The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

The Media Society - Jonathan Dimbleby in Conversation with Helen Boaden

Monday 16th September 2019

6.30pm for a 7.00pm prompt start at the Groucho Club, 45 Dean Street, London W1D 4QB.

Tickets £20.00 (standard), £12.50 (Members of The Media Society, Editorial Intelligence, The London Press Club and the Groucho Club), £7.50 (Students).

Join Jonathan Dimbleby in conversation with Helen Boaden, the former Controller of Radio 4, at the Groucho Club.

Jonathan Dimbleby confessed himself "astonished" by the recent outpouring of affection and regard for himself and for Radio 4’s Any Questions when he announced that he was stepping down as Chair of the programme after nearly thirty years.

He's earned his place in the Radio 4 pantheon but his fascinating career spans far beyond BBC Radio. For many years, he was the face of in-depth journalism on ITV, competing with the BBC on its natural territory. He reported for, and then presented This Week, ITV's influential current affairs series. His television documentary, The Unknown Famine, broke the story of the 1973 famine in Ethiopia and led to a record amount of aid being raised for the victims. Some claim his investigation contributed to the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie.

In 1994, his ITV documentary on Prince Charles saw the heir to the throne talk publicly for the first time about his marriage to Diana and his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. Jonathan's 5 part BBC series, The Last Governor, gave him unprecedented access to the British handover of Hong King to the Chinese by Chris Patten. He has a rare ability to get Establishment figures to open up to him. And he's had a unique ring side seat on UK politics from the Thatcher revolution, through the Blair years to Brexit.

He presented ITV's Sunday morning political programme, Jonathan Dimbleby, for over a decade from 1995, having been poached back from the BBC where he had been the first presenter of On the Record. Today, under his chairmanship, Any Questions still tries to throw light, rather than heat, on current political debate.

In May 2019 Jonathan Dimbleby held a debate in Addis Ababa about the future of Ethiopia, recorded in front of a public audience, as part of the BBC World Service's World Questions series.

Jonathan has stuck to broadcasting law on impartiality over the decades, despite a personal passion for several controversial causes. Now released from that obligation, he talks to his old boss at the BBC, Helen Boaden, about his career, the changing face of broadcast journalism and what on earth is happening in British politics.

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