Karen Bowerman is an English journalist, television presenter, film maker and travel writer who has worked for Sky, ITV, CNN International and the BBC. Formerly the Consumer Correspondent for BBC 1, and the Business and Consumer Presenter for the BBC News Channel and BBC World, she is now freelance, specialising in travel, consumer stories and personal finance.
She is a presenter and film maker for the BBC's Travel Show on BBC 2 & BBC World, works for The Press Association and contributes to the Independent, the Mail on Sunday, the Express, CNN.com and National Geographic Traveller. When not on assignment she is a corporate presenter.
Bowerman was an Academic Scholar at St Hugh's College, Oxford. She has a BA (Hons) and MA in Theology. After her first degree she was offered a place at Wolfson College, Oxford, to study for a PhD in Theology but had to defer for a year to try to secure funding. During this time she began working for a local paper.
After a brief spell in regional newspapers and TV, Bowerman became a BBC News Trainee, passed various law exams for journalists, and went on to report and present for BBC South West, Sky News and CNN International.
In 2002 Bowerman was offered a job as the Consumer Correspondent for the BBC News at One, BBC News at Six and the BBC News at Ten where she specialised in undercover filming and special investigations. In 2006, she became the Business & Consumer Presenter for the BBC News Channel while also reporting for BBC Radio 4 & News reading for Radio 5 Live.
After establishing herself in News, Bowerman worked as a contributor and presenter for BBC programmes. Stints included Weekend Watchdog, Newsnight, Fast:track (now The Travel Show) on BBC 2 and the Heaven and Earth Show on BBC 1. She presented several series of BBC Northern Ireland's Watchdog, Fair Play, on BBC1, where some of her undercover investigations led to convictions.
Films and DocumentariesEdit
Since 2009 Bowerman has worked as a freelance travel reporter and film maker for the BBC's News Features department. She produces, shoots and presents her own material. Her short travel films have won several awards.
Work has taken her to the Arctic and Antarctic where she has made documentaries for TV and BBC Radio 4. Projects have included sailing a replica Phoenician ship round Africa, travelling in India with the grandson of Gandhi, navigating the North West Passage in the footsteps of Shackleton and rafting the rapids of the Grand Canyon.
Bowerman twice won "Travel Broadcaster of the Year" in the former UK Travel Press Awards, gaining recognition for films she shot and produced herself. She has been short-listed for, and won, various gongs since. Some are listed below:
- "Best Cruise Broadcast 2015" Cruise Line Industry Association;
- "Best National Newspaper Travel Feature on Germany 2015" (Runner-up), German Tourist Board;
- "Best Regional Newspaper Travel Feature 2015" (Finalist), Travel Media Awards;
- "Best National (Magazine) Travel Feature 2014" (Finalist), UK Travel Awards;
- "Best Regional Travel Feature 2013" British Travel Press Awards;
- "Travel Broadcaster of the Year 2012" (portfolio of short films) UK Travel Press Awards;
- "Best Regional Travel Feature 2012" British Travel Press Awards;
- "Specialist Journalist Award 2012 (Travel)" British Regional Press Awards;
- "Travel Broadcast Journalist of the Year 2011" (Runner-Up), British Guild of Travel Writers;
- "Travel Broadcaster of the Year 2010" (portfolio of short films) UK Travel Press Awards;
- "Travel Broadcaster of the Year 2009" (Runner-Up), UK Travel Press Awards.
Bowerman hosts international conferences, leads panel discussions and acts as a presenter for various corporate projects. Clients have included the UN, Mercedes, Hitachi, Danone, Swiss Re, Saga, Farnborough Air Show, the International Telecommunications Union and leading supermarkets.
The wrong GuyEdit
Bowerman's infamous claim to fame was interviewing the "wrong guy", Guy Goma, on BBC News. Goma was an applicant for an IT job who thought the interview was a bizarre BBC process. The BBC said Bowerman sensed something was not right but that in the frantic environment of live news her editor did not hear her. In the end she was told to keep the man talking while producers scrambled to find another guest. The story gave Fleet Street a good run for their money. Bowerman's editor said she "deserved a medal" for her good humoured handling of the affair.
- BBC World launches One Giant Leap Season, Karen Bowerman speaks to designer of lunar landscape for NASA – BBC Press Office, 22 June 2009
- Snacking rots children’s teeth: BBC Online, 23 June 2003
- BBC Business Presenter – TV newsroom website
- Developing a thick skin – filming rhino in Namibia, Behind the International Headlines at the BBC, BBC World Agenda Magazine, 20 August 2010
- Cowboy builders & rogue workmen? All in a day's work for Karen, Karen Ireland, The Belfast Telegraph, 14 November,
- Dangers of Medicine bought online – BBC Special report – BBC Press Office, 13 August 2002
- Bowerman management website
- Fast:track’s rafting adventure – BBC World online
- "BBC News 'wrong Guy' is revealed". BBC. 16 May 2006. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
- BBC Editor’s blog, 16 May 2006