John Simpson Oxford, UK

  • BBC World Affairs Editor
  • Has reported from many of the world’s most critical geopolitical hot-spots
  • Has interviewed many world leaders


Reflections with John Simpson (2013)
Reflections with John Simpson (2013)
Keynote at Oxfam Event (2013)
Keynote at Oxfam Event (2013)


As the BBC’s World Affairs Editor, John Simpson is the senior member of a team of London-based correspondents specialising in foreign affairs. In a career spanning more than 40 years – he joined the BBC as a trainee journalist in 1966 – John has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most experienced and authoritative political commentators.

He has reported from more than 100 countries across the globe and from over 30 war zones. His adventures include dodging bullets at Tiananmen Square; reporting from Belgrade in 1999 during the Kosovo crisis, at a time when all journalists from NATO countries were being ordered to leave; covering the fall of Kabul in 2001; being held at gun point by Palestinian soldiers; and being hit by ‘friendly fire’ in Iraq in an attack that killed his translator.

John has also interviewed numerous controversial world leaders including Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, Yasser Arafat, Colonel Gadhaffi, Ayatollah Khomeini, Robert Mugabe and the Emperor Bokassa.

From 1990-6 John was associate editor of ‘The Spectator’. Since 1996 he has written a foreign affairs column for The Sunday Telegraph. His most recent books include an autobiographical trilogy, ‘Strange Places, Questionable People’ (1998), ‘A Mad World, My Masters’ (2000), ‘News From No Man’s Land’ (2002), ‘The Wars Against Saddam’ (2003), which became a bestseller, ‘Days from a Different World (2005), ‘Not Quite World’s End’ (2007), and Unreliable Sources: How the Twentieth Century was Reported’

Read More

Check Speaker Availability

Please provide your details and we’ll get in touch within 24 hours

    View our related Speakers

    Dr. A. Wess Mitchell Speaker
    Dr. A. Wess Mitchell
    American Foreign Policy Expert, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
    Leta Hong Fincher Speaker
    Leta Hong Fincher
    Journalist on Gender Inequality in China
    Suzanne Williams QPM Speaker
    Suzanne Williams QPM
    International Hostage Negotiator
    Radek Sikorski Speaker
    Radek Sikorski
    Senior Statesman and Expert in Geopolitics
    Jim O’Neill Speaker
    Jim O’Neill
    Economist and Policy Maker
    Gérard Araud Speaker
    Gérard Araud
    Former Ambassador of France to the United States (2014-2019)
    Matthew Goodwin Speaker
    Matthew Goodwin
    Leading authority on UK and European politics
    Penny Mordaunt Speaker
    Penny Mordaunt
    Conservative MP and Equality Campaigner
    Karen Attiah Speaker
    Karen Attiah
    Global Opinions editor at The Washington Post
    Jonathan Hill Speaker
    Jonathan Hill
    Expert on the EU's financial services industry

    We use cookies

    We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our website, to show you personalized content and targeted ads, to analyze our website traffic, and to understand where our visitors are coming from. By browsing our website, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies.

    Accept Cookies