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 many Radio 4 panel shows. 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. He has also been known to tackle his pet hates, which include the television series Casualty, 4x4 cars and…er…buying shoes.
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John Sergeant Awards Host