John Simpson's Biography

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John (Cody Fidler-) Simpson was born on 9 August 1944 in Cleveleys, Lancashire.

John Simpson studied at St Paul's School and Magdalene College, Cambridge. In 1966 John Simpson joined the BBC as a trainee sub-editor in Radio News. It was the start of a long career at the broadcaster that would see him rise up the ranks to become the BBC's World Affairs Editor in 1988.

Along the way John Simpson held a variety of positions in BBC News. As well as stints in Dublin, Brussels, and Johannesburg, Simpson was diplomatic correspondent from 1978-1980, political editor 1980-1982, diplomatic editor 1982-1988, before taking up his position as World Affairs Editor.

John Simpson has reported from more than 100 countries across the globe, including 30 war zones. Several of his awards are related to his work in conflicts.

In April 2000, John Simpson was named RTS (Royal Television Society) Journalist of the Year for his reporting from Belgrade. Simpson received a CBE in the Gulf War Honours. He won an International Emmy Award for reporting in Afghanistan 2002, and two more RTS awards for reporting in Afghanistan and Iraq (also in 2002).

As well as writing factual books, including his autobiography, Strange Places, Questionable People, Simpson wrote, in the eighties, a couple of novels: Moscow Requiem, and A Fine and Private Place.

Martin Bell, in his autobiography An Accidental MP, referring to an attack by Downing Street on John Simpson's reporting from Belgrade wrote: <p. "Mr Simpson anyway was an unlikely dissident: on a platform that we once shared at a literary festival he had described himself as an 'establishment creep'. I had always felt he had missed his vocation, and would rather have been an ambassador. I trust that Kosovo didn't spoil his chance of a knighthood."

Bell goes on to describe John Simpson's relationship with Kate Adie as "a running skirmish across the world from Beijing to Bucharest".

In 2005, John Simpson started writing a Monday column for the BBC website. A testimony to Simpson's popularity is that the first article, on post-Saddam Iraq, gained 160,000 page impressions, and 800 e-mails in 24 hours.

In September 2016, John Simpson revealed that he had been in intensive care following an allergic reaction, and afterwards praised the Intensive Care Unit of the John Radcliffe Hospital with saving his life.

In July 2017, the BBC revealed that John Simpson earned over £150,000 from licence fee revenue in their financial year 2016/7.

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