CV: JOHN SUCHET Newscaster, ITN

`There i was on the streets of Paris covering one of the great modern revolutions. I could have stayed in the office but i was always out there, so I knew i wanted to be a news reporter'

I did a social science course at St Andrew's University, and in my final year - 1967 - I still didn't know what I was going to do with myself. But I had two passions - for the news, and for speaking foreign languages. I put the two together and thought, "It's got to be journalism."

I applied to Reuters, Scottish TV and the BBC trainee scheme. The BBC turned me down fairly quickly, and STV turned me down after an interview, but Reuters sent me a little test through the mail to do. It was a sheet of A4 with about 20 or 30 sentences on it, describing a fire on Oxford Street, and the sentences were repetitive, badly written, and inaccurate. I had to turn it into a 250-word news story.

I knocked it off in about five minutes, but when I discussed it with a couple of friends, they had their doubts about what I'd written. But I knew I'd got it right, and sent it off, and after calling me for interview, Reuters gave me a job as a graduate trainee. Ten of us got in out of 2,000 applicants. I was in the main newsroom, and worked on the Middle Eastern desk, then the Africa desk and then the World desk.

The following year, I got a posting to Paris at the time of les evenements. There I was on the streets of Paris, covering one of the great modern revolutions - out at the sharp end only having been in journalism for a year. I was always out there with the TV camera crews - though I could easily have stayed back in the office - and it was then that I knew what I really wanted to do was to be a TV news reporter.

So I left Reuters and applied to BBC TV news, getting in as a writer. When I'd been there for a while, I asked to be a reporter, but they said no, and after a year and a half I applied to ITN, where the structure seemed much less rigid. Again, I went in as a writer, in the summer of 1972, but when I told them I wanted to be a reporter, they said no, too. I gave up trying in the end, but when I'd been there three years, word suddenly went round that they were going to appoint a reporter. I applied, and did a studio camera test thinking I stood no chance, but I got the job and for the next 10 years did what I'd always wanted to do - globetrotting, being a "fireman".

Iran was my first really big story - I covered the revolution after the Shah fled, and I flew in to Tehran with Ayatollah Khomeini, who had been in exile in Paris. Tehran was a really happy place to be at that point - it was a joyous revolution - but six months later, the American hostages were taken at the embassy, and I was back again, this time in an Islamic fundamentalist nation.

The other really big one was Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion, and I got into Afghanistan five times to report on it, three times with me and my crew dressed as mujahedin and having to come in over the mountains from Pakistan. It was very exciting, Boys' Own stuff, though we nearly got killed on a number of occasions, and, looking back, I did some very foolish things. Once, in Kabul, I got my crew and myself put in front of a wall after we were captured filming - and we thought we were in front of a firing squad.

The last major story I did was the Philippines revolution, when Ferdinand Marcos was defeated by Cory Aquino, and I got a Royal Television Society gong for that. I was pleased about that, because not long after, in 1987, ITN took me off the road and made me a newscaster. They were making an international nightly half-hour news bulletin for the new Superchannel, which was just launching, and because it would go out to 16 countries across Europe, they wanted a presenter who spoke to clear English without a regional accent and who could pronounce foreign names.

In the first few years after I stopped being a reporter, I began to wish I was still "out there" - during the Gulf war, for instance. My one regret in my reporting career at ITN was that I was Washington correspondent at the time of the Falklands War, and so was covering the diplomatic end of it in the US when all I really wanted to do was be aboard a British warship in the South Atlantic. But newscasting is exciting too: it's live television, and you get a similar adrenaline rush every single time you hear the countdown through your earpiece. And there are no bullets flying around, and I know what time I'm going to get home at night. I miss reporting, but with a smile on my face.

Sport
Premier League Live
footballLIVE Follow all the Premier League action as it happens
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + echSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
James Argent from Towie is missing, police say
peopleTV star had been reported missing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Head of Marketing (Online & Offline, Media, Digital, Strategy)

£85000 - £100000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing - Slough, Berkshi...

Administration Assistant / Office Assistant

£18 - 20k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An Administration Assistant / Office Assistan...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone