by Kate Adie
Category: Biographies / General
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Publication date: 2 June 2003
Number of pages: 448
Kate Adie's story is an unusual one. Raised in post-war Sunderland, where life was 'a sunny experience, full of meat-paste sandwiches and Sunday school', she has reported memorably and courageously from many of the world's trouble spots since she joined the BBC in 1969. THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS encompasses Adie's reporting from, inter alia, Northern Ireland, the Middle East, Tiananmen Square and, of course, the Gulf War of 1991. It offers a compelling combination of vivid frontline reporting and evocative writing and reveals the extraordinarily demanding life of the woman who is always at the heart of the action. Although an intensely private person, Kate Adie also divulges what it's like to be a woman in a man's world - an inspiration to many working women.
Kate Adie, the BBC's Chief News Correspondent, has twice been named Reporter of the Year by the Royal Television Society and was awarded the OBE in 1993. Since she joined the BBC in 1969, Kate has reported from many of the world's most infamous trouble spots and has covered momentous historical events. She has become a familiar feature of the news, always appearing cool and poised, however dramatic her surroundings. Yet despite her fame, she has remained a very private person. In this, her autobiography, Kate shares the details of her life as a news reporter, revealing herself as someone with a tremendous sense of compassion, integrity and humour. She began her career on local radio where her skill and enthusiasm soon began to make an impact and she developed a thirst to understand more about the wider world and to report on the inequalities she was growing increasingly aware of. Learning her trade on Radio Bristol, Kate enjoyed a period as Kenny Everett's producer (or, more accurately, tea lady) and spent hours listening to strangers unburden themselves. Dealing with social issues such as homelessness, adoption, mental illness in children and abortion she developed a burning desire to 'reveal, uncover and put right - but also to get it right'. When she stumbled into TV reporting she had little experience and was forced to make her own rules as she went along, not helped by a male-dominated environment. As her role developed, Kate found herself travelling to some of the most inhospitable parts of the world. She paints vivid pictures of life as she saw it, capturing the intimate nuances of people and cultures, and her clear and honest writing style cuts through sentimentality to make perceptive and humane observations on the sufferings of others. Her desire to expose injustice and make a difference through accurate reporting is vividly conveyed. The book contains many fascinating insights into world affairs, from the siege of the Iranian Embassy to the troubles in Northern Ireland, from Tiananmen Square to Libya. There are many compelling anecdotes throughout the book. Possessing the one taped record of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Kate risked bullets and physical attacks and scaled an eight-foot wall to ensure that the record reached world news, such was her sense of outrage and commitment to exposing oppression. This autobiography confirms her status as one of the great media professionals of the modern era. Enlightening, interesting and vastly entertaining, it is an unmissable book. (Kirkus UK)
What the papers say:
Sharp, witty and full of insights into the BBC and the sometimes crazed world of broadcasting Daily Express
Kate Adie was born in Sunderland and educated at Newcastle University. She joined the BBC in 1969 and has been their Chief News Correspondent since 1989. She was awarded the OBE in 1993.
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