Since hanging up his dancing shoes, the ex-Political Editor has paid tribute to Spike Milligan and played warm-up man on a new series of Yes Prime Minister. In speeches John explains how it felt to be cut short by Mrs Thatcher, barked at by Alastair Campbell and insulted by Len Goodman.


Probably the only journalist to be doorstepped by a politician, John Sergeant was famously interrupted mid-broadcast by Margaret Thatcher. She emerged from the Paris Embassy, grabbed his microphone and declared her participation in the Conservative leadership ballot. The famous handbagging won John his place in television history and a Press Guild Award for the most memorable outside broadcast.

As memorable as it was, that incident was just one of many in the course of a 30-year career at the BBC, where John became Chief Political Correspondent. As a war reporter, he covered all the major trouble spots, including Northern Ireland, Vietnam, Rhodesia and the Middle East.

After leaving the BBC, and a spell as ITN’s Political Editor, John turned to writing. His memoirs, Give Me Ten Seconds, led to a nationwide tour of a hilarious one-man show. His witty analysis of Thatcher’s life and career, Maggie: Her Fatal Legacy, became a best seller.

Now a freelance journalist and broadcaster, John reports for BBC1’s The One Show, has hosted Have I Got News For You?, and is a regular on Radio 4. Alongside appearances on the likes of Countdown and QI John has also presented travelogues which have seen him explore Britain by canal, and take a look at the past and present of the Indian reilway. John bravely defied his years when he became a hugely popular contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, with unexpected success. John displays his unique wit and keen sense of the absurd, whether his subject is contemporary politics or his experiences in combat zones.



John Sergeant Awards Host


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JLA Presents

Event - 30/04/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Understanding AI Now

Priya Lakhani and Anne-Marie Imafidon

We were joined at 87 Barts Close by three brilliant speakers on a panel that delved into the complex world of Artificial Intelligence. Over the hour our panellists de-mystified AI, speaking about AI’s immense promise for enhancing our lives, alongside the apprehension it has generated regarding job security, privacy infringement, and ethical considerations.


87 Barts Close, 87 Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7EB


Event - 06/02/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Looking Ahead to International Women’s Day

Samira Ahmed, Eniola Aluko, Julia Gillard, and Alex Mahon

We were joined by four fantastic speakers to look ahead at International Women’s Day. With the theme of this year’s event being #InspireInclusion, we were lucky enough to hear from four women who have each blazed a trail in their respective fields: CEO of Channel 4, Alex Mahon; the former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of Kings’ Global Institute of Women’s Leadership, Julia Gillard; one of the leading voices in football, Eniola Aluko MBE; and broadcaster and journalist, Samira Ahmed.


Bishopsgate Institute, London