Gary O'Donoghue

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Gary O'Donoghue
Born England
Ethnicity English
Occupation Journalist
Notable credit(s) BBC News

Gary O'Donoghue is an English journalist, currently working for BBC News as their Washington, D.C. correspondent.

Early life[edit]

Born to a semi-professional Association football father who also worked as a taxi driver, his mother taught ballroom dancing. O'Donoghue was born partially sighted, but went totally blind by the time he was eight.[1] O'Donoghue was educated at Worcester College for the Blind, then a boys' boarding school that has since merged with the similar girls' school,[2] where he played blind football for England. O'Donoghue then attended the college of Christ Church at Oxford University, where he read philosophy and modern languages.[1]


Given work experience at the BBC,[3] his first job was working for a braille production department, where he was asked to operate the photocopier.[2]

O'Donoghue joined the BBC on graduation, becoming a junior reporter on BBC Radio 4's Today programme; at one time, he was asked to bungee jump off Chelsea Bridge.[1] During his career, he has covered stories for BBC News in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the U.S. In 2004, O'Donoghue became a political correspondent based at Westminster, reporting across the media of radio, television, and internet.[1] From October 2011 O'Donoghue became the Chief Political Correspondent for BBC Radio 4 replacing Norman Smith, primarily reporting for the Today and PM programmes.

In 2007, he broke the story that new UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown was returning early from holiday to deal with an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Surrey.[4] However, BBC Ten O'Clock News deputy editor Daniel Pearl handed the story to June Kelly, which, in 2008, resulted in an out-of-court five-figure payment to O'Donoghue on grounds of disability discrimination.[4]

At the 2014 BBC News Festival, it was revealed that O'Donoghue would be moving to Washington, as a reporter for BBC News.[5] Between assignments, in summer 2014 he toured UK Universities, telling journalist students about his time in the business.[6]

Personal life[edit]

O'Donoghue and his girlfriend, Sarah Lewthwaite, have a home in Yorkshire, and one daughter.[1][2][7]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bell, Matthew (22 February 2009). "Gary O'Donoghue: 'My mother once thought of killing us both, life was so hard'". The Independent (London). Retrieved 29 October 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "BBC - Ouch! (disability) - Interviews - 13 Questions: Gary O'Donoghue". BBC. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  3. ^ "October 2009". Disability Now. Retrieved 29 October 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Revoir, Paul (7 September 2008). "Five-figure payout for BBC reporter taken off the TV news 'because he was blind'". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 7 September 2008. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Profile - Gary O'Donoghue". The Group for Solicitors with Disabilities. Retrieved 7 September 2008. 

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Norman Smith
Chief Political Correspondent: BBC Radio 4
2011 – 2012
Succeeded by
Ben Wright
Preceded by
Ben Wright
Chief Political Correspondent: BBC Radio 4
2012 – present
Succeeded by