Lyse Doucet

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Lyse Doucet

Lyse Doucet "Syria The World's War" BBC2.jpg
Doucet in the BBC Two documentary Syria: The World's War
Born (1958-12-24) 24 December 1958 (age 63)
OccupationJournalist, television presenter
Notable credits
RelativesAndrea Doucet (sister)

Lyse Marie Doucet CM, OBE (/ls dˈsɛt/; born 24 December 1958)[2][verification needed] is a Canadian journalist who is the BBC's Chief International Correspondent and senior presenter. She presents on BBC World Service radio and BBC World News television, and also reports for BBC Radio 4 and BBC News in the United Kingdom. She also makes and presents documentaries.

Early life and education[edit]

Doucet is a native of Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada, where she grew up in an Anglophone family. Her father was Clarence "Boo" Emile Doucet and mother Norma. She is one of six children. Her sister is Andrea Doucet, a Canadian professor of sociology.[3] She has Acadian, Irish and Mi'kmaq ancestry.[4] She graduated in 1980 with a bachelor of arts degree from Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, where she wrote for the university newspaper.[5]

She gained a master's degree in international relations from the University of Toronto in 1982.[6][7] The same year, she undertook a four-month volunteer assignment teaching English with Canadian Crossroads International in the Ivory Coast.[5][8] She is currently one of the organisation's honorary patrons.[8] Doucet is fluent in English and French, in addition to knowing some Dari and Arabic.


From 1983 to 1988, she worked as a freelancer in West Africa for the Canadian media and for the BBC. This period proved a stepping stone to a longer-term career with the BBC.[2][5] Doucet reported from Pakistan in 1988, and was based in Kabul from late 1988 to the end of 1989 to cover the Soviet troop withdrawal and its aftermath. She was the BBC correspondent in Islamabad from 1989 to 1993, also reporting from Afghanistan and Iran. In 1994 she opened the BBC office in Amman, Jordan. From 1995 to 1999, she was based in Jerusalem, travelling across the Middle East. In 1999, she joined the BBC's team of presenters but continues to report from the field.

Doucet is often deployed to anchor significant news events from the field, and to interview key individuals. She played a leading role in the BBC's coverage of the Arab Spring, reporting from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. She has covered all major wars in the Middle East since the mid-1990s. Doucet has been a frequent visitor to Pakistan and Afghanistan since the late 1980s. Her work also focuses on the aftermath of major natural disasters, including the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, which took her to India and Indonesia. She is also a contributor on rotation with other BBC journalists to Dateline London on BBC News Channel and BBC World News.

In 2014, she made the documentary Children of Syria with film-maker Robin Barnwell, which was nominated in the Best Single Documentary category at the 2015 BAFTA Awards.[9]

In 2015, she made the documentary Children of the Gaza War with film-maker James Jones.

In 2018, she presented two documentaries titled Syria: The World's War for BBC Two and BBC World.

Beginning on New Year's Day, 2018, Doucet presented Her Story Made History, a five-part series on BBC Radio 4 featuring in-depth interviews with five remarkable women. The theme is the relationship between women and democracy.[10] A second series was broadcast in the summer of 2019 on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service.

Doucet reported extensively from Kabul Airport during August 2021, following the coalition withdrawal from Afghanistan after the Taliban offensive in the country.[11]

In the second half of 2021, she recorded a 10-episode podcast for BBC Sounds entitled A Wish for Afghanistan [12]

In February 2022, alongside Clive Myrie, she contributed to the BBC's coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, from Kyiv.[13]

Other activities[edit]

Doucet is a former Council Member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). She is a founding member of the Marie Colvin Journalists' Network along with Lindsey Hilsum and Lady Jane Wellesley, a trustee of the Frontline Club for journalists, and a member of the Canadian Journalism Forum on Trauma and Violence. She is also involved with Friends of Aschiana UK, which supports working street children in Afghanistan, and is an honorary patron of Canadian Crossroads International. Doucet takes pride in her ancestry and attends the Acadian World Congress, which is held every five years. She notes: "It would be hypocritical to spend all my time learning about other tribes if I were to neglect my own."[5]

She featured on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs on 30 January 2022. Her choices included "Habibi Nour Al Ain" by Amr Diab, "Passionate Kisses" by Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Annie's Song" by John Denver and "L Einaudi: Elegy For The Arctic" by Ludovico Einaudi.[14]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2002, she was the only journalist to accompany Afghan President Hamid Karzai to his brother's wedding, where an assassination attempt was made. She and her team were later nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for their exclusive coverage of the attempt. Doucet last interviewed Ahmed Wali Karzai in April 2011, shortly before his assassination.[15]

In 2003, she was awarded a Silver Sony Award for News Broadcaster of the Year for her interview with Yasser Arafat in his compound in Ramallah.

