Michael Buerk is one of the United Kingdom’s best known broadcast journalists and writers. He has probably won more awards for international television reporting than any other British journalist. He was main presenter (anchor) of the BBC’s flagship evening television news programme for 15 years. He continues to report for and present television and radio programmes for the BBC and other channels, write for many of Britain’s leading newspapers and magazines, lecture on current affairs issues and chair corporate and other conferences.
In his career as a foreign correspondent for the BBC he reported from nearly 70 countries. He covered more than a dozen wars on four continents. He was honoured by the British Academy for Film and Television Arts (BAFTA – the British Oscars), and twice by the Royal Television Society. He won two of the three most important American honours for journalism - the George Polk and National Headliner awards, and the European equivalent, the Monte Carlo Television Festival Golden Nymph. He has been honoured by the United Nations and the Roman Catholic Church. He won the James Cameron memorial award for coverage of the end of apartheid in South Africa that “combined moral vision with professional integrity”. He has been named Science writer of the year and received a string of other awards for his broadcast and written journalism. The Royal Scottish Geographical Society gave him their Mungo Park award for his work in Africa.
He is likely to be remembered most for his coverage of the Ethiopian famine in 1984, which led directly to Band Aid, Live Aid and an international rescue effort measured in billions of dollars and millions of lives.
As a television and radio presenter he has fronted numerous series and individual programmes on a range of issues, such as Nature, 999, Tobacco Wars, Deadline for the Dark Continent, Soul of Britain, Future Watch and Hand of God, Disappearing Britain, Britain’s Secret Treasures and anchored the live coverage of many royal and other events.
He currently chairs the BBC’s leading programme about ethical issues The Moral Maze. He has recently had three major television series on Britain’s biggest commercial television channel, ITV along with presenting several editions of Channel Four’s flagship documentary series, Dispatches. Recently, he has had a series on British heritage on Channel 4 and a major documentary on Pompeii for ITV. Currently (2018) he has been fronting three television series for BBC TV, and is working on two more for Channel 5 this Summer. He has even dipped a toe in reality television.
He lectures regularly on current affairs issues and chairs conferences on political, economic and ethical questions.
Michael Buerk holds an MA from the University of Bath and doctorates from the Universities of Bristol, Aston and Surrey. He is 71, married with twin sons and lives in Guildford, Surrey.