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Katya Adler

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Katya Adler
Michal Katya Adler

(1972-05-03) 3 May 1972 (age 52)
London, England
Alma materUniversity of Bristol
Notable workBrexitcast
TitleEurope editor of BBC News (2014–present)

Michal Katya Adler (born 3 May 1972) is a British journalist. She has been the BBC's Europe editor since 2014.

Early life[edit]

Adler was born on 3 May 1972 in Hampstead, north London, to German parents.[1][2][3] She attended the independent, fee-paying South Hampstead High School.[4]

At the University of Bristol she studied German and Italian,[5] and was the president of a political society starting its magazine.[6]

In late 1995, during a year abroad, she began working for FUNtastic Show[6][7] on Blue Danube Radio, in Vienna. In the year abroad, she had work placements with Reuters,[6] NBC in Turkey, and at the Rome offices of The Times.[8]

She graduated in 1995.[6] One of her dissertation topics was denazification.[8][9]


After graduating, Adler initially briefly worked for The Times before moving to Vienna in August 1995 to work for Mondial Congress & Events,[10] a Destination Management Company and professional conference organiser, for International Congresses.[6][11]

In late 1995, she began working as a correspondent for Austrian national public broadcaster ORF reporting locally and then internationally from Kosovo, Eastern Europe and across Southwest Asia and North Africa.[12]

Adler joined the BBC in Vienna in 1998, reporting on Austrian and Central European affairs. After becoming the BBC's Berlin correspondent for a short period, from 2000 she was based in London for the BBC World Service presenting on European current affairs, and commuting weekly to Berlin to work as a news anchor for Deutsche Welle Television.[12]

From August 2003, she was the BBC Madrid correspondent, travelling around Europe, Southwest Asia and North Africa to cover stories including the deaths of Pope John Paul II and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in a Paris hospital. Adler also reported on the Madrid train bombings.[12] She admitted in an interview in 2019 that she had lied about being able to speak Spanish to get the Madrid correspondent job. Adler later learned the language by listening to Spanish political radio and Mexican soap operas.[1]

From December 2006 Adler was the BBC's Middle East correspondent, based in Jerusalem but reporting around the region from Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Libya. During this period she was also an occasional presenter or interviewer on HARDtalk.[13]

Adler has also presented a number of one-hour documentaries, such as Mexico's Drug Wars for BBC2.[14] Her film Spain's Stolen Babies was runner-up for an RTS award in 2012.[15]

At the end of April 2014 she was appointed the BBC's Europe editor, replacing Gavin Hewitt. Her appointment was controversial because her LinkedIn profile stated that for 15 years she had regularly facilitated conferences for a number of clients including one for the European Union.[16] This brought about criticism from Conservative Party MPs, including Andrew Bridgen and Philip Davies. Davies stated: "this cosy relationship between the BBC and the European Commission severely undermines your editorial integrity and ability to report matters in a strictly objective manner." The BBC in written response clarified that Adler had at the time been working freelance for the BBC and a number of other broadcast organisations, and in 19 years had only been paid to chair one EU event in 2005, invited by the UK presidency, not the European Commission.[17]

In early February 2017, the BBC broadcast a documentary by Adler titled After Brexit: the Battle for Europe in which she examined the mounting challenges facing the European Union over the next few years.[18] In June 2017 Adler became one of the four presenters of Brexitcast, a BBC podcast covering Brexit. In September 2019, Brexit Newscast became a regular television broadcast fixture on BBC One, usually following Question Time, as of December 2020.[19]

As of 2019, Adler was paid between £205,000-£209,999, placing her on the list of the highest-paid BBC news and current affairs staff.[20]

Although Adler is predominantly a news journalist, in July 2023, she started presenting the BBC Proms on television.[21][22] Adler joined newsreaders Clive Myrie and Huw Edwards, plus former newsreader Katie Derham, in the presenting line-up.[23]

In September 2023, Adler presented Living Next Door to Putin; a two-part documentary series that aired on BBC One.[24]

On 30 September 2023, Adler made her presenting debut on the BBC One network bulletins, fronting the evening and late bulletins.

