Doreen Stephens (1912–2001), editor of television programmes for women at the BBC between 1953 and 1964, is now almost entirely absent from histories of the BBC and, more generally, histories of early television. This article uses archive research, which brings together programme reconstruction and institutional and biographical research, to look at Stephens’ role in leading the expansion of women’s programmes, and to examine available traces of the difficult professional negotiations encountered in her attempts to broaden the range and quality of programmes that addressed women. Further, the article highlights the crucial importance of feminist archiving policies in ensuring both the preservation of women’s programmes and developing critical histories of television for women.
Keywords: women, television, Stephens, feminist, BBC, archives
How to Cite:
Irwin, M., (2017) “What Women Want on television: Doreen Stephens and BBC television programmes for women, 1953–64”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 8(3), 99-122. doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.135