Simon Heffer is Professor of Modern British HIstory at the University of Buckingham. He is also a journalist, author and political commentator. He was previously Associate Editor and Deputy Editor at the Daily Telegraph, having served as a columnist on the Daily Mail from 1995 to 2005. He has regularly appeared on television and radio programmes such as ‘Question Time’, ‘What the Papers Say’ and ‘Any Questions’, and presents documentaries on music on BBC Radio 3.
Born in 1960, he was educated King Edward’s School, Chelmsford and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he read English, and where he later took a PhD in history.
After a spell as a medical journalist and freelance leader writer for The Times, he joined the Daily Telegraph, where until 1991 he worked as a leader writer and parliamentary sketch writer. In 1991 he was appointed deputy editor and political correspondent of The Spectator where he stayed until 1994.
From 1991 to 1994 he was also a columnist on the Evening Standard, and from 1993 to 1994 a columnist on the Daily Mail. In 1994 he returned to the Telegraph as deputy editor and as a weekly political columnist, before switching to the Daily Mail as chief political columnist in 1995.
In 1993 he won the Charles Douglas Home prize for his study of the exercise of the Royal Prerogative in the British constitution.
Simon was invited by Corpus Christi Cambridge to do post doctoral work for the calendar year of 2010, when he took a sabbatical year from the newspaper, but continued to contribute three weekly columns (for the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph and Telegraph.co.uk), whilst continuing to work on other projects for TMG. Since 2015 he has divided his time between journalism and academia, being awarded his Chair at Buckingham in 2017. He writes on politics, culure, books and cricket for the Telegraph, and is a political columnist for Perspective magazine.
His highly acclaimed biography of Thomas Carlyle, Moral Desperado, was published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in 1995. In 1998 they also published two more of his books: first, Edward VII: Power and Place, followed by Like the Roman, his authorised account of the life of Enoch Powell. Nor Shall my Sword: The Reinvention of England was published in 1999.
His other books include Tory Seer, a collection edited with Charles Moore of the writings of T.E. Utley, published by Hamish Hamilton in 1989 and the Daily Telegraph Book of 100 Best Cricket Matches (1990).
Simon’s biography of Vaughan Williams was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2000 and The Great British Speeches was published by Quercus in May 2007. A Short History of Power was published by Notting Hill Editions in Autumn 2011.
Strictly English, an impassioned case for correct English, was published by Random House in 2010 to critical acclaim, followed by Simply English in 2014. High Minds, an exploration of the making of the Victorian age and Victorian mind, was published in 2013 by Random House as the first of a four-volume sequence of explorations of British social, political and cultural history from 1838 to 1939. In the second volume, The Age of Decadence, published by Random House in 2017, Simon exposes the contradictions of late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain.
The third volume, Staring at God, studies the profound changes in British society during the Great War, and was published in September 2019 by Random House. The fourth and final volume, Sing as We Go, is an in-depth study of the inter-war years, and is published by Hutchinson in September 2023.
Simon is also the editor of the new unabridged and complete series of Henry 'Chips' Channon: The Diaries. Volume 1 of the three part series was published by Hutchinson in March 2021, Volume II in September 2021 and Volume III in September 2022, all to widespread acclaim.
He is married with two children and lives in Essex, is Chairman of The London Chorus and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.