William Crawley

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William Crawley is a BBC journalist and broadcaster


William Crawley has presented a variety of factual TV and radio programmes for BBC Northern Ireland, BBC 4, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3 and the BBC World Service. He regularly hosts news and current affairs programmes, and specialist arts, books and religion & ethics programmes, and writes and presents history documentaries on radio and television. His television work includes Blueprint, a three-part television natural history series, a trilogy of autobiographical documentaries, and documentary features on politics, arts, culture and ideas. Other TV presenting roles include the weekly late-night television interview series "William Crawley Meets ...", face-to-face interviews of 30 minutes in duration with leading thinkers and social reformers from across the world, including the philosopher Peter Singer, the scientist Richard Dawkins, the writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, and the gay bishop Gene Robinson. He presented Frozen North (BBC One Northern Ireland), a documentary examining the possible future impact of global warming; Festival Nights (BBC Two Northern Ireland), television coverage of the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Belfast Festival at Queens; Hearts and Minds (BBC One), a television political review programme; What's Wrong With ...?" (BBC One), a six-part round-table current affairs discussion programme; and More Than Meets The Eye (BBC Two), a series investigating folklore in contemporary Ireland. In 2010, he presented a "Spotlight" television investigation about the Vatican, and anchored the BBC's live coverage of the Queen's official visit to Northern Ireland in 2008. In 2012, he wrote and presented a 60-minute documentary exploring the history of the Ulster Covenant. In 2013 his series An Independent People examined the history of Ireland's Presbyterians; his one-hour documentary It's A Blas followed his year-long effort to learn Irish sufficiently-well to present a live radio programme in the language; and The Man Who Shrunk The World told the story of the engineering feat carried out by the scientist Lord Kelvin in the creation of a transatlantic communications cable.

Awards and Memberships[edit]

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA).
  • Fellow of the British-American Project.
  • Recipient of Eisenhower Fellowship (2012).
  • Doctor of Literature (DLit), Queen's University Belfast 2012, for services to broadcasting.
  • Andrew Cross Award for speech broadcaster of the year 2006, and other programme content awards.
  • Thinker and Explainer of the Year, Slugger O'Toole/Channel 4 Poliitical Awards 2011.
  • Aisling Award, 2013, for contribution to Irish language broadcasting.
  • Patron, Belfast Film Festival.
  • Member of Advisory Board of Irish Pages: A Journal of Contemporary Writing.


William Crawley was born and raised in north Belfast. Prior to his career in the media, he worked as a university lecturer in philosophy and theology and, having been licensed, then, subsequently ordained into the ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland in the mid-90's, worked as assistant minister in First Presbyterian Church, New York City, and Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, Belfast, before serving as Presbyterian chaplain at the University of Ulster. He later resigned from the ordained ministry and from membership of the church before beginning his career as a journalist. William Crawley was educated at Grove Primary School, Belfast; Dunlambert Secondary School, Belfast; Belfast Royal Academy; Queen's University, Belfast, where he read philosophy (B.A., M.Phil.); Princeton Theological Seminary, where he read theology (M.Div.). He earned a doctorate in philosophy (Ph.D.) for a dissertation on the epistemology of the American philosopher Alvin Plantinga from Queen's University, Belfast. He has described himself as "a lapsed Protestant."[1]


  1. ^ Crawley, William; Malachi O'Doherty's Empty Pulpits, Will & Testament Blog, 24 September 2008