Allison Pearson

Judith Allison Pearson (née Lobbett;[1] born 22 July 1960) is a British columnist and author.[2][3]

Allison Pearson
Judith Allison Lobbett

(1960-07-22) 22 July 1960 (age 60)
EducationMarket Harborough Upper School
Lincoln Christ's Hospital School
Alma materClare College, Cambridge
EmployerThe Daily Telegraph
Simon Pearson
(m. 1988)

Pearson has worked for British newspapers such as the Financial Times, The Independent, the London Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph, and the Daily Mail. She has also worked as a presenter for Channel 4 and BBC Radio 4. Pearson's chick lit novel was published in 2002; a film adaptation with the same title, I Don't Know How She Does It, was released in 2011.

Pearson has campaigned in favour of Brexit, and described Brussels as the jihadist capital of Europe. She has called for the creation of internment camps in the United Kingdom. She has criticised the Gender Recognition Act 2004, and has asked for a stop to the supposed tyranny of the transgender minority. She has criticised use of face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic as demeaning.

Early life

Born in Carmarthen to English parents, Pearson moved to Burry Port, Carmarthenshire as a young child.[2] She attended Market Harborough Upper School (now Robert Smyth School), then Lincoln Christ's Hospital School, both comprehensive schools. She studied English at Clare College, Cambridge,[4] graduating with a lower second class degree (2:2).[5]



Pearson began her career with the Financial Times, where she was a sub-editor, before moving to The Independent and then The Independent on Sunday in 1992. There she was assistant to Blake Morrison before becoming a television critic, winning the award for Critic of the Year at the British Press Awards in 1993.

Pearson was a columnist with London's Evening Standard and The Daily Telegraph, then took over from Lynda Lee-Potter at the Daily Mail. Pearson ended her column for the Daily Mail in April 2010, when it was said that she was to join The Daily Telegraph.[6] In September 2010, Pearson resumed her role as a columnist with The Daily Telegraph.[7] As of 2015, Pearson was a columnist and chief interviewer of The Daily Telegraph.[8] Pearson has presented Channel 4's J'Accuse and BBC Radio 4's The Copysnatchers. She participated as a panellist on Late Review, the predecessor of Newsnight Review.

Pearson is on the "Media/PR Advisory Council" of Toby Young's Free Speech Union.[9]


Pearson's first novel, I Don't Know How She Does It (2002), is a "chick lit" examination of the pressures of modern motherhood. The book was a bestseller in the UK and the US, selling four million copies, and was made into a film.[2]

Pearson was sued by Miramax for non-delivery of a second novel, I Think I Love You, for which she received a US$700,000 advance in 2003. Delivery was due in 2005:[10] it was published in 2010.[11] The novel was about a teenager's passion for David Cassidy in the 1970s and the man writing the so-called replies from David Cassidy to the teenage fans, who meet up 20 years later after marriage, divorce, and children. Her newspaper, The Telegraph, praised the novel for its warmth and sincerity;[11] The Guardian declared it an "unrealistic and sappy romance".[12]

A sequel to I Don't Know How She Does It was published in September 2017. The novel, How Hard Can It Be,[13] continues the story of the protagonist Kate Reddy, now approaching 50 and struggling with bias against older women in the workplace. The book attracted considerable publicity but was not a bestseller.[3]


Pearson was listed in Spiked in 2007 as one of many journalists who promoted the conspiracy theory that the MMR vaccine causes autism.[14]

Shortly after the first of the 22 March 2016 Belgian bombings, Pearson suggested that the attacks were a justification for the Brexit cause in the then-upcoming referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union, writing on Twitter that "Brussels, de facto capital of the EU, is also the jihadist capital of Europe. And the Remainers dare to say we're safer in the EU!". Her tweet was criticised by Kay Burley and The Guardian columnist Owen Jones.[15][16][17] Following the May 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, Pearson called for the introduction of internment camps in the United Kingdom.[18]

Pearson views transgender identity as "a warped ideology".[19] In 2017 she described a review of the Gender Recognition Act as "spineless politicians, pathetically eager to be on-trend" and that the review was due to "biological science lies".[19][20] In the same year she published an article in The Daily Telegraph titled "Will our spineless politicians' love affair with LGBT ever end?" and in 2018 another titled "The tyranny of the transgender minority has got to be stopped"[21][20]

