Borderlands, with Kate Adie

Kate Adie OBE - With her flack-jacket and microphone, she seemed to appear on our screens like the herald of each new and desperate crisis. Soldiers would joke that as soon as she arrived on the scene they knew they were in trouble.


Her reporting from the Iranian Embassy siege, crouched behind a car, her broadcasts from Tianamen Square and from Tripoli during the American bombing, have become iconic moments in British journalism and have made her a household name.

Her subject tonight is ‘Borderlands : Reporters sans frontieres?’ not quite. She says: “Journalists appear to travel effortlessly, floating across borders, untroubled by passport officials and visa applications. The reality is different, and highlights the way our travelling is influenced and often changed by politics and bureaucracy.”

In this fractious, fragmented world, Kate and her colleagues astonish with their bravery and commitment, but how do they go about their business, get in and out of places mired in difficulty and fraught with danger and deceit? How do they negotiate with officialdom, reprobate governments, the venal and the vicious?

Come and find out!

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Kate Adie

is one of the best known and most admired journalists in Britain and presents the BBC's long-running programme, From Our Own Correspondent.

During her long and distinguished career with the BBC she has reported from “ a remarkable number of strange places”: from Sardinia where she reported on a series of kidnaps; from Belgrade where she was arrested trying to gather material about General Tito; from the Balkans again in the early 1990s, from Russia, the United States, Africa, and Northern Ireland. She was with the Coalition forces as they chased Saddam Hussein's troops out of Kuwait in 1991.

The two foreign assignments she is most often associated with are the American bombing of the Libyan capital Tripoli in 1986 and the Chinese authorities' killing of protestors in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1989. She was on duty in London in 1980 when the siege of the Iranian Embassy was brought to an end by the SAS. Her commentary, which interrupted the World Snooker Championships, was heard in millions of homes.

She served from 1989 until 2003 as the BBC's Chief News Correspondent.

She has won many awards including twice being named Reporter of the Year by the Royal Television Society. She was awarded the OBE in 1993.

Kate has served as a judge for literary prizes including the Booker, Whitbread, Costa and Orange and as a trustee of the Imperial War Museum. She is also involved with a number of charities and is in demand in Britain and overseas as a public speaker.

She has written five books: her autobiography - The Kindness of Strangers; Corsets to Camouflage; Nobody's Child; Into Danger, and, most recently, _Fighting on the Home Front; The Legacy of Women in World War One. She will be bringing a few copies of her books for sale at the Ebenezer.

2017Martin Keeley