Professor Tanya Byron took her undergraduate degree in Psychology at York University, and went on to gain a Masters degree at University College London and a Doctorate at Surrey University for research on drug addiction undertaken at University College Hospital. Subsequent work followed as a Senior Clinical Psychologist in University College and Middlesex Hospitals and as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
Tanya’s career has developed in a number of important directions: as a public speaker, and most notably, as a writer and broadcaster. Her involvement as a presenter and on-screen expert in the BBC television series Little Angels (2003-05), Teen Angels (2005), The House of Tiny Tearaways (2005-06), and the C4 series Bedtime Live (2013), Newsnight (2014) and the Horizon series What’s the Right Diet for You? (2015) and also the BBC series Lose Weight for Love (2016) gave national audiences an appreciation of issues around exploring and treating psychological and behavioural issues. This theme is further reflected in her weekly columns for The Times that have been running since 2005.
Tanya now presents the BBC landmark series Child of Our Time. Her BBC series Am I Normal? (2008) explored the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. She also presented The Truth about Child Sex Abuse (BBC 2015). On BBC Radio 4 she is a presenter and contributor to a range of programmes for one of which she won a Sony Radio Gold award (Face to Face, 2012), and, collaborating with Jennifer Saunders, she co-wrote the popular BBC comedy series The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle (2007). Currently Tanya is writing with the Line of Duty writer Jed Mecurio and recording a new podcast about families and mental health with her friend and The House of Tiny Tearaways co presenter, the broadcaster Claudia Winkleman.
As a writer, Tanya has published widely. In addition to books linked to her television series, her publications include Your Child, Your Way (Penguin, 2007) and the Sunday Times bestseller, The Skeleton Cupboard (Macmillan, 2014) which tells stories from her years in training as a clinical psychologist. Tanya is currently writing her sixth book.
In 2007 she was commissioned by the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to undertake an independent review into the potentially harmful effects of the internet and video games on children resulting in The Byron Review: Safer Children in a Digital World which was published in March 2008 and its follow-up review, Do we have safer children in a digital world? (2010). The review was well-received and has led to a number of policy changes. Tanya advises Ministers in the Department of Health, the Department for Education and the Home Office, and sat on The Educational Policy Institute‘s Child Mental Health Advisory Commission.
As a Professor in the Public Understanding of Science, Tanya was the Chancellor of Edge Hill University from 2008-2018, and has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of York and the Open University for her ‘outstanding and exceptional contribution to science, education and culture’. She is also Professor of Psychology at Shangdong University (China) and Honorary Lecturer at University College London.
She advises on international policy relating to children, young people, mental health and education and has worked in China to develop a mental health curriculum for children and young people. Tanya is a Fellow of the RSA and Patron of Prospex, a London-based charity supporting vulnerable and abused teenagers. She is also a Trustee of the NSPCC and the Patron of Relate; Ambassador of The Princes Trust; the Family and Childcare Trust; Place2Be, and Grief Encounter. She continues to practise as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist three days a week. Tanya has been married to the actor Bruce Byron for thirty years and they have three grown up children.
Tanya will be presenting a keynote at the Inspiring Leadership Conference 2020