In December 2019, Pearson falsely claimed that a photo of a child lying on the floor at Leeds General Infirmary was staged[22] and that she had been given "detailed explanation" that the photo was staged. She also said that the photo was "100% faked".[23]

Pearson announced during the COVID-19 pandemic that she would not wear a protective face mask because she considered it demeaning.[24] Pearson has promoted purposely infecting young people with COVID-19 despite the risks to their health to create herd immunity within the population.[25] Pearson drew criticism in January 2021 after outing a critic's employer on Twitter, after claiming that the National Health Service (NHS) bed occupancy during the pandemic was lower than suggested.[26]

Personal life

Pearson was married to fellow journalist Simon Pearson,[1] in May 1988 in Lincoln. She subsequently lived with Anthony Lane,[27] film critic for The New Yorker.

Allison Pearson was declared bankrupt following a personal insolvency order made by the High Court of Justice in London on 9 November 2015. The bankruptcy petitioner was the Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs.[28][29]


Allison Pearson talks about I Think I Love You on Bookbits radio.
  • I Don't Know How She Does It (2002) ISBN 0-7011-7302-5
  • I Think I Love You (2010) ISBN 0-7011-7697-0 and ISBN 978-0-7011-7697-6
  • How Hard Can It Be? (2018) ISBN 978-1250086082


  1. "none". Private Eye. 27 May 2008.
  2. Rachel Mainwaring (11 March 2011). "Teenage crush inspires new novel on David Cassidy". WalesOnline. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  3. Alison Flood (8 April 2015). "Allison Pearson revisits bestselling heroine in middle age". The Guardian.
  4. "Hollywood stardom for novel by Clare alumna". Clare College Alumni Association. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  5. The Historical Register of the University of Cambridge, Supplement 1981–1985. Cambridge University Press. p. 354.
  6. Roy Greenslade (19 April 2010). "Telegraph woos Oborne and Pearson to quit the Daily Mail". The Guardian.
  7. Eleanor Black (September 2010). "Women on the verge". Next. p. 32.
  8. "Allison Pearson". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  9. "Who We Are – The Free Speech Union". 7 August 2020. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  10. "Miramax says British columnist failed to deliver book". Reuters. 11 August 2008.
  11. Chloe Rhodes (21 June 2010). "I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson: review". The Daily Telegraph.
  12. Carole Cadwalladr (21 March 2018). "I Think I Love You, Book review". The Guardian.
  13. Charlotte Edwardes (14 September 2017). "How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson – review". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  14. Michael Fitzpatrick. "The dark art of the MMR-autism scare". Spiked. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  15. Heather Saul (22 March 2016). "Telegraph columnist accused of 'shamelessly' using Brussels attacks to make Brexit argument". The Independent. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  16. Allison Pearson (12 January 2016). "Why the Brexit referendum will be swung by the horrific events in Cologne". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  17. Allison Pearson (1 March 2016). "Our schools and hospitals simply cannot cope with the influx of migrants – that's why we must leave the EU". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  18. Chris Ellitt (23 May 2017). "Manchester attack: intern terror suspects, urges Cambridge-based writer". Cambridge News. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  19. "Telegraph columnist lashes out at "spineless" pro-LGBT politicians". PinkNews. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  20. Pearson, Allison (17 October 2017). "Will our spineless politicians' love affair with LGBT ever end?". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  21. Pearson, Allison (16 October 2018). "The tyranny of the transgender minority has got to be stopped". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  22. Taylor, Will (10 December 2019). "'Monstrous' accusation that photo of sick boy on hospital floor was staged refuted". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  23. Hern, Alex; Proctor, Kate (20 December 2019). "'I was hacked,' says woman whose account claimed hospital boy photo was staged". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  24. Bland, Archie (25 January 2021). "The information warriors fighting 'robot zombie army' of coronavirus sceptics". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  25. Pearson, Allison (22 September 2020). "Ridiculous Covid rules are hurting the young – nobody wants them to be punished in our name". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  26. Kemp, Oliver (4 January 2021). "'You're finished' – Telegraph columnist threatens to sue Kent-based scientist". Kent Online. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  27. Will Cohu (14 December 2003). "A writer's life: Anthony Lane". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
  28. Andy McSmith (10 January 2016). "Diary: The ideal figure to bring discipline to unruly Blairites". The Independent. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  29. "Bankruptcy Orders – Pearson, Allison". The London Gazette (61417). 23 November 2015. p. 23080. Retrieved 22 January 2016.

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