English television, radio journalist and broadcaster, John Sergeant will be in conversation with his friend Terry Waite at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds later this month in a fundraising event.
John started his journalism career as a correspondent for the Liverpool Echo where he worked for three years before joining the BBC as a radio reporter in 1970.
He joined the international desk, covering stories in over 25 countries and working as a war reporter in Vietnam and Israel and reported the death of the first British soldier during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
He later covered the opening sessions of the European Parliament and became a political correspondent in 1981. John was the BBC’s chief political orrespondent from 1992 to 2000 and the political editor of ITN from 2000 until 2002.
John also won the hearts of viewers in 2008 when he appeared on “Strictly Come Dancing” with partner Kristina Rihanoff.
Meanwhile, Terry was the assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs for the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, in the 1980s.
As an envoy for the Church of England, he travelled to Lebanon to try to secure the release of four hostages, including the journalist John McCarthy. In 1984, he negotiated with Colonel Gaddafi for the release of the four remaining British hostages held in the Libyan Hostage and was again successful. He was himself then kidnapped and held captive from 1987 to 1991 (1,763 days) the first four years of which were spent in solitary confinement.
Following his release, he was elected a fellow commoner at Trinity Hall, Cambridge where he wrote his first book, “Taken on Trust”, an account of his captivity in Lebanon which became a best-seller in the UK and internationally.
In January 1996, Terry became patron of the Warrington Male Voice Choir in recognition of the humanitarian role adopted by the choir following the Warrington bomb attacks.
Since then, he has appeared with the choir for performances in prisons in UK and Ireland to assist in rehabilitation programmes. Prison concerts have become a regular feature of the choir’s Christmas activities.
He is patron of several organisations including Storybook Dads, a UK charity which allows prisoners to send recordings of themselves reading bedtime stories to their own children, to help stay connected to some of the 200,000 children affected by parental imprisonment each year.
The event, which takes place on Sunday, June 20, at 7.30pm, is to support the theatre.