Simon Reeve (UK television presenter)

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Simon Reeve
MADAGASCAR Tropic of Capricorn presenter Simon Reeve on his journey around the southern border of the tropics.jpg
Simon Reeve photographed while travelling along the Tropic of Capricorn
Born 1972 (age 41–42)
London, England, UK
Occupation Author, television presenter
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Website
www.simonreeve.co.uk

Simon Reeve (born 1972) is an English author and presenter, currently based in London. He makes travel documentaries in little-known areas of the world and has written books on international terrorism, modern history and his adventures. He has presented the BBC television series Tropic of Cancer, Equator and Tropic of Capricorn. Reeve is the New York Times bestselling author of The New Jackals (1998), One Day in September (2000) and Tropic of Capricorn (2007). He has received a One World Broadcasting Trust Award.[1] and the 2012 Ness Award from the Royal Geographical Society.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Reeve was born and brought up in west London and attended a local comprehensive school. He rarely went abroad until he started work.[3] After leaving school he took a series of jobs, including working in a supermarket, a jewellery shop and a charity shop, before he started researching and writing in his spare time while working as a postboy at a British newspaper.

After the attacks of 11 September 2001, Reeve began making travel documentaries for the BBC. Tom Hall, travel editor for Lonely Planet publications, has described Reeve’s travel documentaries as “the best travel television programmes of the past five years”[4] and many of his productions have received favourable newspaper reviews.

After catching malaria on a journey around the Equator, Reeve became an ambassador for the Malaria Awareness Campaign.[5][6] Along with Sir David Attenborough and other conservation specialists, Reeve is a member of the Council of Ambassadors for WWF, one of the world’s leading environmental organisations.[7]

In January 2013, Reeve appeared in a charity special of The Great British Bake Off.

Television[edit]

Meet the Stans (2003)[edit]

alt text
Simon Reeve in Libya travelling around the Tropic of Cancer
Simon Reeve on the border in the unrecognised nation Nagorno-Karabakh

Meet the Stans is a four-part BBC Two and BBC World series on Central Asia, written and presented by Reeve. In the series Reeve travelled from the far north-west of Kazakhstan, by the Russian border, east to the Chinese border, south through Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the edge of Afghanistan, and west to Uzbekistan and the legendary Silk Road cities of Samarkand and Bukhara. It was broadcast on the BBC in 2003, and internationally during 2004 and 2005.[8][9][10]

House of Saud (also broadcast as: Saudi: The Family in Crisis) (2004)[edit]

A one-off BBC Two and BBC World documentary filmed inside Saudi Arabia, written and presented by Reeve. The journey took Reeve across Saudi Arabia, from the cities of Jeddah and Riyadh to the vast Empty Quarter desert. Participants ranged from Saudi princes and Islamic militants, to teenage girls and Osama bin Laden's former best friend. It was broadcast in 2004.[11][12]

Places That Don't Exist (2005)[edit]

Places That Don't Exist was Reeve's 2005 award-winning five-part series on breakaway states and unrecognised nations, broadcast on BBC Two and broadcasters internationally. Among the countries Reeve visited for this series were Somaliland, Transnistria (where Reeve was detained for 'spying' by the FSB [13]), Nagorno-Karabakh, Ajaria, South Ossetia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Somalia, Moldova and Taiwan.[14]

Equator (2006)[edit]

Equator is a three-part BBC documentary first broadcast in September 2006 in which Reeve followed the Equator around the world. Among the places he visited were some of the most dangerous regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Colombia. The series was the Silver Award winner at the 2007 Wanderlust Travel Awards.[15] Reeve contracted malaria while filming this series.[16]

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Simon Reeve in Equator

Tropic of Capricorn (2008)[edit]

Tropic of Capricorn is a four-part 2008 BBC documentary series in which Reeve tracked the southern edge of the tropics region around the world. The series, and the accompanying book, also written by Reeve, outlined his journey through Southern Africa, Madagascar, Australia and across South America. Reeve crossed the Andes Mountains, the Namib, Kalahari and Atacama deserts.[17]

Explore (2009)[edit]

A 4x60-minute series for BBC Two broadcast from 25 January to 15 February 2009 in the UK. Leading a team of reporters in journeys of discovery to some of the most colourful and intense locations on earth, Explore blended travel with current affairs. The tag line for the series was "Don’t just visit... Explore!" Programmes include: Patagonia to the Pampas, Africa's Great Rift Valley, Istanbul to Anatolia, and Manila to Mindanao. Issues covered in the series range from forced farming to fashion goliaths[clarification needed], World Heritage rice terraces to dwindling honey industries, extreme hunger to extreme football.

Tropic of Cancer (2010)[edit]

A six-part television series in which Reeve travelled around the Tropic of Cancer, the northern border of the Earth’s tropical region. After travelling around the Tropic of Capricorn and Equator, this series completed Reeve’s trilogy of journeys exploring the tropics.[18] Starting on the Pacific coast of Mexico, Reeve followed the Tropic of Cancer almost 37,000 kilometres. The journey took him through 18 countries, ranging from Mexico and Mauritania, to Bangladesh and the Bahamas.[19][20] The first episode aired on 14 March 2010. The series was broadcast on BBC TV in the UK, by broadcasters in more than 40 countries and by BBC World News globally.

Indian Ocean (2012)[edit]

In this six-part BBC TV series - broadcast during 2012 - Reeve travelled around the edge of the Indian Ocean.[21]

Australia with Simon Reeve (2013)[edit]

In the first episode of this three-part BBC Two TV adventure series Reeve travelled from the ‘red centre’ of Australia south to the wine region, then west to Perth. In the second, he travelled across the remote and wild north to the Great Barrier Reef, and the third took him down the east coast to the cities of Sydney and Melbourne.[22][23]

Pilgrimage with Simon Reeve (2013)[edit]

A three-part broadcast on BBC Two in December 2013.

