John Craven

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For other people named John Craven, see John Craven (disambiguation).
John Craven
Born John Craven
(1940-08-16) 16 August 1940 (age 74)
Leeds, Yorkshire, England, UK[1][2]
Residence Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Ethnicity English
Occupation Journalist and broadcaster
Employer BBC
Known for Presenting:
Beat the Brain

John Craven OBE (born 16 August 1940) is an English journalist and television presenter, best known for presenting the BBC programmes Newsround, Countryfile and Beat the Brain.[1]


Early career

Craven was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire and educated at Leeds Modern School. He started his professional life in print journalism as a junior reporter on a local newspaper, the Harrogate Advertiser, before working for the Yorkshire Post and as a freelance correspondent and writer for national newspapers. He joined the BBC staff in Newcastle upon Tyne to work on local radio and television, before moving to the BBC in Bristol. His family roots are in Bingley, Yorkshire.


From 1972, Craven was the eponymous host of a regular children's news programme, Newsround, originally called John Craven's Newsround. The first such programme ever produced by British television, it drew on the full journalistic resources of the BBC, and featured a number of news scoops, it being the first news programme of the day on TV in its early years.[citation needed]

Craven became associated with children's TV and presented news items on other children's programmes, such as Multi-Coloured Swap Shop and Saturday Superstore.[3] Years later he also became editor of Newsround.

In 1989, Craven left the Newsround programme and began presenting a countryside news programme, Countryfile, for the BBC.

From 2015, he will present new BBC Two daytime game show Beat the Brain.[4]

Other work

In 2014, John took part in Gareth Malone's All Star Choir.[5] They released a cover version of the single "Wake Me Up" in November 2014 to raise money for the BBC's Children in Need charity.[6] The choir were filmed for a two-part documentary called Gareth's All Star Choir. It was shown on 3 and 10 November 2014 on BBC One.

Awards and honours

Craven was awarded the OBE in 2000 for services to rural and children's broadcasting, and the Baird Medal in 2002.

On 28 November 2011, Craven accepted a Children's BAFTA award for his work with Newsround.[citation needed]

Personal life

Craven is married and has two daughters.[2] He lives in Oxfordshire.[7] Of his career, he has said he expected he would be retired at some future time rather than give up the work he liked so much.[8]


He is vice-president of the Waterways Trust and Patron of SPANA (Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad).

John Craven is one of nine presidents of The Young People's Trust for the Environment.[9]