Rupert Wingfield-Hayes

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Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
Born Rupert Anthony Wingfield-Hayes
London, England, UK
Nationality British
Other names Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
Occupation Journalist
Known for BBC Tokyo Correspondent

Rupert Anthony Wingfield-Hayes (born 1967) is a British journalist who is the BBC's Tokyo correspondent, having previously served as the BBC's correspondent in Beijing, Moscow and the Middle East.[1][2]

Early and personal life[edit]

Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was born in London in 1967. He was educated at Bishop Luffa School, a comprehensive school in Chichester, England. He studied South East Asian Studies at the University of Hull (BA) and Far Eastern Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (MA). He spent two years studying Chinese at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, where he met his Japanese wife. He is the great-nephew of Major-General Eric Hayes.[3]


Wingfield-Hayes has worked for the BBC since 1999. He was the BBC Beijing correspondent from 2000 to 2006. In 2007 he moved to be the BBC Moscow correspondent. In 2010 he was appointed the BBC Middle East correspondent based in Jerusalem. During his time in the Middle East he covered the revolution in Tunisia, the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and the Libyan civil war.

During the Tahrir Square protests he was detained in Cairo, by the secret police.[4] He was the first BBC correspondent to enter Tripoli after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.[5] The convoy he was travelling in was ambushed by pro-Gaddafi militia during the fighting in Tripoli.[6][7] He covered the Bahraini uprising.[8]

In October 2012, the BBC announced the appointment of Rupert Wingfield-Hayes as its Tokyo correspondent.[1] Wingfield-Hayes has been based in the Tokyo bureau since 2012, reporting across the BBC’s news services, including the BBC’s international news channel, BBC World News, in addition to news services within the UK.

In November 2013, Wingfield-Hayes was one of the first foreign journalists into Tacloban, Philippines, after it was struck by Typhoon Haiyan.[9]

In May 2016, Wingfield-Hayes was detained in North Korea and eventually ejected due to officials believing he had been disrespectful in his description of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.[10][11] The reporter, his cameraman and producer were arrested and questioned for eight hours before being sent to the airport for a flight to Beijing. The BBC were in Pyongyang to report on the visit of three Nobel laureates and were part of their delegation which took place ahead of the 7th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea.[12]


  1. ^ a b "BBC News appoints Rupert Wingfield-Hayes as Tokyo correspondent". BBC. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Rupert Wingfield-Hayes". Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  3. ^ "Witnessing Japan's surrender in China". BBC News. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "Egypt attacks journalists to censor news-watchdog | News by Country | Reuters". 2011-02-02. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  5. ^ Patrick Foster. "Sky leaves rivals playing catch-up in Libya | Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  6. ^ "BBC Convoy Attacked by Pro-Gadhafi Forces". 2011-08-22. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  7. ^ "journalist attacked – News Stories About journalist attacked - Page 1". Newser. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  8. ^ "Bahrain doctors in prison for daring to speak out". BBC News. 2011-06-25. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  9. ^ "Typhoon Haiyan: Thousands feared dead in Philippines - BBC News". Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  10. ^ "North Korea expels 'disrespectful' BBC reporter Rupert Wingfield-Hayes". The Guardian. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  11. ^ "North Korea inching open door with Nobel laureates' visit". BBC News. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  12. ^ "BBC reporter detained in North Korea". BBC News. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 

External links[edit]