Nelson Mandela's Inauguration

John Simpson

BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson is a journalist, broadcaster, columnist and accomplished author. Born in 1944, he was educated at St Paul’s School and Magdalene College, Cambridge. He joined the BBC in 1966 and is celebrating his 50th anniversary this year. Simpson has reported from 140 countries and interviewed around 200 world leaders, among them Vladimir Putin, Margaret Thatcher, Colonel Gadaffi, Bashir al-Asad, and Robert Mugabe. He has covered 46 wars on four continents, as well as the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania. Simpson has received most of the broadcasting industry’s accolades, including RTS journalist of the year (twice), three BAFTAs, an Emmy, the Bayeux award for war reporting, and a CBE in 1991. In this recollection of career highlights, he discusses being mistakenly bombed by the American military while in Iraq and his greatest reporting privilege—covering the inauguration of Nelson Mandela, who he says winked at him just before he took the oath of office.