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Sir Trevor McDonald OBE

Sir Trevor McDonald OBE is an outstanding and hugely popular speaker, event host and facilitator. The UK's most respected former news and now documentary presenter, Sir Trevor received his knighthood in 1999.


About Sir Trevor McDonald OBE

During his time as a TV presenter and journalist Sir Trevor McDonald has interviewed some of the biggest names in show business. He has also interviewed the most influential names in industry and the most powerful people in politics too. A great speaker, event host, conference facilitator and panel moderator.


Sir Trevor McDonald OBE was born and educated in Trinidad in the West Indies where his career in the media began. Firstly as a radio reporter and then as a news presenter and sports journalist.  On his first major assignment, he was sent to London in 1962 to report on talks at Malborough House which culminated in setting a date for Trinidad’s Independence.

Trevor came back to London in August 1969 to work as a Producer in the BBC Overseas Regional Service at Bush House in the Aldwych. He went on to produce Current Affairs programmes for the BBC World Service there. It was in this capacity  that  worked on the initiation of a number of shows like ‘The World Today’ .  Interestingly they are still part of the BBC World Service online schedule.

In 1973 he joined ITN as a General Reporter. His first major assignment there was in Northern Ireland where he covered the Province’s ‘troubles’ for more than a decade. He also reported from Dublin, Rome, Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. Visiting the latter to report on negotiations about the terms of Britain’s membership and earliest days of the then Common Market…now the EU.

Covering sport and politics Trevor McDonald travelled to Argentina, Australia and the West Indies before becoming Diplomatic Correspondent and Presenter of ‘Channel Four News’ in 1982. In that capacity he reported from every Continent He reported events and conducted interviews in many countries.  These included Egypt, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, India, Pakistan,  New Zealand, South Africa, the Soviet Union and Hong Kong.

Overseas Reporting

During this time he also worked extensively in the United States.  From New York and Washington  he was reporting on the unfolding events at the United Nations during the Falklands War. In addition Trevor  covered a number of Presidential and Congressional Campaigns.

Furthermore Trevor reported on Soviet Communist Party Conferences from the time of President Brezhnev. Subsequently he returned to Moscow and Washington to report on East, West Summit meetings.  Most importaintlyly the most prominently among them… those between Reagan and Gorbachev.  His coverage of the ‘people power’ Philippine Elections in 1985 won a BAFTA Award for Channel Four News.

When he wasn’t working abroad, Sir Trevor McDonald began his career as an ITN Presenter. He has in his time anchored in London and on news locations around the world, every ITN News Programme.  From what used to be the ‘News at One’, the ‘News at 5.40’ and 6.30 to the then flagship and award winning ‘News At Ten’.

Sir Trevor McDonald’s Most Memorable Interviews

He became Diplomatic Editor in 1982 and in February 1990, he went back to Johannesburg to report on Nelson Mandela’s release. Trevor also conducted the first British Television interview with the ANC leader for ITN.

Most memorably,  that same year, just before the start of the first Gulf War, he did the first and still the only British television interview with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

In the ensuing years at ITN, Trevor McDonald conducted the most important television interviews of his time.  He interviewed the then Libyan President Colonel Gaddafi along with other world leaders.  They included the former PLO leader Yasser Arafat, with President Bill Clinton, and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Trevor became the first sole Presenter of ‘News at Ten’ in 1992 and anchored the ‘Late Evening News’ until December 2005.

Trevor McDonald’s Many Awards

By then he had received more awards than any other news broadcaster in Britain.  The ‘Richard Dimbleby Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television’ from BAFTA. Addionally the ‘British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ and the ‘Royal Television Society Gold Medal’ for his outstanding contribution to television news in 1998. in 2003 he received the ‘National Television Award’ for outstanding commitment to television. This was presented to him on live television by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. In February 2005 he also received the ‘Judges Award’ by the Royal Television Society.

Sir Trevor was named Newscaster of the year in 1993, 1997 and 1999 and has regularly topped the polls as the most authoritative and trustworthy news presenter. He has received Honorary Degrees from at least eight Universities.

Tonight with Trevor McDonald

From 1999-2000 Trevor presented ITV’s flagship current affairs programme, ‘Tonight’, during which time he interviewed President Bush on two occasions and political figures like Tony Blair, Secretary of State Rice, Hilary Clinton and other senior politicians.   In 2007, an announcement was made that Trevor would be part of the relaunch presenting team of ITV’s ‘News at Ten’ in January 2008. Trevor remained there until November of the same year.  Trevor conducted a live on-stage interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at Fairfield Halls in Croydon at an event entitled ‘An Audience with Desmond Tutu’ in August 2010.

Sir Trevor McDonald and his Charity Work

A huge supporter of charities Sir Trevor’s charitable work is immense.  He supports the Prince’s Trust, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Playing Fields Association and Sight Savers. He has also been involved with the Royal National Institute for the Blind and he Royal Commonwealth Society for the Deaf (which became know later as Sound Seekers).  Others include the Macmillan Cancer Research and the Leukemia Trust.

Moreover he serves as Patron, Chairman, President or Vice President in a number of other charitable organisations.   These include the  National Children’s Homes, the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice, the Friends of Barnes Hospital and De Paul Trust. He has also helped to promote the work of St John Ambulance.  Other organisations  he has helped promote awareness of the problems surrounding Sickle Cell, Autism and homelessness among young people.

Sir Trevor has travelled to many parts of the country to speak in his capacity as Chairman of the Better English Campaign under the last Conservative Government.  He was co-chair of a Nuffield Foundation Inquiry into the Teaching of Foreign Languages in British Schools. For this he was honoured by the French and German Governments.  He has been involved in a number of campaigns to encourage young children to read more widely, and speaks regularly to schools and colleges. And was Chancellor of London South Bank University.

What Sir Trevor McDonald is doing now

From 2009 to the present day, Sir Trevor McDonald OBE  has presented documentaries about issues and current affairs from around the world. Some of these titles include – The Secret Caribbean with Trevor McDonald (2009), The Mighty Mississippi with Trevor McDonald (2012), Inside Death Row with Trevor McDonald (2013) and Inside Scotland Yard With Trevor McDonald (2016), all for ITV.

Sir Trevor McDonald OBE holds an honoury degree from University of Plymouth. He was awarded the OBE in 1992 and was awarded a Knighthood in 1999.

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