Ann Leslie

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Ann Leslie

Ann Elizabeth Mary Leslie

(1941-01-28) 28 January 1941 (age 77)
Other namesDame Ann Leslie
EducationLady Margaret Hall, Oxford
Notable credit(s)
Daily Mail
Spouse(s)Michael Fletcher (1969–present)
ChildrenOne daughter

Dame Ann Elizabeth Mary Leslie, DBE (born 28 January 1941)[1] is a British journalist who writes for the Daily Mail.


Leslie was born in Rawalpindi, British India (now in Pakistan), where she spent her early years, attending an English-language school and "witnessed the killing trains of Partition".[2] In 1950, her parents sent her to boarding school in England, where she attended the Presentation Convent School in Matlock, Derbyshire, and St Leonards-Mayfield School, East Sussex. She went on, two years later, to attend Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.[3]


Her first job in journalism was at the Daily Express in Manchester in 1962.[4] Leslie moved to the Daily Mail in 1967. She has interviewed major film stars, entertainers, and political figures and has reported on numerous wars, civil conflicts and political stories in around 70 countries. At the Reuters/Press Gazette launch of the Newspaper Hall of Fame, she was named as one of the most influential journalists of the last forty years. In David Randall's The Great Reporters (celebrating the 13 best British and American journalists of all time) she is profiled as "the most versatile reporter ever".

She is a regular current affairs broadcaster on the BBC (Question Time, Any Questions?, Dateline London), Sky News, and international broadcasting organisations.

Leslie was interviewed by National Life Stories (C467/18) in 2007–8 for the 'Oral History of the British Press' collection held by the British Library.[5]

Leslie was interviewed in the 2012 documentary The Diamond Queen, about Queen Elizabeth II.

Episodes in reporting[edit]

Significant events on which she reported include the fall of the Berlin Wall, the failed coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, and Nelson Mandela's final walk to freedom. She has made secret interviews in Iran and North Korea.[6][7] After a dangerous experience at a Zimbabwean ZANU farm, Leslie went back to the press hotel in Harare where other reporters sent back stories without venturing out of the hotel. She called them Avon ladies; only interested in make-up (as in made up stories).[8][9]

Her memoir, Killing My Own Snakes, was published in 2008.[10]


Leslie has won nine British Press Awards and has won two Lifetime Achievement Awards. In 1999, she was awarded the James Cameron Award for international reporting.[11] She was created a DBE on 30 December 2006, for her "services to journalism".[citation needed] In 2012, Leslie won the Outstanding Contribution to Journalism Award at the eighth annual International Media Awards in London on 5 May 2012.[12][13][14]


  1. ^ Debrett's biodata Debrett's
  2. ^ Cadwalladr, Carole (5 April 2009). "Ann Leslie, Queen of the frontline". The Guardian. London.
  3. ^ "LMH, Oxford – Prominent Alumni". Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  4. ^ ""The Indestructible Journos", The Independent, 12 June 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008.
  5. ^ National Life Stories, 'Leslie, Ann (1 of 6) National Life Stories Collection: 'Oral History of the British Press', The British Library Board, 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  6. ^ "UK – Ann Leslie, a witness to history". BBC.
  7. ^ "Programmes – Hardtalk – Dame Ann Leslie". BBC.
  8. ^ INM. "Ann Leslie: Stuff and nonsense". The Independent. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  9. ^ "The Great Reporters – David Randall – Anne Leslie".
  10. ^ Cadwalladr, Carole (5 April 2009). "Ann Leslie, Queen of the frontline". The Observer. London. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Award winners". City University of London. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  12. ^ "Award for Dame Ann of the Mail for her outstanding contribution to journalism – Daily Mail Online". Daily Mail.
  13. ^ "2012 Awards". The International Media Awards.
  14. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Desert Island Discs, Ann Leslie". BBC.

External links[edit]