In 2007, she was named International Television Personality of the Year by the Association for International Broadcasting. She also received the News and Factual award from the organisation Women in Film and Television.

Doucet won a Peabody and a David Bloom award in 2010 for her film on maternal mortality in Afghanistan, along with producer Melanie Marshall, Shoaib Sharifi and cameraman Tony Jolliffe. She won Best News Journalist at the 2010 Sony Radio Academy Awards.

In 2012, her team was awarded an Edward Murrow award for radio reports from Tunisia.

In 2014, her team was part of the BBC's Emmy award for its coverage of the Syrian conflict. Doucet was also awarded the ITV Studios Achievement of the Year Award at the annual Women in Film and Television Awards in London.

In 2015, Doucet won the Sandford St Martin trustees’ award[16] "for her commitment to journalism and her intelligent and clear reporting of the religious elements of global events".[17] She also received a Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents. She also won One World Media's Radio Award for a documentary on Afghan women.

In 2016, she was awarded the Columbia School of Journalism Award for exceptional journalist achievement.

At the 2017 International Media Awards, Doucet was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting Award. The award is given to journalists whose body of work has led to better understanding, and as a consequence increased prospects for peace.[18] She also received the Charles Wheeler Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcast Journalism by the British Journalism Review.

In 2017, her team won the Luchetta Prize, awarded for work which raises the awareness of the plight of children in war, for its story on a Syrian teenager in the Syrian city of Homs.

In 2018, she was awarded "The Trailblazer Award" from Georgetown University's Institute for Women, Peace and Security. She also received the #ChangeTheCulture award from Their World, a global children’s charity based in London UK.

Doucet has an honorary doctorate in Civil Law from the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of New Brunswick (2006),[5] an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from University College at the University of Toronto (2009),[5] an honorary doctorate in journalism from Université de Moncton, and an honorary doctorate from Queen's University in Kingston.

In Britain, Doucet has received honorary doctorates from the University of York (2011), the University of St Andrews (2014), Liverpool Hope University (2015), York St John University (2015), the University of Bedfordshire (2017), the University of Sussex (2018), Queen's University Belfast (2019), Cranfield University (2019), and the University of Exeter (2022).

She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to British broadcast journalism.[19][20]

She was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in December 2018.[21]


  1. ^ "Lyse Doucet". From Our Own Correspondent. 8 June 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b Wells, Matt (8 January 2002). "Shooting star". The Guardian. London: GMG. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878.
  3. ^ Doucet, Andrea (2006). Do Men Mother?: Fathering, Care, and Domestic Responsibility. University of Toronto Press. p. xi. ISBN 9780802085467.
  4. ^ "BBC World Service – Institutional – Lyse Doucet". Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Gordon, Sheldon (2010). "With an accent on the news". Queen's Alumni Review. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Lyse Doucet". BBC News. London: BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Reception hosted by The Hon. David R. Peters on, Chancellor". University of Toronto. 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Honorary Patrons". Canadian Crossroads International. 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Television in 2015 - BAFTA Awards".
  10. ^ "BBC - Search results for Her Story Made History". Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  11. ^ Andrea, Bellemare (23 August 2021). "'An incredibly sad time,' says journalist reporting on Afghans fleeing country". CBC News. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  12. ^ "BBC Sounds - A Wish for Afghanistan". Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  13. ^ "BBC News reporters take shelter in Kyiv as it's 'too dangerous to be on streets'". 25 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Lyse Doucet, journalist". Desert Island Discs. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Ahmad Wali Karzai: Meeting Kandahar's Mr Fix-it". BBC News. 12 July 2011.
  16. ^ Jackson, Jasper (28 May 2015). "BBC's Lyse Doucet wins religious broadcasting award". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  17. ^ "2015 Award Winners". Sandford St Martin Trust. 27 May 2015. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  18. ^ "The Next Century Foundation". The Next Century Foundation. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  19. ^ "No. 60895". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2014. p. b26.
  20. ^ "BBC journalists Lyse Doucet and Tin Htar Swe made OBEs". BBC News. 13 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Governor General Announces 103 New Appointments to the Order of Canada" Archived 27 December 2018 at the Wayback Machine, The Governor General of Canada, 27 December 2018.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Chief International Correspondent: BBC News