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Bill Neely (right) listens as his colleague Richard Engel accepts a 2014 Peabody Award on behalf of their news team in 2015.
|Born||1959 (age 57–58)
Glengormley, Belfast, Northern Ireland
|Occupation||Broadcast Journalist, Foreign Correspondent|
|Notable credit(s)||ITV News, NBC News|
Bill Neely (born 21 May 1959) is a Northern Irish journalist and Chief Global Correspondent for NBC News. He has been a broadcaster since 1981. Neely was appointed to his current post in 2014 after 25 years at ITN's ITV News and reports from all over the globe. His reports also appeared regularly on CNN and PBS, the public television broadcaster in the United States, as well as on channels in Australia and New Zealand. Most recently, he has been reporting from Russia, Syria and North Korea.
Early life and education
Neely was born in Glengormley, Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1959 and graduated with joint honours in Modern History and English from The Queen's University of Belfast. He began his career with BBC Northern Ireland in 1981, at the height of the Republican hunger strikes. He covered the violence in N. Ireland for six years before joining BBC television's news and current affairs department in London in 1987.
After a period with Sky News, during which he helped launch the channel, Neely joined ITN in June 1989 and has covered many of the major world news events of the last quarter century, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, which he describes as "the best story I ever covered, bar none", the break-up of the Soviet Union, the first and second Gulf Wars, both attacks on New York's World Trade Center (1993 and 2001), the mass killings in Darfur, the death of Pope John Paul II, the siege of Beslan, and numerous natural disasters, including around a dozen earthquakes. He has won an unprecedented three consecutive BAFTA awards for news coverage, an Emmy award, a Peabody prize and has numerous other nominations and awards for international news reporting over the past two decades, including four Emmy nominations. He won four Royal Television Society awards, including the International News Award for coverage of the Haiti earthquake.
Neely was Washington correspondent and US Bureau Chief for six years (1991–97), covering two Presidential elections, the bombing of the World Trade Center (1993 and 2001), the Atlanta Olympics and Oklahoma City, the OJ Simpson trial, the Waco siege as well as many major stories across North and South America and the Caribbean. From 1997–2002 he was Europe Correspondent, covering the death of Diana, Princess of Wales for which he was part of the team nominated for a BAFTA award; the crash of Concorde and the wars in Kosovo and Afghanistan. ITN received the Golden Nymph from the Monte Carlo Television Festival, Europe's top award for television journalism, for his work in Kosovo. He has also reported regularly from the Middle East, the United States and Northern Ireland. For many years Neely was a presenter on ITV News programmes.
Neely has covered five US Presidential election campaigns since 1992. In addition, he has covered elections in Russia, Germany, France, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Jamaica, Iran and Israel, and has interviewed numerous presidents, Prime Ministers and Heads of State.
His reports from the deadly earthquake in China won the 2009 International Emmy Award for News and the 2009 BAFTA Award for Television News. Earlier in 2008 he reported from the Antarctic - 600 miles from the South Pole - on global warming. He covered the 2005 Pakistan earthquake for which ITV News won a Royal Television Society award and, in the same year, the devastating floods in New Orleans and the Asian tsunami. He was nominated for a BAFTA for coverage of the Beslan siege.
From 2006 he returned regularly to Helmand and Kandahar Provinces, Afghanistan to report on the war. He was also part of the ITV News team whose reports from the Asian tsunami won the 2005 BAFTA award for news ("Seven Days That Shook The World").
In 2010, he reported on the earthquake in Haiti, for which he won the 2010 BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award for the best news coverage. He covered the campaign of Tony Blair in the 1997 UK General Election and David Cameron in the 2010 General Election. He also reported on the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Libyan, Egyptian and Syrian revolutions, the Iranian elections and protests of 2008, the terrorist attack in Mumbai, and the 2008 Presidential election in the US.
He reported regularly on the "Arab Spring", firstly from Egypt, then on trips to Libya and most recently during more than a dozen visits to Syria; frontline dispatches that have been broadcast around the world. He interviewed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2016. In October 2013, he was voted one of the 100 most influential journalists in the world covering violence.
He won the 2011 BAFTA(British Academy of Film and Television Arts) for his reporting of the killings in Cumbria in July 2010; his third BAFTA success in three years. He was twice nominated as Broadcasting Journalist of the Year by the London Press Club, winning the award in 2011.
In 2011, Neely took part in a documentary called As Others See Us which looked back on his reporting of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. He highlighted reporting on the Droppin Well bombing in Ballykelly. He was joined by Peter Taylor, Kate Adie and Martin Bell.
His final story for ITV News was on the death of Nelson Mandela. In 2014, Neely reported on the Syrian and Iraq wars, the Russian invasion of Crimea, the mystery of the missing Malaysian plane MH370, the World Cup in Brazil and the war in Gaza.
With NBC News, Neely was part of the team that won a prestigious Peabody Award for "Continuing Coverage of ISIS" in 2014. Neely reported less than seventy yards from the ISIS front line in Northern Iraq. In 2015 and 2016 he reported on the terrorist massacres in Paris, Nice and Brussels, two plane crashes in Egypt, the GermanWings plane crash in France and Europe's migration crisis. He was part of the Nightly News team that won the Edward R. Murrow Award for reports after the Paris attacks of January 2015. He interviewed President Assad of Syria in July 2016 and covered the fall of Aleppo from the city in December 2016. He has interviewed senior officials from North Korea during four trips to the country in 2016-17.
Marriage and family
He lives in Richmond, London with his wife, Marion. The couple have two daughters.
Bill Neely runs for the Ranelagh Harriers running club and has completed eight London marathons, with a best time of 3.09.48 in the 2011 Virgin London Marathon. He also competes in Triathlons and regularly takes part in Richmond Park's Parkrun.
He has been an active supporter of Leeds United since 1967.