Giles Dilnot

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Giles Tristan John Dilnot (born 7 January 1971), is a former BBC television presenter and reporter. He is now the director of communications for a public policy think tank.

Early life[edit]

Dilnot was born in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire in 1971, and grew up in the village of Leeds (five miles east of the county town of Maidstone) in Kent, where his father was a vicar.

Education[edit]

Dilnot was educated on a son-of-clergy bursary at St. John's School, a boarding independent school for boys (now co-educational) in the town of Leatherhead in Surrey, followed by Jesus College at the University of Cambridge, from which he graduated in 1993.

Life and career[edit]

Dilnot first worked at Chiltern Radio, a commercial radio station in the Chilterns area of Bedfordshire and at Mercia FM radio station in Coventry, followed by the BBC's former radio station GLR (since renamed BBC London 94.9), for which he reported, produced and presented. He moved to BBC Southern Counties Radio in Guildford, in the same county as his former senior school, and then joined the television launch of BBC South East Today in 2001, becoming a co-presenter of the programme a year later.

In November 2004 an effigy of Dilnot was burned at the Lewes bonfire celebrations.[1][2] BBC South East Today had angered some members of Sussex bonfire societies by its reporting of an allegedly racist display at the nearby Firle bonfire night in 2003, where an effigy of a Gypsy family in a caravan was burned.[3]

In November 2004, Dilnot joined BBC2's Daily Politics programme as a regular reporter and co-presenter, regularly interviewing members of the public on current political and social issues. He has also appeared on a variety of programmes such as the Politics Show (the forerunner of the current Sunday Politics) on BBC1 and the early morning news magazine programme BBC Breakfast. He has stood in for regular presenters on BBC Radio 5 Live and has made three radio documentaries for BBC Radio 4.[4][5]

Chris Marsden, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP), accused Dilnot of issuing "politically slanderous" commentary during a live interview claiming his comment "crossed accepted journalistic boundaries", a complaint that was later rejected. While interviewing Marsden for BBC 2’s Daily Politics on 21 May 2014 during the campaign for the European election, Dilnot, referring to Marsden's claim that existing news media would be removed in a revolution, said "Please tell me I am not first up against the wall when it comes." According to Marsden, who officially complained to the BBC, he could only reply "Of course not" before the item ended and was handed back to the studio. Marsden's complaint was not upheld, and on the programme a week later he was invited to explain why he had complained.[6]

Dilnot left the BBC in July 2016, and in August 2016 he joined the public policy think tank the Legatum Institute as its director of communications.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Dilnot married Amanda Cook in August 1997 but they separated in 2016. They have two young daughters (one born in July 2004 and the other in 2008). He has a range of interests from collecting rare thrillers to travelling, and is particularly interested in the South African bush, where he has worked in conservation, and Thailand, where his family lived for many years. He lives in Nunhead.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Man from Beeb is athe burning issue". The Argus. Retrieved 2016-11-07. 
  2. ^ "Giles Dilnot on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-11-07. 
  3. ^ "BBC NEWS | UK | England | Southern Counties | Gypsy effigies burnt on bonfire". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-11-07. 
  4. ^ BBC Press Office Date: 7 February 2002 Access date: 2 September 2012
  5. ^ BBC Two Daily Politics Date: 6 March 2009 Access date: 2 September 2012
  6. ^ SEP European election candidate Chris Marsden interviewed on BBC 2’s "Daily Politics " Date: 23 May 2014 Access date: 23 May 2014
  7. ^ "Legatum Institute Appoints Giles Dilnot as Director of Communications". Legatum Institute. Retrieved 2016-11-07. 
  8. ^ Wife's family tree