Vidar Hjardeng MBE studied languages at Manchester University before completing a post-graduate Journalism course at London’s City University.
Now Diversity Consultant for ITV News across England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland; Vidar spent over 25 years working for ITV in the Midlands, much of that time as Editor/Executive Producer on political, religious and social action magazine programmes before joining the ITV News Senior Management team and for a number of years was a Consultant Producer with Channel 4’s daytime political programme produced by ITN. Since they began in 2013, Vidar has been a judge for the annual Asian Media Awards and, as well as being a motivational Speaker, he delivers a variety of Guest Lectures at a growing number of Universities around the UK and he also reviews audio-described theatre, opera, ballet and musical productions for Connect Radio.
Currently a Board member with Leonard Cheshire – where he also chairs the Customer Council – Vidar is also on the Boards of the Birmingham Hippodrome and Performances Birmingham Ltd. (responsible for running the city’s Town and Symphony halls) and chairs the Access Forum for both of these Arts organisations. In addition, he at present chairs the Wolverhampton and Grand Theatres’ Access forum along with a similar group for Network Rail at New Street Station and, having chaired the then Virgins’ Trains Passengers Panel for almost four years, is now a member of the Birmingham airport Access Forum and West Midlands Trains’ Equality Stakeholder group. In the past, Vidar has chaired both of the UK-wide charities focusing on audio-description in the performing and visual arts – namely VocalEyes and ADA – and has been a Trustee with a number of national and regional charities including Shape Arts and RNIB.
Invited to become a role model in the Government’s Fulfilling Potential and Making it Happen campaign, Vidar has also been an Associate with the Business Disability Forum and is at present a member of the West Midlands’ Mayor’s Leadership Commission.
In 2017 Vidar was awarded an honorary doctorate by Wolverhampton University and towards the end of 2018 he was invited to become a Visiting Professor of Media Inclusion and Diversity at Sunderland University.