Politics UK Programme Archive
Meet the Team
Meet the team

Norman Smith is one of the BBC's most experienced political correspondents. He has covered every election for the BBC since Tony Blair's first victory in 1997 and is well known and respected among senior politicians and political insiders.

Before joining the BBC's Westminster staff, Norman worked as a general news reporter covering major stories for the BBC including the fall of Gorbachev and the first Gulf War. He has also worked in Brussels covering politics at the European Commission and European Parliament.

He began his career in regional newspapers in Birmingham and Bristol after studying History at St Peter's College, Oxford. Norman is married with two daughters, and a troublesome spaniel. He is a law abiding cyclist who has so far managed to survive the London traffic.

Sean Curran finally abandoned all thoughts of a serious career in favour of life as a journalist after he was attacked by a rattle snake in the middle of Liverpool. And so in 1988 he joined the BBC as a trainee reporter. For more than ten years he has worked at Westminster reporting on politics and parliament. He is a regular presenter of Today in Parliament and Yesterday in Parliament on BBC Radio 4. Sometimes,when everyone else is busy or looking the other way, Sean is allowed to appear on television news bulletins.

Sean's parents hoped he would become a member of a respectable profession and to this end he was educated at: St Mary's College, Crosby; Liverpool Polytechnic; the Inns of Court School of Law and Leicester University.

He has a law degree and was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn. He also has a Master's degree in Mass Communications. In spite of all this, he still thought he could make his fortune as a journalist - which goes to show that academic qualifications and intelligence are not the same thing.

Sean has promised his wife, his two children and his bank manager that one day he will get a proper job, but not just yet.

Susan Hulme has presented the BBC's coverage of Westminster for many years, with a ringside view of the drama of British politics in parliament itself. Away from Westminster, she's also presented Analysis and Heart and Soul on the BBC World Service.

Susan was born and brought up in Edinburgh, but came south to study English at Pembroke College, Oxford, and later joined the BBC's radio newsroom where she discovered that her skills in English were not nearly as useful as her ability to run fast to get a breaking story on air.

As a Scot, she has a passion for the great outdoors and natural history. She has three children who share her passion - when it isn't raining.

Dennis Sewell is an author & broadcaster and a Contributing Editor of the Spectator. During more than twenty years working for BBC News he has been a reporter for The World Tonight and BBC2's Newsnight and presented BBC Radio 4's Talking Politics and "In the Think-Tanks".

Born in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon and brought up in Beirut, England and Germany, Dennis was educated at the universities of Oxford and London and at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

He has written extensively on religious affairs as well as politics and is vice chairman of the international development agency Progressio. Married with twin daughters, he lives in London.

The person with the good fortune to work with such talented presenters is Elaine Thomas, the editor of Politics UK, and its predecessor People and Politics, for the last ten years. It's her job to come up with ideas and to think of interesting people to contribute to the programme (in the hope that they'll say yes).

Before working on this programme, she was a producer of political and current affairs programmes at the BBC, mostly in television, including The Money Programme, Newsnight and Family Matters, and has made documentaries on a various subjects, including The Windsor Jewels and The Vote Race.

She was educated all over the world, but finished up at Reading University reading German. Despite a peripatetic upbringing she has deep roots in West Wales where all her family come from. Outside the BBC she is involved with several charities, particularly in micro-finance, organises a choir, and attends to her family.

Politics UK is lucky to have a fabulously talented team of studio managers to support it, though in case anyone should imagine we have too much help, only one of them works with us each week. But without the expertise, knowledge and ideas of Neil Churchill, Annie Gardiner, Hal Haines, and Richard Townsend, the programmes wouldn't get on the air. Their contribution isn't just technical either, as between them they have degrees in music, drama, science, French and German, so they have a great deal to offer the programme.

The programme is put together here at the BBC's Westminster studios, just a stone's throw from the Palace of Westminster.
^^ Back to top Back to Index >>