Justin Webb at a social event in Washington DC
January 3, 1961 |
London School of Economics
|Notable credit(s)||BBC News, Today Programme|
Justin Oliver Webb (born Justin Oliver Prouse, 3 January 1961) is a British journalist who has worked for the BBC since 1984. Since August 2009, he has presented on the Today programme, and also regularly writes for The Radio Times.
In an article in the Radio Times in January 2011, Webb revealed that his natural father was Peter Woods who was formerly a reporter with the Daily Mirror and later became a BBC newsreader. Woods was married and Webb's mother, who was a secretary at the Daily Mirror, was separated from her first husband at the time of the affair with Woods. Webb commented that his mother's split from Woods may have been as much her doing as his, saying "I do not believe she was abandoned." Woods provided financially for Webb but saw him only once, when he was six months old. Webb took the surname of his stepfather when his mother remarried in 1964.
Webb joined the BBC as a graduate trainee in 1984 working in Northern Ireland for BBC Radio Ulster based in Belfast. He then worked as a reporter for BBC Radio 4's Today programme, before becoming a foreign affairs correspondent based in London and covering news around the world. He reported on the Gulf War and the war in Bosnia, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the first democratic elections in South Africa.
He then became a BBC News presenter based in London, and the main presenter on BBC One's Breakfast News programme from 1992 to 1997. He also presented the BBC's One and Six O'Clock News bulletins and presented BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight from 1997-1998. From 1998 he spent three years working as the BBC's Europe correspondent based in Brussels. During that time he reported on the workings of the European Commission and Parliament, the politics surrounding Britain's decision on whether to join the single currency and the enlargement on the European Union.
In 2001 he moved to the United States, as the BBC's chief Washington correspondent. He raised eyebrows within the BBC in 2006 when, at a seminar on impartiality, he claimed the corporation was anti-American and treated the US with "scorn and derision", according it "no moral weight". He has also presented a Radio 4 series on anti-Americanism. In December 2007 he became North American Editor for BBC News, a role newly created in time for the American presidential election of 2008. He replaced Matt Frei who moved to present the new World News America bulletin. Since November 2007, Webb has maintained a regularly updated blog on the BBC website.
In August 2009, Webb returned to the UK with his wife Sarah and their three children. Whilst in the United States, his son Sam fell ill and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus. His son has since recovered. As a result, Webb experienced the United States healthcare system first-hand. Currently Webb lives in Camberwell.
- Singh, Anita (18 January 2011). "BBC's Justin Webb reveals his real father was newsreader Peter Woods". London: Telegraph Media Group Limited.
- Who's Who 2008
-  BBC press release. Website accessed 26 August 2009
- "BBC News - Today host Justin Webb names his father as Peter Woods". BBC. 18 January 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- Ben Todd and Ghristian Gysin (January 18, 2011). "I'm the secret son of 1970s newsreader Peter Woods, reveals BBC's Justin Webb". Daily Mail (London).
- "Bath man Justin Webb reveals hidden identity of his secret father". Bath Chronicle. 18 January 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
-  BBC Website accessed 8 February 2008
-  The American Expatriate blog. Website accessed 19 November 2007
-  Media Guardian article Monday 5 November 2007. Website accessed 18 November 2007
-  BBC Website accessed 19 November 2007
- Webb, Justin (5 January 2009). "Health care heartbreak". BBC. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
- "Radio 4’s Justin Webb. His son Sam has since recovered". Southwark Borough Council.
|North America Editor: BBC News