Angus Roxburgh

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Angus Roxburgh
Born 1954
Occupation Journalist, Singer-songwriter
Notable credit(s) BBC News

Angus Roxburgh (born 1954) is a British journalist, broadcaster, former PR adviser to the Russian government, and singer-songwriter.

Education and early career[edit]

Born in 1954 in Scarborough, England, and raised in Scotland, Roxburgh studied Russian and German at the universities of Aberdeen and Zurich. After graduation he taught Russian at Aberdeen University and then worked as a translator for Progress Publishers in Moscow. He wrote a book about the Soviet media, titled Pravda: Inside the Soviet News Machine.[1]


In 1984 Angus Roxburgh began work as a Russian monitor at the BBC Monitoring Service, based in Caversham, England. In 1986 he moved to the BBC Russian Service in London as a script writer.

In April 1987 he started working as a sub-editor on The Guardian newspaper, and in October 1987 became Moscow Correspondent of the Sunday Times. In June 1989 he was expelled in a tit-for-tat expulsion after a group of Soviet spies was deported from London.[2]

From 1989 to 1990 Roxburgh covered the fall of communism in eastern Europe for the Sunday Correspondent newspaper.

In 1990–1991 he worked as consultant on the award-winning BBC television documentary series, The Second Russian Revolution, and wrote a book of the same name. He covered the August 1991 coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev for The Guardian.

From 1992, Roxburgh was the BBC's Moscow Correspondent, and, from 1998, a BBC Europe Correspondent, based in Brussels. He wrote a book about the rise of the far right in Europe entitled "Preachers of Hate".[3]

For three years from 2006 he worked for GPlus, a Brussels-based public relations company, as an adviser to the Russian government.[4]

From 2009–2011 he worked on a second BBC series about Russia, titled Putin, Russia and the West, and wrote a book, The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia. In February 2012 Peter Oborne, a Telegraph journalist, criticised Roxburgh's involvement in the programme, saying that it led to an imbalance in favour of Putin: "I have no doubt that [Roxburgh] is a man of integrity, but it is profoundly shocking that the BBC should even have considered using him, given the nature of his previous employment."[5] The BBC issued a statement in response, which said: "Angus Roxburgh was once a PR advisor to the Kremlin. He was also a Sunday Times correspondent, and later the BBC’s Moscow correspondent. That is why he was hired: he helped secure interviews with key Kremlin insiders."[6] The series was widely praised and won several prizes, including a prestigious Peabody award.[7] Roxburgh’s book, The Strongman, was shortlisted for International Affairs Book of the Year (2013)[8] and was described by the Telegraph as "fair, nuanced and well-written."[9]

He has made many radio documentaries, including one to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight into space, The Communist Cosmos, for BBC Radio 4 in April 2011.[10]

He now[when?] works as a freelance writer and broadcaster.


Angus Roxburgh plays guitar and piano, and began writing songs in his youth. His first album, Harmonies For One, was released in November 2011.[11][12]

The Sunday Herald described it as “a collection of heartfelt, self-penned songs ... an emotive mix that touches on themes of love, heartache and social commentary”.[13]


  1. ^ "BBC Press Release". BBC. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Journalist expelled". The Times. UK. 1989. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Angus Roxburgh joins BBC Scotland". BBC. 10 March 2002. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Robinson, James (16 July 2006). "Smile when you do that, Mr President". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  5. ^ The BBC’s distortion of the truth helps Putin suppress his critics, Telegraph, retrieved 2 February 2012
  6. ^ "BBC response to The Daily Telegraph comment piece". BBC. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Peabody Award Profile - Putin, Russia & The West (BBC2)". Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "Announcement: The Political Book Awards Shortlists". 6 December 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Vladimir Putin: Russia's strongman". The Telegraph. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Roxburgh, Angus; BBC (16 July 2006). "A Communist Cosmos". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Roxburgh, Angus. "Angus Roxburgh Myspace". Musician. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  12. ^ Roxburgh, Angus (1 November 2011). "Harmonies for One". CD Baby. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "From KGB to R'n'B". Sunday Herald. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 


  • Pravda: Inside the Soviet News Machine, Victor Gollancz, London, 1987.
  • The Second Russian Revolution, BBC Books, London, 1991.
  • Preachers of Hate, Gibson Square Books, London, 2003.
  • The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia, I.B.Tauris, London 2011. Roxburgh, Angus (November 2011). The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia (1 ed.). London: I.B. Tauris. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 

External links[edit]