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Kathryn Adie, CBE, DL (/ˈdi/; born 19 September 1945) is an English journalist. She was chief news correspondent for BBC News between 1989 and 2003, during which time she reported from war zones around the world. She currently presents From Our Own Correspondent on BBC Radio 4.

Kate Adie

Kate Adie in 2017
Born (1945-09-19) 19 September 1945 (age 73)
Alma materUniversity of Newcastle upon Tyne
Notable credit(s)
Chief News Correspondent for BBC News
AwardsRichard Dimbleby Award (1990) Fellowship Award (2018)



Adie in 2014

Adie was born in Whitley Bay, Northumberland.[2] She was adopted as a baby by a Sunderland pharmacist and his wife, John and Maud Adie,[3] and grew up there.

She had an independent school education at Sunderland Church High School, and then studied at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where she obtained a degree in Scandinavian Studies and starred in several Gilbert and Sullivan productions.

Adie is a fan of Sunderland AFC.[4]


Her career with the BBC began as a station assistant at BBC Radio Durham, then she became a producer for Radio Bristol. She then switched to television, directing outside broadcasts. She was a reporter for regional TV News in Plymouth and Southampton, and joined the national news team in 1976.

Her big break was the London Iranian Embassy siege in 1980.[5] As that evening's duty reporter, Adie was first on the scene as the Special Air Service stormed the embassy. The BBC interrupted coverage of the World Snooker Championships and Adie reported live and unscripted to one of the largest news audiences ever whilst crouched behind a car door.

Adie was thereafter regularly dispatched to report on disasters and conflicts throughout the 1980s, including the American bombing of Tripoli in 1986 (her reporting of this was criticised by the Conservative Party Chairman Norman Tebbit), and the Lockerbie bombing of 1988. She was promoted to Chief News Correspondent in 1989 and held the role for fourteen years. One of her first assignments was to report the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Major assignments followed in the Gulf War, the war in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and the war in Sierra Leone in 2000.

In 2003 Adie withdrew from front-line reporting. She currently works as a freelance journalist (among other work she gives regular reports on Radio New Zealand) and also as a public speaker, and presents From Our Own Correspondent on BBC Radio 4. She hosted two five-part series of Found, a Leopard Films production for BBC One, in 2005 and 2006. The series considered the life experiences of adults affected by adoption and what it must be like to start one's life as a foundling.[6] She is of Irish descent.[7]

Her close-to-the-action approach once caused her to be shot at by an "irate Libyan". The shot nicked her collar bone but she did not suffer permanent harm. Indeed, it was this approach that elicited the wry adage that "a good decision is getting on a plane at an airport where Kate Adie is getting off".

While she was in Yugoslavia, her leg was injured in Bosnia, and she also met Radovan Karadžić while there.[8]

Adie is also a best-selling author;

In 2002 she published her autobiography, The Kindness of Strangers.
In 2003 Corsets to Camouflage: Women and War was published.
In 2005 Nobody's Child, which covers the history of foundling children and questions of identity.
In 2008 Into Danger: People Who Risk Their Lives for Work.
In 2013 Fighting on the Home Front: The Legacy of Women in World War One.

In 2017 Adie was one of the speakers at the Gibraltar International Literary Festival.[9]

Adie was appointed Chancellor of Bournemouth University on 7 January 2019, succeeding Baron Phillips of Worth Matravers.[10]

Awards and honoursEdit

Charitable AssociationsEdit

In 2017 Adie was appointed as Ambassador for SSAFA, the UK’s oldest military charity.[21] Adie is currently also an ambassador for SkillForce[22] and the non-governmental organisation Farm Africa.[23] In July 2018 Adie became an Ambassador for the medical charity Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal.[24]


  • The Kindness of Strangers, autobiography published by Headline, ISBN 0-7553-1073-X
  • Corsets to Camouflage: Women and War, published by Coronet, ISBN 0-340-82060-8
  • Nobody's Child, published by Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 0-340-83800-0
  • Into Danger, published by Hodder & Stoughton, (first ed.), September 2008, ISBN 0-340-93321-6
  • Fighting on the Home Front: The Legacy of Women in World War One, published by Hodder & Stoughton, September 2013, ISBN 978-1-4447-5967-9


  1. ^ "Kate Adie". From Our Own Correspondent. 29 August 2009. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ David Simpson. "Hall of Fame". England's North East.
  3. ^ Summerskill, Ben (14 October 2001). "The Observer Profile: Kate Adie". The Guardian. London.
  4. ^ "SAFC Foundation founded — Sir Bob Murray".
  5. ^ a b "Kate Adie". BBC News. BBC. 3 January 2003. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Found :: Productions". Leopard Films. Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  7. ^ Saturday; April 11; 2015 (11 April 2015). "War reporter Adie seeks to solve mystery of Irish father".
  8. ^ "He was a smart, rather vain man". BBC News. 22 July 2008.
  9. ^ "Gibraltar Literary Festival - Speakers - International Speakers".
  10. ^ "Broadcaster and author Kate Adie begins tenure as new BU Chancellor". Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  11. ^ "1990 Television Richard Dimbleby Award - BAFTA Awards".
  12. ^ The 1993 New Year Honours list in The Gazette.
  13. ^ "Kate Adie named as County Deputy Lieutenant". Dorset Echo.
  14. ^ "Kate Adie OBE to Receive BAFTA Fellowship". 30 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Kathryn ADIE".
  16. ^ "Honorary Fellows 2006". York St John University.
  17. ^ "Honorary graduates - Your Alumni Community - Alumni - Nottingham Trent University".
  18. ^ "Honorary Graduates 1989 to present". University of Bath. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  19. ^ Plymouth University Archived 25 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Home". Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Kate Adie OBE announced as SSAFA Ambassador". Forces Pension Society. 9 May 2017.
  22. ^ "Patrons Supporting Us - The Prince William Award - Skillforce". Prince William Award.
  23. ^ "Latest news from Farm Africa".
  24. ^ "Our Ambassadors — Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal (OPSA)". Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal (OPSA).

External linksEdit