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Speaker / Host

John Craven OBE

John Craven is perhaps best known as the presenter of BBC programmes Newsround, Countryfile and Beat the Brain. His hugely successful broadcasting career has spanned decades. An experienced after-dinner speaker and awards presenter and event host, John Craven is hailed as a household name spanning two generations.

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About John Craven OBE

John Craven is one of the BBC’s longest standing presenters. Newsround was the first television news programme in the world to report directly to children. In the Millennium Honours, John was awarded the OBE for services to broadcasting. In 1996, the Royal Television Society inducted him into its Hall of Fame and in 2002 presented him with its prestigious Baird Medal “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to television”. In March 2000, he was handed the big red book on This Is Your Life.

Biography

John Craven OBE joined BBC1’s rural and environmental current affairs programme, Countryfile, back in 1989. In July 2014, John celebrated his 25th anniversary of the show by becoming guest editor for a week, deciding on the programme’s content and setting missions for his fellow presenters. Newsround was an equally huge part of John’s broadcasting career, where he stayed for more than 3,000 editions, spending 17 years with the programme.

Born in Leeds, John started his career in newspapers before joining the BBC in Newcastle-upon-Tyne as a news writer, later becoming a reporter on regional radio and television before launching Newsround in 1972. Originally a six week experiment, Newsround is now a national institution.

He fronted more than 3,000 editions, in that time reporting from more than 40 countries, and in 2002 he returned for just one day to co-present the 30th birthday edition. For ten years, he was also one of the faces of Saturday morning television, first on Swap Shop and later on Saturday SuperStore.

For Countryfile, John reports from all corners of the British Isles and mainland Europe. Like Newsround, it is a ground-breaking programme – the only one of its kind on network television. From exclusive reports on major concerns to items which reflect the joy and beauty of rural Britain, Countryfile is a weekly “must” for many viewers.

Every Christmas on BBC One, John presents a wildlife special “Animal Sanctuary”, from locations which have included Africa, Australia, California, Mauritius and Chile. He makes guest appearances on many TV and radio shows, from Shooting Stars to The News Quiz, and when not broadcasting is busy with corporate work, travel writing, speaking engagements and public appearances.

During his career, John and his programmes have won many awards including two BAFTAs and the TV Times Award. Among his honorary positions he is patron of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad and vice-president of The Waterways Trust. John is married with two daughters and lives in North Oxfordshire.

John published his long-awaited autobiography Headlines and Hedgerows: A Memoir on 25th July 2019.

In 2021, John celebrated 50 years as a BBC presenter and his 1250th episode of Countryfile by revisiting parts of the country that hold special memories for him.

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