Speaker & Host
Jonathan Charles has spent the past few years going in and out of some of the most dangerous places on earth. Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya are just a few of the wars and conflicts that he covered during his two decades as a BBC television and radio foreign correspondent. Jonathan now reads the news, as a freelance presenter, on BBC1, BBC World News and the BBC News Channel. He also presents radio programmes on BBC Radio Five Live and BBC World Service Radio. When he’s not doing that, he makes documentaries and has won or been nominated for several awards.
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Read more about Jonathan Charles
For the best part of 20 years, Jonathan was based in New York, Paris, Brussels and Frankfurt as a BBC Foreign Correspondent. From there, he traveled the world, covering major stories for television and radio. He spent four years reporting on European Union integration and the single currency. Most of the rest of the time, he was hopping on to planes, at short notice, to cover conflicts and disasters in Latin America, Africa, Asia and many other places. Amongst the major stories that he covered were the 1991 and 2003 Iraq wars, the Balkan conflict, the Chechen war, the 2001 Afghan war, the Beslan school siege, the Moscow theatre siege and hundreds of other events. He also made many current affairs films for BBC TV’s Money Programme and Correspondent strands.
These days, when he’s not reading the news, he makes documentaries for television and radio. He’s made documentaries on reggae music, the war in Iraq, Babylon, mass tourism, mercenaries in Africa and many other diverse subjects. Apart from following the news agenda, Jonathan loves the arts and is an avid film and theatre goer. He enjoys all types of music from classical to pop and rock. In a previous, pre-foreign correspondent, life, Jonathan was a radio disc jockey. His other great interest is economics and the world of business. Jonathan speaks several languages, including French and German. He was educated at Oriel College, Oxford University and studied politics, philosophy and economics.
Jonathan Charles also chairs conferences and seminars and is a highly skilled conference facilitator and after dinner speaker. He has a wealth of experience hosting events and award ceremonies, both at home and abroad. He is currently the Director of the Communications department at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).