|Alma mater||University of Newcastle upon Tyne|
|Chief News Correspondent for BBC News|
|Awards||Richard Dimbleby Award (1990) Fellowship Award (2018)|
Adie was born in Whitley Bay, Northumberland. She was adopted as a baby by a Sunderland pharmacist and his wife, John and Maud Adie, and grew up there. Her birth parents were Irish Catholics and she made contact with her birth family in 1993, establishing a loving relationship lasting more than 20 years with her birth mother 'Babe'. She failed to trace her birth father John Kelly, or his family from Waterford, despite public appeals, she knows only that he had a brother (her blood uncle) Michael.
She had an independent school education at Sunderland Church High School, and then studied at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where she obtained a degree in Scandinavian Studies and performed in several Gilbert and Sullivan productions. During her third year at Newcastle, she also taught English in sub-arctic northern Sweden.
Her career with the BBC began, after graduation, as a station assistant at BBC Radio Durham. By 1976, she was a regional TV news reporter in Plymouth and Southampton, before a move to BBC national television news in 1979. She was the duty reporter one evening in May 1980 and first on the scene when the Special Air Service (SAS) went in to break up the Iranian Embassy siege. As smoke bombs exploded in the background and SAS soldiers abseiled in to rescue the hostages, Adie reported live and unscripted to one of the largest news audiences ever while crouched behind a car door. This proved to be her big break. Adie reported extensively for BBC News, including from the north London crime scenes of serial killer Dennis Nilsen, in 1983.
Adie was thereafter regularly dispatched to report on disasters and conflicts throughout the 1980s, including The Troubles in Northern Ireland, the American bombing of Tripoli in 1986 (her reporting of which was criticised by the Conservative Party Chairman Norman Tebbit), and the Lockerbie bombing of 1988. She was promoted to Chief News Correspondent in 1989 and held the role for fourteen years.
One of her most significant assignments was to report the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Nearly thirty years later, she said that she and her team were the only crew out in the square, and that they were able to witness "the massacre by the Chinese army of its own citizens in Beijing in 1989", which had never been acknowledged by the government nor reported in China. She said, "... at least we were there and we have the evidence of what they did. They would love to erase it from history".
In Libya she met leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. She was also shot by a drunk and irate Libyan army commander after refusing, as a journalist, to act as an intermediary between the British and Libyan governments; the bullet, fired at point-blank range, nicked her collar bone but she did not suffer permanent harm.
A newspaper cartoon features two soldiers, one with a tattered flag "To Iraq" on the barrel of his machine gun, and the caption "We can't start yet... Kate Adie isn't here." Her insistence upon being on the spot elicited the wry adage that "a good decision is getting on a plane at an airport where Kate Adie is getting off".
In 2003 Adie retired from the BBC, where she had been Chief News Correspondent. She subsequently worked as a freelance journalist, where among other work she gives regular reports on Radio New Zealand, as a public speaker, as well as participating in many of the 500 iPlayer episodes of From Our Own Correspondent on BBC Radio 4. She hosted two five-part series of Found, a Leopard Films production for BBC One, in 2005 and 2006. The series considered the life experiences of adults affected by adoption and what it must be like to start one's life as a foundling.
We seem to be living through a time where there are threats to journalists everywhere, whether it's repression or censorship, and it's hugely important to recognise that the intention of journalism is to tell it as it is and we need to do that more than ever now.
Adie was appointed Chancellor of Bournemouth University on 7 January 2019, succeeding Baron Phillips of Worth Matravers. In her address, she warned postgraduate journalism students that confirming information and verifying news sources were critical in the current climate of fake news. She stressed the importance of personally verifying news sources. "Getting your person there is an absolutely standard lesson... news is not news without verification. ...If you only have the station cat to send, send them!".
Awards and honours
- BAFTA Richard Dimbleby Award (1990)
- OBE (1993 New Year Honours)
- Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset (2013)
- BAFTA Fellowship (2018)
- CBE (2018 Birthday Honours)
- Honorary degrees:
- York St John University
- Nottingham Trent University
- University of Bath (MA,1987)
- Honorary Professor of Journalism at the University of Sunderland
- three Honorary Fellowships including one awarded by Royal Holloway, University of London (1996)
- Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Plymouth University (2013)
In 2017 Adie was appointed as ambassador for SSAFA, the UK’s oldest military charity. Adie is currently also an ambassador for SkillForce and the non-governmental organisation Farm Africa. In July 2018 Adie became an Ambassador for the medical charity Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal.
- The Kindness of Strangers. Headline. 2002. ISBN 0-7553-1073-X. - autobiography
- Corsets to Camouflage: Women and War. Coronet. 2003. ISBN 0-340-82060-8.
- Nobody's Child. Hodder & Stoughton. 2005. ISBN 0-340-83800-0.
- Into Danger: People Who Risk Their Lives for Work. Hodder & Stoughton. September 2008. ISBN 978-0-340-93321-3.
- Fighting on the Home Front: The Legacy of Women in World War One. Hodder & Stoughton. September 2013. ISBN 978-1-4447-5967-9.
