Polly Toynbee

political and social commentator the guardian

Having failed her 11+, Toynbee attended a state comprehensive school in London. Despite only gaining one A-Level, Toynbee won a scholarship to study at Oxford. After 18 months she dropped out and began working in a factory and a burger bar, with the intention of writing in her spare time. Toynbee eventually landed a job as a reporter and feature writer for The Observer. She went on to work as editor of the Washington Monthly, social affairs editor at the BBC and associate editor of The Independent. She is now a popular columnist with The Guardian, having joined the paper in 1997.

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