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Template:Infobox person/Wikidata Muriel Audrey Russell, MVO (1906–1989) was a BBC Radio journalist (then called a "commentator"), the BBC's first female news reporter, and, in 1944, the first accredited female war reporter.[1][2]

Born in Dublin on 29 June 1906,[2] she became an actress (her stage debut was at the Lyric in London in 1937), and joined the BBC in 1942[3] after being discovered by them when interviewed about her wartime work for the National Fire Service.[2]

She travelled to mainland Europe just after the D-Day landings and reported from Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway, before returning on health grounds in March 1945.[2]

In 1955, Russell gave a live commentary on the Coronation of Elizabeth II, from inside Westminster Abbey.[4] She also gave commentary on the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.[3]

She appeared as a "castaway" on the BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs on 29 July 1957.[5] In 1967, she was granted the freedom of the City of London, and was appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in 1976.[2] She died of Alzheimer's disease in Woking, Surrey, on 8 August 1989.[2]

Her World War II military uniform (though non-combatants, war correspondents held military rank) is in the collection of the Imperial War Museum.[3]


  •   . A Certain Voice. 


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