Lauren Cecilia Gofton
28 April 1978
№ of episodes
2 regular shows
Lauren Cecilia Gofton, known professionally as Lauren Laverne, is a British radio DJ, television presenter and former singer. She currently presents a show on the BBC's 6music radio station. In television, her most regular slot is on The Culture Show, although she has presented a variety of programmes, including the BBC's coverage of the Glastonbury Festival. Laverne has also published a novel entitled Candypop: Candy and the Broken Biscuits.
In her previous career as a musician, Laverne was best known for being lead singer and sometime guitarist in punk band Kenickie, although her greatest chart success came when she performed vocals on Mint Royale's "Don't Falter" single.
Laverne was born and brought up in Sunderland. She first attended St. Mary's R.C. Primary School in 1982, where she befriended Marie Nixon, later to become a fellow Kenickie guitarist , and then St. Anthony's R.C. Comprehensive School between 1989 and 1994, where she and Nixon met Emma Jackson. Laverne went on to study English Literature, Social History and Sociology at City of Sunderland College from 1994 to 1996. She obtained three A grades in her A levels and her mother wrote into the local newspaper about this as she was so proud.
During her time at college Laverne, Nixon and Jackson formed a teen punk band called Kenickie with Gofton's brother Peter, taking the stage names Lauren Laverne, Marie du Santiago, Emmy-Kate Montrose and Johnny X. As their popularity grew, Gofton had to continually alternate between studying for A-levels and touring with the band. Despite this strain, Gofton won a place at nearby Durham University to study Medieval History, but her entry was deferred in order to concentrate on the band in 1996-7. The band's rapid rise to prominence in 1997 coincided with a relocation from Sunderland to London, as the thrice-weekly commute was proving too costly and tiring, which meant she never took up the place. In all, Kenickie achieved four top 40 hits and a top ten album and became darlings of the British music press, due to their refreshing style and outspoken views.
Laverne became as famous for her funny and acerbic interview style as for her music, making her a popular contestant on comedy panel shows such as Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Have I Got News For You and memorably referring to contemporaneous girl-pop outfit the Spice Girls as "Tory scum".
In 2000 she brought out a solo EP, Take These Flowers Away, contributed a version of "In The Bleak Midwinter" to Xfm London's It's A Cool Cool Christmas album, played at the Reading Festival and made the top 20 for the only time in her singing career as vocalist on "Don't Falter" by Mint Royale. She was also working on a solo album at this time, but this was permanently put on hold by the collapse of Deceptive Records.
Her only subsequent musical appearance of note came in providing guest vocals on The Divine Comedy's 2004 single "Come Home Billy Bird".
List of appearances
Laverne's first television presenting job was Play UK's series The Alphabet Show, with Chris Addison, made while Kenickie were still together. She has since presented Planet Pop and Loves Like A Dog for Channel 4, Fanorama for E4, Party in the Park with Melanie Brown and Pop for Five and Orange Playlist for ITV, as well as reporting for RI:SE, leading the house band on Johnny Vaughan Tonight and appearing as an expert in a music special of BBC One's Test the Nation. In recent years she has been seen as one of BBC2's main presenters for their coverage of the Glastonbury Festival and the host of ITV2's coverage of events such as the British Comedy Awards and the BRIT Awards.
She also presented a documentary for Sky One at the rise of popularity of the US hit TV Show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, called Buffy: Television With Bite. This was done when the show was returning for its sixth season in 2001.
In 2004 she was a regular guest on the quiz show HeadJam. Also she could be seen briefly in the movie Shaun of the Dead, where she was one of the zombies (More obvious in the bonus content)
In 2005 she became host of ITV's Saturday morning music show CD:UK, along with Myleene Klass and Johnny P, starting on 17 September with a programme featuring Laverne interviewing Sir Paul McCartney. The show finished in April 2006.
in April 2006 she appeared as guest host of Never Mind The Buzzcocks.
In August 2006, Laverne presented Channel 4's coverage of the V Festival.
In March 2007, Laverne presented the NME Awards live from the Hammersmith Palais.
In July 2007, Laverne appeared on the satirical comedy show Mock the Week , and on Have I Got News for You on 14 December of the same year. She appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks on 10 January 2008, this time as a guest. In September 2008, Laverne appeared again on Mock the Week .
In March 2008, Laverne appeared on the Lily Allen and Friends show with fellow Sunderland musicians The Futureheads, and on Would I Lie To You?
Since 2006, she has been a regular presenter with the weekly BBC arts magazine programme The Culture Show, alongside Mark Kermode. She can currently be seen presenting the second series of the late-night Channel 4 music show Transmission with T-Mobile opposite Steve Jones every Friday.
Lauren Laverne has replaced radio DJ Jo Whiley on the talent show Orange Mobile Act Unsigned, which searches for the top unsigned acts in the country.
Laverne became a regular presenter in the new 'magazine' format third series of It's Not Easy Being Green, first broadcast on BBC Two in January 2009.
She narrated Tough Guy or Chicken? on BBC Three in August 2009
Having previously sat in for BBC Radio 1's Steve Lamacq, Laverne joined Xfm London in 2002, co-hosting a Saturday morning show with Mark Webster, while occasionally standing in for various DJs on BBC 6 Music, including Phill Jupitus' breakfast show where one morning she interviewed her own brother Pete (who records under the name J Xaverre) Laverne took over XFM's drivetime slot from Zoe Ball at the start of 2004, winning Best Newcomer at the Commercial Radio Awards in 2004. She became host of the XFM breakfast show on 31 October 2005 after Christian O'Connell moved to Virgin Radio, but left suddenly in April 2007 to pursue her television interests. However, Laverne has recently guest presented on BBC Radio 2. She stood in for Russell Brand on BBC Radio 2 on Saturday 9 February 2008 whilst he was taking a break.
She is presenting her own show on BBC 6 Music Weekdays 10-1pm. Laverne was widely quoted by mass media in early March 2010 when her emotional reaction to proposals to kill BBC 6 music captured the attention of her listeners and the press. Following the BBC Director General's announcement that the station would be recommended for closure as part of cost-cutting plans, she started her show saying "This is probably not the easiest of day for us, probably not the easiest day to be on the radio, to be honest with you, especially not this station, which I love with all my heart. So thank you very much for all your kind words."
She has also been a panelist on BBC Radio 4's Just a Minute.
She has an arts column for Grazia magazine.
Laverne dated music journalist Taylor Parkes while in the band Kenickie and later Malcolm Middleton, from the band Arab Strap. She married television producer and DJ Graeme Fisher in County Durham in August 2005, and the couple live in Muswell Hill, London. Laverne also retains a flat in Sunderland. The couple had their first child, a boy named Fergus James, in October 2007. On March 30, 2010 Laverne revealed on her 6music show that she is pregnant with their second child. She is a vegetarian.
In 2005, Laverne's passion for her home city resulted in her becoming an ambassador promoting and raising awareness of Sunderland. She received an honorary fellowship from the University of Sunderland in July 2009.
- Solo Singles
- Take These Flowers Away EP
- "I Fell Out Of A Tree"
- "Good Morning Sunshine"
- "To Have A Home"
- "Some Kind Of Other Presence"
- "If You Phone (Netmix)" (internet only bonus track)
Other Solo Releases
- "Don't Falter" (vocals on Mint Royale's single)
- "In The Bleak Midwinter" (on It's A Cool Cool Christmas compilation)
- "Come Home Billy Bird" (vocals on The Divine Comedy's song)
Miscellaneous Solo Songs
Other solo songs performed on radio sessions include:
- "Don't Falter (acoustic)"
- "Thank You"