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Kate Adie OBE (born Kathryn Adie, September 19 1945) is a British journalist. Her most high-profile role was that of chief news reporter for BBC News during which time she became well-known for reporting from war zones around the world. Adie was born in Northumberland, within sight of St Mary's Island. She was, however, adopted by a Sunderland couple and grew up in the city. She is an avid fan of the city's football team, Sunderland A.F.C..

She had a private school education at Sunderland Church High School and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne where she took a degree in Scandinavian Studies.

Her career with the BBC began as a station assistant at BBC Radio Durham and BBC Radio Brighton before producing shows for Radio Bristol. She then switched to television, directing outside broadcasts. Stints in front of the camera followed on local TV news broadcasts in Newcastle upon Tyne, Plymouth and Southampton.

Her career with the BBC began as a station assistant at BBC Radio Durham and BBC Radio Brighton before producing shows for Radio Bristol. She then switched to television, directing outside broadcasts. Stints in front of the camera followed on local TV news broadcasts in Newcastle upon Tyne, Plymouth and Southampton.

She joined the national news team in 1979, working initially as a court correspondent. Her big break was the London Iranian Embassy siege in 1980. At that time it represented a breakthrough for women journalists as until that time warzones and other hotspots were the preserve of male journalists. As that afternoon's duty reporter, Adie was first on the scene as the Special Air Service stormed the embassy. The BBC interrupted coverage of the World Snooker Championships and Adie reported live and unscripted to one of the largest news audiences ever whilst crouched behind a car door. Adie was regularly dispatched to report on disasters and flare-ups throughout the 1980s, including the American bombing of Tripoli in 1986, which proved highly controversial with the Conservative Party Chairman Norman Tebbit, and the Lockerbie bombing of 1988. She was promoted to Chief News Correspondent in 1989 and held the role for fourteen years.

One of her first assignments was to report from the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Major assignments followed in the Gulf War, war in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and "Operation Palliser" - the British evacuation of foreign nationals from Sierra Leone in 2000.

In 2003 Adie withdrew from front-line reporting. She currently works as a freelance journalist and public speaker, including regular reports on Radio New Zealand. Kate Adie presents From Our Own Correspondent on BBC Radio 4. Her close-to-the-action approach once caused her to be shot at by an "irate Libyan". The shot nicked her collar bone but she did not suffer permanent harm.

Adie published a best-selling autobiography in 2002 which sharply criticized changing practices at BBC News. A second book, Corsets to Camouflage: Women and War, was published in 2003. In 2003 she published her autobiography, The Kindness of Strangers. In 2005, Adie published her third book Nobody's Child. This uncovers the problems of adoption and questions of identity. Adie was awarded the OBE in 1993 and the Richard Dimbleby Award from BAFTA in 1990.

She has honorary degrees from ten universities, is an Honorary Professor of Journalism at the University of Sunderland, and has an Honorary Fellowship at Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2008, Kate Adie became a guest director of the Cheltenham Literature Festival. A formidable and accomplished woman.

Into Danger: People Who Risk Theirs Lives for Work: Risking Your Life for Work is due out in paperback, April 2009.

Bibliography

The Kindness of Strangers, Autobiography, Headline, ISBN 0-7553-1073-X (2003)
Corsets to Camouflage: Women and War, Coronet, ISBN 0-3408-2060-8
Nobody's Child, ISBN 0-3408-3800-0 (2006)
Into Danger, Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, ISBN 0-3409-3321-3 ( April 2009)

 

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