Tea Trail/Coffee Trail with Simon Reeve (2014)[edit]

In The Tea Trail, Reeve travels from Mombasa, Kenya and a tea auction, before taking the train to Nairobi and on into western Kenya visiting colonial plantations before crossing into Uganda, heading to Toro discovering the issue of child labour.

On The Coffee Trail in Vietnam, Reeve heads south from Hanoi on the Reunification Express to Huế, where he visits the Khe Sanh Combat Base, before driving through coffee plantations to Buon Ma Thuot, meeting a coffee billionaire (Dang Le Nguyen Vu). He then also meets up with Dave D'Haeze discussing the many problems of the growing of coffee in Vietnam (especially deforestation, and bad agricultural methods (monoculture plantations, overuse of fertiliser, overuse of water, additional problems due to climate change). He then travels to the Yok Don National Park and the rainforest, before finally arriving at a container port in Ho Chi Minh City, via Bangkok where he meets some human right activists. Here, he meets Will Frith who discusses the future of growing coffee in Vietnam.[24]

Books[edit]

Reeve’s books have been translated into over 20 languages.[25]

The New Jackals[edit]

While working as an investigative writer, Reeve began studying the 1993 World Trade Center bombing just days after the attack. His research formed the basis for a book, The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the future of terrorism, published in the UK and USA in the late 1990s. The New Jackals was the first book on bin Laden.[26]

As he researched the book, Reeve traced and interviewed bin Laden supporters and senior FBI, CIA and Asian intelligence officials and also had clandestine meetings with spies and militants.[27]

Classified information cited by Reeve detailed the existence, development and aims of the terrorist group al-Qaeda. The book warned that al-Qaeda was planning huge attacks on the West, and concluded that an apocalyptic terrorist strike by the group was almost inevitable. It has been a New York Times and international bestseller,[28] and in the three months after the 9/11 attacks it was one of the top three bestselling books in the United States.[29] The book has been translated into several languages.[30]

After the 9/11 attacks Reeve became a regular commentator and reference source on the emerging terror threat. He has been quoted in The New York Times warning that al-Qaeda was moving "far beyond being a terrorist organisation to being almost a state of mind. That’s terribly significant because it gives the movement a scope and longevity it didn’t have before 9/11.”[31]

One Day in September[edit]

One Day in September was published in 2000 and deals with the Munich massacre and subsequent events like the hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 615 and the covert Israeli retaliation operation dubbed Wrath of God. The book outlines the siege and the massacre during the 1972 Summer Olympics, in which 11 Israeli athletes and officials were killed by Palestinian group Black September, and also focusses on the aftermath.[32] The accompanying documentary film of the same name, directed by Kevin Macdonald, won the Academy Award for Documentary Feature in 2000 and was screened in cinemas around the world.

Tropic of Capricorn[edit]

Tropic of Capricorn: circling the world on a southern adventure was written to accompany the television series of the same name.

Personal life[edit]

Reeve is married to Anya, a television camerawoman and campaigner. They have one son.[33][34] Reeve is the older brother of photographer James Reeve.

Bibliography[edit]

  • The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the future of terrorism. The book was published in the US and UK in 1998 and 1999.
  • One Day in September: the full story of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and the Israeli revenge operation 'Wrath of God',

References[edit]

  1. ^ oneworld media awards 2005
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Wilkinson, Carl (2005-05-01). "On the road to nowhere". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ Deeley, Laura (2007-05-12). "A real globetrotter". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  6. ^ Malaria information and the prevention of malaria – Malaria Hotspots
  7. ^ http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/about_us/more_about_wwf/wwf_uk_council_of_ambassadors/simon_reeve.cfm
  8. ^ Reeve, Simon (2003-09-29). "Meet the Stans". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  9. ^ Guardian Article
  10. ^ "CBC: Correspondent – December 20, 2004". [dead link]
  11. ^ House of Saud
  12. ^ "Saudi: The Family in Crisis". BBC News. 2004-07-08. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  13. ^ Tryhorn, Chris (2004-09-07). "BBC journalists held by Russians". The Guardian (London). 
  14. ^ Places That Don't Exist
  15. ^ Equator
  16. ^ Been there, Been bitten – Case study Simon Reeves
  17. ^ BBC News. 2008-03-10 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/capricorn/default.stm |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  18. ^ [3]
  19. ^ [4]
  20. ^ [5]
  21. ^ http://www.shootandscribble.com/sr/page6/page19/page19.html
  22. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2013/21/australia.html BBC website
  23. ^ http://www.shootandscribble.com/sr/page6/page36/page36.html Official website
  24. ^ Will Frith and Dave D'Haeze in Coffee Trail with Simon Reeve
  25. ^ http://www.shootandscribble.com/sr/page1/page1.html Official website
  26. ^ [6]
  27. ^ Official website
  28. ^ The New Jackals
  29. ^ The New Jackals
  30. ^ Official website
  31. ^ Shane, Scott (2006-08-11). "Scale and Detail of Plane Scheme Recall Al Qaeda". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  32. ^ "Interview with Simon Reeve". abc.net. 22 August 2000. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  33. ^ http://www.shootandscribble.com/sr/page17/page17.html Official website
  34. ^ http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/4268004/I-survived-KGB-sharks-and-drug-gangs-thanks-to-bomb-proof-boxer-shorts-Says-adventurer-Simon-Reeve.html The Sun newspaper interview

External links[edit]