Female powerlist: Who is the most powerful woman on TV? You’ll be surprised

A list of the 30 most powerful women working in and on TV features some unlikely suggestions alongside our favourites.

This list, complied by the Radio Times, is topped by Olivia Colman, who has become a familiar (if changeable) face on our TV screens over the last 10 years. The award-winning actor has starred in many of Britain’s favourite television series, such as Peep Show, Green Wing and more recently Broadchurch, as well as a number of indie and blockbuster films.

Following Colman, at number 2 on the list is food writer and television star Mary Berry, who we’re currently watching as a judge on the Great British Bake Off.

At number 3, broadcaster Clare Balding, who is one of the UK’s most-loved sports presenters also makes an appearance.

Alison Graham, television editor of Radio Times, said: “For more years than I care to remember a woman’s place on television has routinely been on a slab, the decorously eviscerated victim of some serial killer or other.

“But luckily a revolution has been rumbling quietly in the background and it’s now reached the foreground as clever, talented and formidable women prove that our gender provides much more than disposable props.”

Here’s the full list:

  1. Olivia Colman, actor

  2. Mary Berry, presenter

  3. Clare Balding, presenter

  4. Julie Walters, actor

  5. Victoria Wood, comedian

  6. Dawn French, comedian/actor

  7. Sheridan Smith, actor

  8. Mary Beard, presenter

  9. Sarah Lancashire, actor

  10. Joanna Lumley, actor

  11. Claudia Winkleman, presenter

  12. Sarah Millican, comedian

  13. Kirstie Allsopp, presenter

  14. Miranda Hart, comedian

  15. Anne Reid, actor

  16. Kirsty Wark, presenter

  17. Heidi Thomas, writer

  18. Abi Morgan, writer

  19. Beryl Vertue, producer

  20. Sue Vertue, producer

  21. Jay Hunt, chief creative officer, Channel 4

  22. Sally Wainwright, writer

  23. Nicola Shindler, founder, Red production company

  24. Elisabeth Murdoch, founder, Shine production company

  25. Pippa Harris, co-founder Neal Street Productions

  26. Charlotte Moore, controller, BBC1

  27. Helen Boaden, director, BBC Radio

  28. Anne Mensah, head of drama, Sky

  29. Hilary Bevan Jones, producer

  30. Kim Shillinglaw, controller, BBC2

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