Sian Williams leaves 5 News as anchor to take up wider role

5 News anchor Dr Sian Williams, has decided to leave her daily news presenting role to take up more wide-ranging opportunities, it was announced today (THURS).

Sian, who is also a Doctor of Psychology (having passed her Doctorate last year) will continue to host her regular one-on-one interview strand, Mind Matters with Dr Sian for 5 News.  The weekly mental health segment was part of the successful, hour-long, re-launch of flagship 5 News last November. She will also work with Channel 5 and ITN on special projects and documentaries.

Chief Content Officer, Ben Frow, said: “Sian brought a real kudos to 5 News and was instrumental in changing perceptions towards Channel 5. Sian has bought so much to the role, none more so than during the Covid-19 pandemic where she broadcast daily from her own home! We are indebted to Sian’s professionalism and she remains very much part of the Channel 5 family.”

During the last six years on the channel, Sian has worked on a number of series including Secrets of Your Supermarket Food and on 5 News has anchored special news programmes on the pandemic, Brexit, the Royal Weddings, UK and US elections including the election of Donald Trump in 2016, and most recently, the war in Ukraine; fronted a series of documentaries on 5 News called Healing Minds; and conducted the first TV interview with Prince Harry, where he spoke about his mental health.

In her wider role, Sian’s chaired many television industry panels on mental health, and delivered resilience workshops and lectures to staff across ITN. Mind Matters with Dr Sian is the only regular mental health slot in TV news and so far has explored living with ADHD, anxiety, depression, Parkinson’s and autism with Rory Bremner, Max George, Paul Sinha and Christine McGuiness among others.

Commissioning Editor VP (factual), Daniel Pearl, said: “Sian has given so much to her role as news anchor for 5 News and we shall be sad to see her step down. We hope to be able to continue to work with Sian and thank her for her service on Channel 5 to date.”

5 News Editor, Cait FitzSimons, who has worked with Sian since she joined in January 2016, said: “It’s been a privilege to work alongside Sian. Her passion for news and editorial rigour makes her a formidable journalist who is also able to cover stories with great empathy and compassion.

“The relaunch of 5 News at 5 would not have been as successful without her at its heart and I’m really pleased that we will be able to keep working together on Mind Matters and more. I know the whole team joins me in thanking her for all she’s done at 5 News and wishing her the best for the future.”

For the last 15 years, Sian has undertaken her psychology training alongside her broadcasting day-job and has spent the past three years during her doctoral training delivering psychological therapy to families, couples and individuals, in charity and NHS settings. Sian is also an expert in trauma and has spent many years working with journalists covering traumatic news events. She also has an MSc in Psychology, which focuses on Post Traumatic Stress.

Sian said: “I’ve been a journalist for more than 35 years across the BBC and ITN. News will always be one of the driving passions of my life and the latest chapter at Channel 5 and 5 News has been one of the happiest. The past six years have been a wonderful experience and I feel very grateful to everyone who has made it so.

“Broadcasting and psychology are, in some ways, complimentary – in both jobs we’re helping people tell their stories and giving them a voice. I’m excited about continuing to combine these elements, in new and different ways, while also delivering psychological support where it’s most needed.”

CEO of ITN, Deborah Turness, said: “Sian embodies everything that makes 5 News special. She has brought warmth and humanity with a real ability to connect with our audience and understand what’s important to them.

“We look forward to continuing to work with her as she shares her experience, knowledge and specialist training with our newsrooms, supporting them during what is a very difficult time.”

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