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John McCarthyJOHN MCCARTHY

John was born in 1956 and raised in Hertfordshire before moving to Hull to read American Studies in 1979.

In 1986 he was sent to Lebanon by Worldwide Television News on his first foreign assignment. Here, his life was changed forever when he was abducted, along with teacher Brian Keenan, by Islamic fundamentalists and held hostage until August 1991. The film Blind Flight was subsequently made based on their experiences.

He relived his experiences in Lebanon in the best-seller Some Other Rainbow, published by Bantam Press, which was co-authored by Jill Morrell, who had campaigned for the hostages’ release.

John’s other books are the best-seller Between Extremes, his and Brian Keenan’s account of their journey to Patagonia in 1998, and A Ghost Upon Your Path: An Irish Journey, published in 2002.

In 2004, John returned to Beirut to make Out of the Shadows for ITV which documented his quest to understand the Shia Muslims and confront the ghosts of his past. He has also presented the ITV series It Ain’t Necessarily So, which found him travelling the Middle East in search of archaeological evidence for Bible stories, and Faultlines, which explored the roots of conflict.

For the BBC, John has co-presented, with Sandi Toksvig, the TV series Island Race, and also worked as a presenter on the World Service. He has co-written and broadcast John McCarthy’s Bible Journey and A Place Called Home, and is a regularly hosts the travel programme Excess Baggage, all for Radio 4.
For Al Jazeera English, John presented the series God’s Business.

He is Patron of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, and has been awarded the CBE

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