Sean Langan

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Duration: 1 hour

In this in-depth interview Mark Lawson meets the award-winning journalist and filmmaker Sean Langan, whose kidnap by the Taliban in 2008 inspired BBC Four's hostage drama The Kidnap Diaries. Langan's professional life began as a TV entertainment presenter, but his investigative nose led him to document some of the most volatile and war-torn regions in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Armed with a camera and irrepressible courage, he has produced a series of enlightening documentaries including Afghan Ladies Driving School, African Railway, Langan Behind the Lines, Mission Accomplished and Fighting the Taliban.

  • Journalist and filmmaker Sean Langan

    Journalist and filmmaker Sean Langan

    Born in 1964, Sean Langan started his career as a print journalist before embarking on investigating war-torn and hostile environments armed only with a camera. Sean has been making documentaries in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Zimbabwe and India for over ten years.

    Sean’s first film Video Diaries: Nightmare in Paradise saw him investigate the kidnapping of two British tourists in Kashmir. He joined the relatives of these missing men, who didn’t know if their sons were alive or dead, following them as they took to the streets looking for information and recording their every move with his camera. He recorded his own thoughts and investigation into the pair’s disappearance, in a diary format.

    Nearly ten years to the day after making this film Sean himself is kidnapped by the Taliban, while making a documentary for Channel 4. The BBC drama The Kidnap Diaries documents this horrific ordeal, which is co-written by Sean.

    Sean has carved out a niche for himself reporting from hostile environments other journalists won’t visit as they are deemed too higher risk. His personal style of filmmaking has been hugely successful with series such as Langan Behind the Lines, Fighting the Taleban, Meeting the Taleban and Afghan Ladies’ Driving School among them.

    The Channel 4 Dispatches documentary Fighting the Taleban won a Rory Peck Award in 2007. The BBC series Langan Behind the Lines was short-listed for a BAFTA, a Grierson and a One World Media Award. Mission Accomplished was also voted in the top ten documentaries in the world in 2005.

    Sean is currently writing a book about his kidnap and hasn’t ruled out the possibility of returning to film in the country and people who held him captive…


Mark Lawson
Interviewed Guest
Sean Langan
Executive Producer
Eamon Hardy
Louise Bourner
Louise Bourner


Mark Lawson Talks To...Mark Lawson

Mark Lawson Talks To...Mark Lawson

The broadcaster interviews himself about the art of the celebrity interview.

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