Jonathan Maitland

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Jonathan Maitland

Jonathan Maitland is a British playwright and broadcaster.

Early life[edit]

He was educated at Epsom College and graduated from King's College London with a degree in law.[citation needed]


Maitland started his journalism career as a reporter on a local freesheet, The Sutton Guardian. He reported for BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Radio 4's Today programme. He was also a general correspondent for BBC News for a short time. From 1995-98 he presented and reported for factual programmes on BBC 1. A report about annoying dress codes at golf clubs saw him take to the fairways in a leather mini skirt with a pair of deer antlers on his head. When challenged he pointed out that neither breached the long list of forbidden clothing.

In 1999 he joined ITV to present the BAFTA nominated House Of Horrors, the first show devoted to secretly filming and exposing con artists. He also hosted The Man In The Van and Vote For Me for ITV. He has presented and reported for the channel's flagship current affairs show Tonight since 1999.


Maitland has written five books including How to Make your Million from the Internet (and what to do if you don't), which explored the dot com boom of the late nineties. How to Survive your Mother described his unconventional childhood in suburban Surrey. Aged three he was sent to boarding school and at 13 his mother turned the family hotel in Ewell into a retreat for homosexuals. The rights were bought by ITV but no film was made.

He part funded Chris Morris's debut feature film Four Lions (2010) in which he has a cameo as a newsreader. He has co-written (with Chris England) a feature film script called "Whatever Happened to Stanley Matthews" which has been optioned.

Maitland's first play, Dead Sheep, about the Geoffrey Howe speech which led to Margaret Thatcher's downfall, was staged at the Park Theatre in London in April 2015. It received positive reviews and became the best-selling play in the theatre's history. It went on a three month tour of the UK in 2016. His follow-up play at the Park, An Audience With Jimmy Savile, broke the previous box office record set by Dead Sheep and was described by the Daily Mail as "a striking, memorable, urgent piece of work ...a powerful 'j'accuse'." His third play, "Deny Deny Deny", about medical and sporting ethical dilemmas, was staged at the Park in 2016 and was described by The Daily Telegraph as "a gripping, Faustian take on Olympic doping."

Other appearances[edit]

Maitland has presented 'Profile' and two series of 'Lyrical Journey', both for Radio 4. The latter, which he devised, involves taking musicians to a place they have written a song about. They then perform it in front of people for whom it has special significance. The series featured songs by the Proclaimers ('Sunshine on Leith'), Squeeze ('Up the Junction'), Deacon Blue ('Raintown') and Billy Bragg ('A13 Trunk Road to the Sea').

Personal life[edit]

Maitland's mother was Jewish and born in Haifa, but he describes himself as non-religious. He played bass in a covers band, "Surf 'n Turf", for several years. He runs a cricket team, the Riverbank Ramblers, which he founded in 1989 with friends from Epsom College. He is a nationally rated Scrabble player and has made the semi finals of the UK National Championships twice. He lives in west London with his wife Helena and their son. He has two stepsons.

External links[edit]