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Review: John Simpson at the Holt Festival

PUBLISHED: 08:33 29 July 2018

BBC television reporter John Simpson spoke as part of the Holt Festival. Picture: WARREN PAGE

BBC television reporter John Simpson spoke as part of the Holt Festival. Picture: WARREN PAGE

On a beautiful warm afternoon in the enchanting setting of the Theatre in The Woods at Gresham School, a good-sized crowd was entertained with the regaling of stories by John Simpson's of his 52-year career as a correspondent for the BBC.

The interview session ably hosted by Suzy Fowler-Watt started slowly as she eased John Simpson into revealing some of the momentous world events that he had reported from.

Once in his stride, he seemed almost strangely nonchalant talking about the many perils he had faced during his career and quite blasé about the relationships he had struck with leaders and despots from all over the world.

The stories really were extraordinary and he would undoubtedly be a fine dinner guest but I felt I would have liked to have known more about the man behind the stories as well. In particular what motivates him to carry on with seeking such perilous assignments at an age when most people would be seeking a quieter life.

KARL CLARE

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