In popular culture
- "Kate Adie". From Our Own Correspondent. 29 August 2009. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "Laureation address – Kathryn Adie". Laureation by Professor John Anderson, School of International Relations. University of St Andrews. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2020.; "Media horoscope: Kate Adie". The Guardian. 29 October 2001. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
- David Simpson. "Hall of Fame". England's North East.
- Summerskill, Ben (14 October 2001). "The Observer Profile: Kate Adie". The Guardian. London.
- "Dennis Nielsen - Top podcast episodes". Listen Notes. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
- Saturday; April 11; 2015 (11 April 2015). "War reporter Adie seeks to solve mystery of Irish father". www.irishexaminer.com.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
- "Kate Adie CBE". Newcastle University.
- Hutchinson, Lisa (8 June 2018). "Renowned war correspondent Kate Adie given CBE in Queen's Honours List". nechronicle.
- Summerskill, Ben (14 October 2001). "The Observer Profile: Kate Adie" – via www.theguardian.com.
- "Kate Adie". BBC News. BBC. 3 January 2003. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
- "Inside house of horrors where serial killer Nilsen dismembered and hid victims". Enfield Independent. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
- "Kate Adie CBE – Alumni and Supporters – Newcastle University". www.ncl.ac.uk.
- "The Libyan Bombing – 1986". BBC. 14 April 1986. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
- "Thatcher forced to intervene over Tebbit's 'obsessive' criticism of BBC, papers reveal". The Guardian. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
- Higgins, Michael; Smith, Angela (26 August 2010). "Not One of U.S.: Kate Adie's report of the 1986 US bombing of Tripoli and its critical aftermath". Journal of Journalism Studies. Taylor & Francis Online. 12 (3): 344–358. doi:10.1080/1461670X.2010.504568. S2CID 142827159.
- "Kate Adie OBE". Women in the Humanities. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
- Tweedie, Katrina (17 December 2018). "Lockerbie 30 years on: The town remembers but there are few words". dailyrecord. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
- "Kate Adie to receive Bafta Fellowship". BBC News. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
- Bevan, Darren (3 September 2017). "BBC veteran Kate Adie on her role in Kiwi director's new movie". Stuff.
- "Documentary – I Was There: Kate Adie on Tiananmen Square" (video). Dailymotion. 10 March 2020.
- Adie, Kate (2002). The Kindness of Strangers. London: Headline Book Publishing. pp. 336–7, 425.
- "He was a smart, rather vain man". BBC News. 22 July 2008.
- Adie, Kate (2002). The Kindness of Strangers. London: Headline Book Publishing.
- "BBC Veteran War Reporter Kate Adie visits Pearson Engineering". Pearson Engineering. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
- Wallace, Wyndham (7 March 2011). "News of the World: Kate Adie Interviewed On Music And War". The Quietus. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
- "Adie quits BBC after 35 years". www.telegraph.co.uk. 29 January 2003.
- "BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast". BBC. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
- "Found: Productions". Leopard Films. Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "Gibraltar Literary Festival – Speakers – International Speakers". www.gibraltarliteraryfestival.com.
- "Broadcaster Kate Adie warns of threats to journalism as she collects CBE". British Telecom. Press Association. 11 October 2018. Archived from the original on 28 May 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
- "Broadcaster and author Kate Adie begins tenure as new BU Chancellor". www.bournemouth.ac.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
- "Kate Adie visits Bournemouth University". The Breaker. 23 January 2019.
- "1990 Television Richard Dimbleby Award – BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org.
- The 1993 New Year Honours list in The Gazette.
- "Kate Adie named as County Deputy Lieutenant". Dorset Echo.
- "Kate Adie OBE to Receive BAFTA Fellowship". www.bafta.org. 30 April 2018.
- "Kathryn ADIE". www.thegazette.co.uk.
- "Honorary Fellows 2006". York St John University.
- "Honorary graduates – Your Alumni Community – Alumni – Nottingham Trent University". www.ntualumni.org.uk.
- "Honorary Graduates 1989 to present". bath.ac.uk. University of Bath. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
- "Honorary Awards". www.royalholloway.ac.uk.
- "Plymouth University". Archived from the original on 25 June 2014.
- "Kate Adie OBE announced as SSAFA Ambassador". Forces Pension Society. 9 May 2017.
- "Patrons Supporting Us – The Prince William Award – Skillforce". Prince William Award.
- "Latest news from Farm Africa". www.farmafrica.org.
- "Our Ambassadors – Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal (OPSA)". Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal (OPSA).
- "SAFC Foundation founded". Sir Bob Murray.
- "Carols of Light charity fundraising event – Durham University". www.dur.ac.uk.
- Darren Bevan (3 September 2017). "BBC veteran Kate Adie on her role in Kiwi director's new movie". Stuff.co.nz.
- Summerskill, Ben (October 2001). "Ice maiden under fire". The Guardian.
- Official website
- "From Our Own Correspondent – Kate Adie". BBC. 10 March 2020.
- "Documentary – I Was There: Kate Adie on Tiananmen Square" (video). Dailymotion. 10 March 2020.