Toksvig has been elected to a Bye-Fellowship at Christ'sFlickr / stan_was (

Sandi Toksvig, host of the BBC’s popular gameshow QI, has been chosen as the University’s first ‘Q+ Fellow’, a position that allows LGBT+ alumni to pursue research projects and ‘incubate new ideas’.

Toksvig, who matriculated at Girton College in the 1970s, will return to her ‘old stomping ground’ of Cambridge to pursue a project that aims to show the globe through the perspective of women and their positions, achievements, and struggles.

The QI star has paused her work in theatre and broadcasting for Michaelmas term in order to focus on her research project.

The new Q+ fellowship is based in the Department of Sociology and is part of its LGBTQ+ research programme which promotes research and outreach in queer studies. The new ‘qantabridgian’ fellowship aims to strengthen relationships with LGBT+ alumni in order to enrich teaching and research.

As Q+ fellow, Toksvig has been elected to a bye-fellowship for this academic year at Christ’s, where she has been often spotted around college.

One Christ’s student recalled that she was attempting the Guardian’s cryptic crossword across from Toksvig and was stuck on a particular clue. After some time, the QI boffin asked her to read it aloud and pointed out that the clue was an anagram. The Christ’s student told us that, while the advice was greatly appreciated, by that point she had moved onto the sudoku.

Another Christ’s student told Varsity that Toksvig has “been keen to engage with the student population” and that they spoke about the history of women at Cambridge, saying it was of particular interest as Toksvig was one of the last Girtonians in an all-female cohort.

Toksvig is a regular visitor to Cambridge and has been elected to a number of honorary fellowships at Girton (2019), Newnham (2016), and Lucy Cavendish (2012) colleges.

Toksvig studied law, archaeology and anthropology at Girton college in the 1970s and graduated with a first. During this time she was a member of the Footlights alongside Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Emma Thompson, and starred in the club’s first-ever all female show.


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In her memoir, Between the Stops, Toksvig revealed that she was ’shunned’ for her sexuality while at Girton after beginning a same-sex relationship with a fellow student. A formal investigation was launched by the college, but no disciplinary action was made. Toksvig says this was because of her good academic record.

Upon leaving Cambridge, she started working in television and comedy, becoming a household name over the course of her career. In 2016, she took over as host of the panel show QI from fellow Cambridge alum Stephen Fry and in 2017 to 2020 presented The Great British Bake Off alongside Noel Fielding.

Outside of television, Toksvig is an author, broadcaster, and political activist, having co-founded the Women’s Equality Party in 2015.