JACI STEPHEN was born in Cardiff, Wales, UK, where she studied for a B.A. (Hons.) in English and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Cardiff, University of Wales). After teaching English at secondary school level, she completed an M.A. in Creative Writing (Lancaster University) and became a full time writer. Since 1984 she has been working as a journalist and broadcaster for many British newspapers and magazines, including The Times, The Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent and The Express, reviewing TV, film, fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and writing general features and columns. Magazine work includes the Times Literary Supplement, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan. Between 1988 and 1991, JACI STEPHEN was Television Critic of the London Evening Standard and has also been Television Critic for the Daily Mirror and the Mail on Sunday. She has also held the post of Internet Television Critic for The Guardian.
Since 1997 JACI STEPHEN has been writing a weekly television column for the Daily Mail, and also writes features for other sections of the paper, on a diverse range of subjects, including news, current affairs, travel and entertainment. In 1984 she won the Catherine Pakenham Award for young female journalists, and was runner-up in the National Newspaper category in the TV AM Journalism Awards in 1991. She has been shortlisted as Critic of the Year three times in the British Press Awards, and in 1999 was named Broadcasting Writer of the Year in the prestigious What the Papers Say Awards, the television industry judged awards that acknowledge outstanding contributions to journalism.
JACI STEPHEN’S broadcasting presenting work includes six years as Film and Television Critic on the ITV1 network daytime television magazine show, This Morning; presenter of the BBC Wales radio arts show, Culture Vultures; and regular guest interviewer on Radio 4’s Start the Week. She presented two television series: Star Suppers (for UK Food, filmed in Paris) and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (for ITV1 Wales, filmed in Cardiff), her own interview formats for which celebrities came to her home to cook for her, while she talked to them throughout the cooking process and over dinner. The Star Suppers programme, featuring actor Sue Johnston, was shortlisted for a Royal Television Society Award. JACI STEPHEN’S most recent television work includes weekly appearances on the ITV1 Network daytime series, The Alan Titchmarsh Show (discussing current affairs and television), individual appearances on Channel 4’s Richard and Judy (a daytime magazine show), and numerous documentary contributions, including The Trouble with Morse (a show about the television detective, Inspector Morse). JACI STEPHEN was also recently the subject of an ITV1 Wales documentary, The Secret of My Success, filmed at and around her apartment in Paris.
In 1984 JACI STEPHEN was featured in Introduction 9 (Faber), a collection of fictional stories by new writers. Her highly acclaimed novel, Definitions of a Horse, was published in 1990 (Hutchinson). She has also published poetry and written fiction for radio.
JACI STEPHEN, who is an Equity member, is also a professional actor (as a teenager, she performed with the first National Youth Theatre of Wales), trained singer, widely experienced and award-winning public speaker and debater, and an ex-ballroom dancing champion. Until recently, she was living between Paris, London, Cardiff and Marbella. In April 2009 she re-located to Los Angeles, where she continued to write a television column, travel and general features for the Daily Mail, and features for numerous other newspapers and magazines. She wrote an LA-based blog (http://lanotsoconfidential.blogspot.com
), which was published, in a shortened form (titled Way Out West), by the Independent newspaper in the UK; she also presented from Los Angeles for BBC Radio 2. She has just completed a memoir, Broke – A Life of Small Change, and is working on a semi-autobiographical novel, The Movie in My Mind, about her experiences in Los Angeles. She also has a sitcom in development with Ruth Jones’s Tidy Productions, based in Cardiff. Jaci was recently shortlisted in the LA Press Awards in the Entertainment Blog category for her blog 'LA Not So Confidential.'
JACI STEPHEN, with writer ROBERT GREEN, is also co-founder of SoShall Network, which provides social networking marketing and publicity for products, businesses and individuals in all areas.