In November 2023, an interview with Adler and French President Emmanuel Macron aired on the BBC News channel.[25]

Criticism of Michael Gove[edit]

In September 2020 the BBC partially upheld a complaint against Adler after she sent a series of tweets on 28 April 2020 stating that an "observation"[26] put forward by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove was "delusional". Gove had stated "the COVID crisis, in some respects, should concentrate the minds of EU negotiators". In addition, Adler's analysis also altered Gove's words, changing the term "should" to "will" in her tweets. The BBC Editorial Complaint Unit ruled that although Adler backed up her opinion with detailed evidence and was entitled to state it, her use of the word "delusional" broke the guidelines' licence for "professional judgements, rooted in evidence".[27][28]


In July 2017, Adler was awarded an honorary LL.D from Bristol University[8] and an honorary D.Lit from the University of London Institute in Paris.[29]

She was awarded the Charles Wheeler award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcast Journalism in 2019.[30] She has also been awarded Broadcast Journalist of the Year 2018 at the PSA, Political Studies Association; Broadcast Journalist of the Year 2019 jointly with Laura Kuenssberg by the London Press Club; Listeners Choice Award at British Podcast awards 2019 for the Brexitcast podcast. In 2019 she was listed in the Evening Standard as one of London's most influential people, and by Politico magazine as one of Brussels top 20 most influential women in 2017.

Personal life[edit]

Adler is married[19] and has three children.[1]

In addition to English, she speaks Spanish, German, Italian, and French,[31] and basic Arabic and Hebrew.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Wheeler, Caroline; Ramzan, Iram (30 June 2019). "'No more Brexit, Mum,' groan Katya Adler's kids". The Times.(subscription required)
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The Interview: Katya Adler on how the EU is preparing for Boris Johnson". The Times Sunday Magazine. 30 June 2019. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Culture List for Lockdown". South Hampstead High School. 19 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Bristol University – School of Modern Languages – 2012: german christmas lecture 2012". bristol.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Katya Adler". Blue Danube Radio. Vienna: Österreichischer Rundfunk. Archived from the original on 27 July 1997. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c Allinson, Mark (14 July 2017). "Katya Adler, degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa". University of Bristol. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  9. ^ "2022 Alumni Award winner for Arts and Media: Dr Katya Adler (BA 1995, Hon LLD 2017)". Alumni Blog. University of Bristol. 12 October 2022. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  10. ^ "Imprint". Mondial GmbH & Co KG. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  11. ^ a b Walker, Harriet (29 May 2019). "There's something about Katya Adler: Brexit's bright star". The Times.(subscription required)
  12. ^ a b c "Katya Adler bio at BBC". Archived from the original on 31 December 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2008.
  13. ^ "BBC News – Hardtalk – Brooke Magnanti: Prostitution was empowering". bbc.co.uk.
  14. ^ "This World, Mexico's Drug War, Mexico's Drug War". BBC Two. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  15. ^ Winners (30 November 2012). "Television Journalism Awards 2012". Royal Television Society. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  16. ^ https://www.linkedin.com/in/katyaadler/ [self-published source]
  17. ^ "People diary: the BBC attacked over Europe editor 'bias'". The Telegraph. 24 January 2015.
  18. ^ "BBC's Europe editor Katya Adler: the EU is flirting with the flames of extinction".
  19. ^ a b "Newscast - Series 1: Brexitcast: 10/12/2020". BBC iPlayer. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  20. ^ "BBC pay 2020 - full list of salaries and highest-paid stars announced". Radio Times.
  21. ^ Iorizzo, Ellie (14 May 2023). "Huw Edwards and Katya Adler join BBC Proms 2023 presenting line-up". Evening Standard. Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  22. ^ "The One Show". BBC iPlayer. 6 July 2023. Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  23. ^ "Who is Katie Derham and when did she start presenting the BBC Proms?". Classical Music. 6 July 2023. Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  24. ^ "Living Next Door to Putin". bbc.com/mediacentre. 12 September 2023. Retrieved 20 September 2023.
  25. ^ "President Macron in conversation with Katya Adler". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  26. ^ @BBCkatyaadler (28 April 2020). "Am not first to comment on this today but below observation by Michael Gove that #coronavirus will focus EU minds o…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  27. ^ Tobitt, Charlotte (7 September 2020). "BBC Europe editor breached impartiality with tweet declaring Michael Gove's Brexit hopes 'delusional'". Press Gazette.
  28. ^ "Tweet by Katya Adler, 28 April 2020 | Contact the BBC". www.bbc.co.uk.
  29. ^ "Graduation Ceremony 2017". Institute in Paris. University of London. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  30. ^ "Katya Adler Wins 2019 British Journalism Review Charles Wheeler Award". Camri. University of Westminster. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  31. ^ "Katya Adler". BBC News. Retrieved 14 September 2023.[dead link]

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by Europe Editor: BBC News