Viking announced that revered British journalist and broadcaster Anne Diamond will be the godmother of its seventh ocean ship, Viking Venus, which is scheduled to debut this spring. The 930-guest Viking Venus was “floated out” in June 2020 and is now under final construction at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy.
Anne is best known for her pioneering work on morning shows in the United Kingdom during the 1980s—along with a legendary career in frontline television that has lasted for more than 40 years. From the fall of the Berlin Wall, Australia’s bicentenary, and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, to interviews with Bette Davis, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh—Anne’s impressive journalistic journey has made her a household name.
She has also been an inspirational campaigner, having pioneered the 1991 UK cot death campaign, following the death of her own son, Sebastian. The campaign saved over 20,000 babies’ lives and has inspired other life-saving campaigns worldwide. She is the only non-medic ever to hold the Medal of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Additionally, Anne has been a key figure on Viking’s award-winning enrichment channel, Viking.TV (www.Viking.tv). Viking.TV went live in March 2020, in the early stages of the pandemic, and was conceived as a way to build community, stay connected and share positive experiences while people are staying home, rather than traveling. Every Thursday since the launch of Viking.TV, Anne has interviewed a wide spectrum of significant figures with relationships to Viking, including world-renowned cellist and humanitarian Yo-Yo Ma; Xander Parish, a principal ballet dancer at the Mariinsky Theatre; the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon; the Duke of Devonshire; explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison, OBE; former PBS MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton, OBE; Downton Abbey’s “Mrs. Patmore,” actress Lesley Nicol; polar explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft; NASA astronauts Dr. Anna Fisher and Dr. Richard Michael Linnehan; classical musicians Alma and Helen Deutscher; and bestselling authors Jeffrey Archer, Claire Cook, Robert Harris, and Paul Schneider.
Anne’s Thursday livestreams will continue in 2021, with upcoming guests in January to include former NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan, who has made history in space and at sea as the first American woman to walk in space and the first woman to reach the deepest part of the ocean, and Sir Michael Palin the legendary British actor, broadcaster and writer. As with all Viking.TV content, Anne’s interviews are archived and available on-demand here.
“On behalf of the entire Viking family, we are delighted and honored to have Anne serve as the godmother of Viking Venus,” said Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking. “Since the day we paused operations, Anne immediately volunteered to help our guests and crew manage through this period of uncertainty. As Britain’s favorite face at breakfast and in the morning on British TV, Anne became the face of Viking.TV on her weekly Thursday livestreams, where she has interviewed many interesting friends of Viking while brightening the days of nearly two million viewers. There is no one more deserving to become the godmother of Viking Venus than Anne.”
“I am thrilled and honored to be entrusted as godmother to the Viking Venus and cannot wait until we can celebrate her inaugural cruise in a safer and happier 2021. Back in March 2020, at the start of the global lockdown, when I rang my good friend Karine to ask if there was anything I could do, never did I think it might lead to such a fascinating journey. But exhilarating journeys are what Viking is all about! I am so proud to be part of the growth of the award-winning Viking.TV—with special thanks to all my inspirational interviewees—and now onwards, to the Viking Venus and a brighter outlook for travel.”
For more than nine months, the award-winning Viking.TV has broadcast approximately 300 sessions featuring original cultural content and virtual Privileged Access to interesting people and places around the world. Livestreams and archived content on Viking.TV has been enjoyed by nearly two million viewers. The enrichment channel, where all content is free to watch, has resonated well with people during this unusual year; recently Viking.TV was honored with the “Silver-i Breakthrough Award for Innovation” at the 2020 Silver Travel Awards.
Recognizing the importance of daily routines during times of stress and isolation, Livestream sessions on Viking.TV is a set hour for positivity and learning, taking place every day at 2 p.m. Eastern Time / 11 a.m. Pacific Time; all content is archived and available on-demand for anyone who cannot view it at the original time of the broadcast. Also on Viking.TV there are more than 200 original short-form Destination Insight documentaries and 60 additional pieces of content from Viking Cultural Partners, with programming from TED, BBC’s Wonderstruck, Libera, and more.