John Sergeant is ITN's Political Editor and before that spent 30 years at the BBC, latterly as the corporation's Chief Political Correspondent. This memoir takes the reader from his rather curious childhood, as the son of decidedly eccentric parents, to his flirtation with show business as part of the 60s satire boom - he starred in revue with Alan Bennett - and his early years in journalism on the Liverpool Post to his 30 years at the BBC. Memorably handbagged by Margaret Thatcher on the steps of the Paris embassy as she lost the leadership contest, and the man to whom Ron Davis confessed his midnight perambulations on Clapham Common, Sergeant has been on the spot in many of the major news stories of the latter part of the 20th century. His mordant wit, keen sense of the absurd and powers of analysis pervade the book.
John Sergeant was, until 2002 political editor of ITN in 2000, after being chief political correspondent of the BBC for the previous 12 years. He joined the Corporation as a reporter on radio news in 1970. He was a special correspondent in many parts of the world, reporting from more than 25 countries. Among the conflicts he covered were the closing stages of the Vietnam War, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon, and the guerilla war in Rhodesia. For the past twenty years he has specialised in political reporting from Westminster, and he has, at times, presented a wide variety of news programmes on R4, including Today and The World at One. He has also been a guest on many light entertainment shows, including Have I Got News for You, Room 101, and the News Quiz on Radio 4. He lives in Ealing and has two grown-up sons. He is the author of two books, Give Me Ten Seconds, which was a top ten bestseller, and Maggie: Her Fatal Legacy.