Biography

Hungarian-born Monica Porter grew up mainly in New York before moving to London in her teens. Her father was the Hungarian journalist and writer Peter Halasz, and her mother was the nightclub singer Vali Racz (www.valiracz.com).

Although she initially set out to be an actress, Monica turned to journalism in the Seventies, starting as staff writer on the weekly Local Government Chronicle. She writes for leading British newspapers including the Daily Mail, for which she has been writing the popular weekly column, Missing and Found, since 1999. Other papers to which she has contributed features include The Times, Sunday Times, Financial Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Mail on Sunday, Evening Standard, Jewish Chronicle, The Stage and Press Gazette. She is a contributor to Reader’s Digest, Saga Magazine and British Airways’ Business Life, and her work has appeared in women’s magazines such as Eve, Woman’s Journal, Woman’s Own, Good Housekeeping and Psychologies.

In the Seventies Monica wrote and broadcast weekly programmes for Radio Free Europe’s Hungarian section. And in the Nineties she scripted ten 12-minute Personal View talks on various themes for the BBC World Service, as well as shorter talks for the commercial station London News Radio.

She is the author of five books – The Paper Bridge: A Return to Budapest (1981 and 2009), Deadly Carousel: A Singer’s Story of the Second World War (1990 and 2006),  Dreams and Doorways: Turning Points in the Early Lives of Famous People (1993 and 2014), Long Lost: The Story of the Newspaper Column That Started the Reunion Industry (2010) and Raven: My Year of Dating Dangerously (2014).