess of Haddington
The Countess of Elgin and Kincardine
The Countess of Eglinton and Winton
The Countess of Dundee
The Countess of Cromartie
The Countess of Airlie
The Lady Jean Fforde
The Marchioness of Bute
The Duchess of Roxburghe
The Duchess of Hamilton and Brandon
The Duchess of Buccleuch & Queensberry
The Duchess of Argyll