Penny is best known for her royal writing and broadcasting. She has been writing well-respected, best-selling biographies for over 20 years and is much in demand as a commentator on royal events - most recently at the royal wedding in April - but the monarchy is not her only field of expertise. She spent almost as long writing and broadcasting about Consumer Affairs and Travel and before spent many years interviewing and profile-writing in the national press. She also presented programmes about health, families and lifestyle and edited a book about women's health. And running parallel to the writing and broadcasting for five years (1993 -98), she was a director of the John Lewis Partnership, responsible for the journalism and public relations within the department store and Waitrose supermarket chain.
She has a wealth of experience in presenting live and recorded programmes, both in the studio and on location. She presented the highly successful Travel Show on BBC2 for nine years from1998 to 97 and for seven years was the presenter of an award -winning consumer programme, 4 What It's Worth on Channel 4. She was also an investigative reporter on that programme, involved in foot-in-the-door confrontations. And she co-presented, with the singer Barbara Dickson, two series of The Afternoon Show on BBC1. She has also presented corporate videos.
As a journalist she has written for most national newspapers including Private Eye and Business Traveller magazine. She is an experienced corporate presenter and a highly informed after-dinner speaker.
She is the author of best-selling biographies of the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Margaret Thatcher and John Major. She wrote Home Truths: Life around My Father in 2002 and The Firm, The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor in 2005. Her latest book 'Prince William: Born to Be King: An Intimate Portrait' was published in 2012.
She is a committed vegetarian, a Samaritan volunteer and patron of Women's Health Concern and Cirencester Eating Disorders Association. Other interests include motorcycles (she was an RAC/ACU instructor), cars, cooking, dogs, cats, children and chickens. She is married to James Leith, has four children and lives in Wiltshire.