John Simpson

John Simpson CBE has spent all his working life at the BBC, and has reported from more than 120 countries, including thirty war zones, and interviewed many world leaders.

Simpson was the BBC’s political editor in 1980–81. He presented the Nine O’Clock News in 1981–82 and became diplomatic editor in 1982. He had also served as a correspondent in South Africa, Brussels and Dublin. He became BBC world affairs editor in 1988 and presented an occasional current affairs programme, Simpson’s World.


He has twice been the Royal Television Society’s Journalist of the Year and won countless other major television awards. He has written several books, including five volumes of autobiography, Strange Places, Questionable People, A Mad World, My Masters, News from No Man’s Land and Not Quite World’s End and a childhood memoir, Days from a Different World. The Wars Against Saddam, his account of the West’s relationship with Iraq and his two decades reporting on that relationship encompassing two Gulf Wars and the fall of Saddam Hussein, and Unreliable Sources: How the Twentieth Century Was Reported are also published by Pan Macmillan.


While reporting from Northern Iraq in the 2003 Iraq war, Simpson was injured in a friendly fire incident when a U.S. warplane bombed the convoy of American and Kurdish forces he was with. The attack was caught on film: a member of Simpson’s crew was killed and he himself was left deaf in one ear.

He lives in London with his South African wife, Dee, and their son, Rafe.