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John Craven

John Craven
Born John Craven
(1940-08-16) 16 August 1940
Leeds, Yorkshire, England, UK[1][2]
Residence Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Ethnicity English
Occupation Journalist and broadcaster
Employer BBC
Known for Presenting:
Beat the Brain

John Craven, OBE (born 16 August 1940) is an English journalist and television presenter, best known for presenting the BBC programmes Newsround, Countryfile and Beat the Brain.[1]


  • Career 1
    • Early career 1.1
    • Television 1.2
    • Other work 1.3
  • Awards and honours 2
  • Personal life 3
    • Charity 3.1
  • References 4


Early career

Craven was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire and educated at Leeds Modern School. He started his professional life in print journalism as a junior reporter on a local newspaper, the Harrogate Advertiser, before working for the Yorkshire Post and as a freelance correspondent and writer for national newspapers. He joined the BBC staff in Newcastle upon Tyne to work on local radio and television, before moving to the BBC in Bristol. His family roots are in Bingley, Yorkshire.


From 1972, Craven was the eponymous host of a regular children's news programme, Newsround, originally called John Craven's Newsround. The first such programme ever produced by British television, it drew on the full journalistic resources of the BBC, and featured a number of news scoops, it being the first news programme of the day on television in its early years.

Craven became associated with children's TV and presented news items on other children's programmes, such as Multi-Coloured Swap Shop and Saturday Superstore.[3] Years later he also became editor of Newsround.

In 1989, Craven left the Newsround programme and began presenting a countryside news programme, Countryfile, for the BBC.

In 2015, he presented the BBC Two game show series Beat the Brain, which began airing on 11 May.[4]

Other work

In 2014, Craven took part in Gareth Malone's All Star Choir.[5] They released a cover version of the single "Wake Me Up" in November 2014 to raise money for the BBC's Children in Need charity.[6] The choir were filmed for a two-part documentary called Gareth's All Star Choir. It was shown on 3 and 10 November 2014 on BBC One.

Awards and honours

Craven was awarded the OBE in 2000 for services to rural and children's broadcasting, and the Baird Medal in 2002.

On 28 November 2011, Craven accepted a Children's BAFTA award for his work with Newsround.

Personal life

Craven is married and has two daughters.[2] He lives in Oxfordshire.[7] Of his career, he has said he expected he would be retired at some future time rather than give up the work he liked so much.[8]

Craven's father was held as a prisoner of war in Japan for three years during World War II.[9]


He is vice-president of the Waterways Trust and Patron of SPANA (Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad).

John Craven is one of nine presidents of the Young People's Trust for the Environment.[10]


  1. ^ a b "John Craven". BBC Science & Nature.  
  2. ^ a b Carlton, Jo. "john craven, tv & radio broadcaster" . Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "JOHN CRAVEN Q&A TRANSCRIPT". Time Shift.  
  4. ^ "John Craven to host new BBC series Beat the Brain". Digital Spy. 
  5. ^ "Gareth Malone forms an all-star choir for the Official BBC Children in Need single". BBC. 
  6. ^ "Gareth Malone to form All-Star Choir for official BBC Children in Need single 2014". BBC. 
  7. ^ "John Craven's last word — Village life back from the brink". Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  8. ^ The John Craven Years,  
  9. ^ Cranitch, Mary (4 May 2015). "Remembering Victory". VE Day 70. Series 1. Episode 1. 18 minutes in.  
  10. ^ "Our Team - Young People's Trust For the Environment". Young People's Trust For the Environment. 
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