Nick Thorpe

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Nick Thorpe
Thorpe in Budapest in 2014
Born1960 (age 62–63)
Upnor, Kent, England
EducationSherborne School
Alma materUniversity of Reading
Occupation(s)Journalist, documentary filmmaker

Nick Thorpe (born February 1960) is a British journalist and documentary filmmaker who is the Central Europe Correspondent for BBC News, the main newsgathering department of the BBC, and its 24-hour television news channels BBC World News and BBC News Channel, as well as the BBC's domestic television and radio channels and the BBC World Service. He is based in Budapest and has over 30 years' experience of reporting for the BBC and United Kingdom newspapers, becoming BBC Budapest Correspondent in 1986. He became BBC Central Europe Correspondent in 1996.

Early life and education[edit]

Thorpe was born in Upnor in Kent in February 1960. He later moved with his family to Otford in Kent, and Lymington in Hampshire.

Thorpe was educated at Sherborne School, a boarding independent school in the market town of Sherborne in Dorset in South West England, followed by the University of Reading, where he studied Modern Languages. In his third year, he attended the University of Dakar in Senegal, and the University of Freiburg in Breisgau in Germany.

Journalism career[edit]

Thorpe joined the BBC in 1986 as Budapest Correspondent, and was the first Western correspondent to be based there,[1] and has continued to report on Eastern Europe ever since. In 1989, he joined The Observer newspaper as its Eastern Europe Correspondent, returning to the BBC in 1996. He has also written for The Guardian and The Independent newspapers. He is responsible for covering Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and other countries in the region, including the Balkans. He covered the fall of Communism, the collapse of Yugoslavia, and the EU membership process of many countries in the region.[2][3] In April 2016, he was a co-recipient of the Peabody Awards, Public Service category, for his contributions to 'European Migrant Crisis/A New Life in Europe/The Year of Migration' (BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio), with BBC colleagues James Reynolds, Fergal Keane, Neal Razzell, Richard Bilton, Quentin Sommerville, Maven Rana, Matthew Price, Damian Grammaticus, Gavin Hewitt, Jenny Hill and Edward Thomas.[4][5]

Film career[edit]

Thorpe is also a documentary film-maker. He co-directed, with Andrea Weichinger, 'The Fairy Island' (1993) for Duna Television in Hungary, and in 2001, 'The Vineleaf and the Rose' for MTV in Hungary, which won the Award for Best Cinematography at the Mediawave International Film Festival in the same year. He has also made a short feature film, 'Vigilance' (1997) for TintoFilms. In 2014/15 he directed and presented 'The Travels of a Gadjo in Romanistan', seven 52 minute documentaries Spot Productions, Budapest, on Roma communities in 9 European countries. The films were first shown from March to July 2015 on Duna TV. In 2020 he presented a documentary series of 8, 45 minute films called “The Danube - Against the Flow” For AMC and Spektrum TV. It has been broadcast in Hungary, Sweden, Greece, Israel and South Korea.[1] [6]


  • In 2009, Thorpe wrote his first book, entitled '89: The Unfinished Revolution - Power and Powerlessness in Eastern Europe, published by Reportage Press. In 2016 it was republished in a digital edition by Endeavour Press, London.[7][8][9][10][11]
  • In January 2014 he published his second book, entitled The Danube - A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2014.

This has been translated so far into 3 languages: in Polish as 'Dunaj' (Jagiellonian University Press, Kraków, 2014) in Hungarian as 'Duna' (Scolar Kiadó, Budapest, 2016), and in German as: Die Donau - Eine Reise gegen den Strom, Zsolnay 2017, ISBN 978-3-552-05861-3 It is due to come out in Hebrew and Italian in 2018.[12][13][14]

  • In May 2019 he published his third book, 'The Road Before Me Weeps - On the refugee route through Europe', Yale University Press.

[2]This appeared in German in 2020, as 'Die weinende Strasse vor mir', translated by Carsten Schmidt, publisher Danube Books Verlag: danube books, Ulm, Germany. He has also contributed to numerous other books and publications, including: 'A Jar of Wild Flowers - Essays in Celebration of John Berger' (Zed Books, London, 2016), 'From Our Own Correspondent - A Celebration of 50 Years of the BBC Radio Programme' (Profile Books, London, 2005), 'More From Our Own Correspondent' (Profile Books, London, 2008), and the New York Review of Books 'On the Refugee Road' (with Malise Ruthven) 2016.[15][16]


  1. ^ '89: The Unfinished Revolution, by Nick Thorpe Archived 21 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Publisher: Romanian Cultural Centre, London. Retrieved: 19 December 2012.
  2. ^ FFD 2010 Speakers Bios 26 10 2010 Publisher: Council of Europe - Forum for the Future of Democracy. Published: 26 October 2010. Retrieved: 19 December 2012.
  3. ^ "BBC World Service - the Documentary Podcast, Why Europe's Roma stay poor".
  4. ^ "75th Annual News, Radio/Podcast, Web & Public Service Winners". 19 April 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  5. ^ "The Year of Migration, The Documentary - BBC World Service". BBC. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  6. ^ Desmond Wallace (14 March 2015). "On The Spot: Egy gádzsó utazása Romanisztánban ajánló". YouTube. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  7. ^ "'89 the Unfinished Revolution by Nick Thorpe - Endeavour Press". Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  8. ^ Bosnia Report Publisher: The Bosnian Institute. Published: June- October 2001. Retrieved: 19 December 2012.
  9. ^ Nicholas Thorpe Publisher: Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. Retrieved: 19 December 2012.
  10. ^ 'The Vineleaf and the Rose' Publisher: The Bosnian Institute. Published: 4 June 2001. Retrieved: 19 December 2012.
  11. ^ Nick Thorpe - Biography Publisher: Palestine: Information with Provenance (PIWP database). Retrieved: 19 December 2012.
  12. ^ "A Duna – Utazás a Fekete-tengertől a Fekete-erdőig". (in Hungarian). Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Danube | Yale University Press". Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Die Donau - Bücher - Hanser Literaturverlage". (in German). Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  15. ^ "A Jar of Wild Flowers". ZED Books. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  16. ^ Thorpe, Nick; Ruthven, Malise (24 November 2016). "On Today's Refugee Road". The New York Review of Books. ISSN 0028-7504. Retrieved 3 January 2018.

External links[edit]