Life and careerEdit
As a child she became interested in science through wanting to become a vet.
After studying English and Drama at the University of Manchester with classmates including Adrian Edmondson, Ben Elton and Rik Mayall, she responded to an advertisement in The Stage and was offered the job of co-presenter on Multi-Coloured Swap Shop.
She married her co-presenter Keith Chegwin in 1982. The couple had a daughter, Rose – named after the editor who gave her the job with Swap Shop, Rosemary Gill, but the couple divorced in 1993. With Noel Edmonds, they formed the one-hit wonder band Brown Sauce and had a No. 15 hit with "I Wanna Be A Winner" in 1981.
She returned to television on BBC 1's flagship science and technology programme Tomorrow's World where she stayed for eight years. Since then, she has presented a variety of television and radio programmes, including Hospital Watch, Bodymatters Roadshow, QED, and BBC 2's women's documentary series The Doll’s House. Philbin flew upside down in a Hawker Hunter as part of the Tomorrow's World at Large series, and drove a Top Fuel dragster, earning her International Racing Licence. She decided not to race the car, which then spun out of control after a tyre exploded with top driver Dennis Priddle at the wheel.
She has worked as a medical and consumer reporter for ITV1's This Morning and presented film reports for BBC’s current affairs programme 4x4, as well as a series of 20 programmes called Heartland for Channel Health. In October 2003 she spearheaded the BBC's Talking Teenagers project across television and radio. She has also presented 40 editions of the science programme Wideworld for Five.
She reunited with her former Swap Shop colleagues for a special programme celebrating the 30th anniversary of the programme, It Started With Swap Shop, in December 2006.
BBC News announced that she would be their face of technology on television, radio and online from 2007. In December 2011 she took part in BBC Radio 5 Live's first Science Night. She has launched the Helping Hand Campaign, encouraging digital switchover help for the elderly. She is a regular reporter on Inside Out and a presenter for BBC Radio Berkshire. She writes about technology for BBC WebWise and The Guardian.
On 25 July 2010 she featured as guest presenter in Episode 3 of the LadyGeek App Show.
On 26 March 2012 she featured as guest presenter in Episode 3 of the 6th Series of the BBC TV show Bang Goes the Theory, about mobile phone internet security. She cohosts Series 7 of the programme which started 4 March 2013.
She is a patron of the National Osteoporosis Society and was invited by the IOF to sit on the Women leaders panel in Brussels in 2008. She is also a patron of the Daphne Jackson Trust helping scientists, engineers and technologists return to work after a career break, she sits on the board of Swanswell Charitable Trust, and she is a panel member of the New Engineering Foundation.
On 26 August 2009 Maggie Philbin featured as a speaker at the London branch of Girl Geek Dinners at their 4 year anniversary event. At this event she put forward her support and encouragement for women in the IT sector saying, "It's not about moaning about the negative side of things – tonight is about flagging up the things that really are making a difference for women, and looking at what we can change to make a difference. We are anxious to move forward."