From our Foreign Correspondent…
Renowned Foreign Correspondent and BBC World Affairs Editor, John Simpson CBE came to Downe House to deliver this term’s Medley Lecture.
To a packed audience in the Farr Centre, John gave us an intriguing insight into his remarkable career and the sometimes downright dangerous lifestyle of a Foreign Correspondent.
John reflected on how the world has changed since 1966 when he first joined the BBC and described many of the great events, to which he was an eyewitness, which have changed the course of history. From the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to the Soweto Uprising, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the American led invasion of Iraq, John clearly relishes the challenge of reporting from the midst of the action.
A natural story teller, John described his extraordinary experiences in Afghanistan where he disguised himself by wearing a burqa, dodging bullets at the Beijing Tiananmen Square Massacre and watching Anti-Apartheid Campaigner, Nelson Mandela walk out of prison after 27 years. John reported on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of Marxism-Leninism in Europe and the savagery of the Bosnian war, amongst many other world events.
John very kindly answered many questions from the audience of pupils, parents, staff and friends ranging from his thoughts on whether democracy has a future to whether he felt fearful when he interviewed Saddam Hussein.
We are grateful for the generosity of our audience who donated over £1000 for Stop Ivory, a charity chosen by John, which aims to secure a sustainable future for African elephants in the wild, in a world without the ivory trade.
Our sincere thanks to John for such an entertaining and thought-provoking evening.