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Meet William Crawley

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William Crawley | 17:29 UK time, Wednesday, 29 March 2006

wil1.jpg William Crawley is a journalist and broadcaster with the BBC who presents programmes on radio and television on everything from news and current affairs and hard-hitting political and ethical debate to entertainment, arts and culture.


William's television work includes Blueprint, a three-part multi-platform series which told the story of 600 million years of Ireland's natural history (nominated for a Celtic Film & Television Award), the documentary Frozen North, which explored the likely future impact of climate change, and a trilogy of semi-autobiographical films examining three Northern Ireland taboos: death (Sorry For Your Trouble), religion (Losing Our Religion) and alcohol (Dying For A Drink). His television interview series William Crawley Meets . . . featured leading thinkers and activists across the world, including the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, the philosopher Peter Singer and the gay bishop Gene Robinson. His roundtable TV dinner and discussion series What's Wrong With ...? pitched distinguished guests in debate about some of the biggest questions facing today's world. In More Than Meets The Eye, he travelled across Northern Ireland to investigate the myths, folklore and traditional practices that are still part of life for many people in Northern Ireland - from belief in the traditional "cure" to the increasing popularity of fortune-telling parties. Since 2005, he has frequently presented Festival Nights, BBC Northern Ireland's coverage of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's. This year, he journeyed to Rome to present a BBC Spotlight investigation into the abuse crisis facing the Catholic Church. He has also reported for the weekly politics review programme Hearts and Minds.

Sunday Sequence, which he has presented for BBC Radio Ulster each week since 2002, has won the UK religion and ethics programme of the year award and other specialist religion reporting awards. For that programme, William has interviewed the Irish President at her state residence, presented special editions of the programme from Ground Zero in New York City and Robben Island in Cape Town, and cross-examined some of the world's leading thinkers on subjects as varied as the politics of dealing with the past and the ethics of the human genome project. He is also a frequent presenter on the news and current affairs programmes Talk Back and Evening Extra, has presented the arts and entertainment programme Arts Extra, and is the presenter of BBC Radio Ulster's The Book Programme.

His other radio presenting roles include A Sky Full of Voices, a series of six programmes examining the BBC's contribution to life in Northern Ireland, The Land, a six-part documentary series on how the people here relate to the land they inhabit; the documentary The Bonfire Makers, which interpreted Northern Ireland's controversial annual Loyalist bonfire tradition for the Radio 4 audience; and an variety of arts and literary documentaries for Radio 3. This year, William joined the presenting team for BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme, and acts as a consultant associate producer for BBC One's Sunday Morning Live. His broadcasting diary, Will & Testament, is one of the most popular BBC blogs (bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni).

William regularly interviews major cultural figures as part of An Audience With series: those one-hour interviews before a live audience include the distinguished poets Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley, the politicians Ian Paisley and Martin McGuiness, former hostage and writer Brian Keenan, the musicians Phil Coulter and Brian Kennedy, the historian Roy Foster, the novelist Edna O'Brian, the political activist Noam Chomsky, and the Economics Nobel prize-winner Amartya Sen. Other major broadcast interviews include the current Irish President Mary McAleese, her predecessor Mary Robinson, Prince Hassan of Jordan, the scientist Richard Dawkins, the architect Richard (Lord) Rogers, the philosopher Peter Singer, and the gay bishop Gene Robinson. In 2010, he launched the inaugural Belfast Media Festival, which included a keynote address by, and interview with, Sir Bob Geldof.

William has also chaired major interview events for the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's, the Belfast Book Festival, and the Aspects Literary Festival, including set-piece interviews with the writers John Banville, Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin, Ken Russell and Seamus Heaney.

William Crawley was born in Belfast and educated at Queen's University, Belfast and Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey, taking degrees in theology (M.Div.) and philosophy (B.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.). His passions include books, cinema and the visual arts. He is a member of the Board of the Belfast Film Festival.

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