Robert Flanagan Dalesman Award 2016
John Craven OBE FLS
Robert Flanagan Dalesman Award presented by Adrian Braddy, Editor of the Dalesman
One of Britain’s best-known broadcasters for more than 40 years, John Craven is on the presenting team of BBC1’s top-rated “Countryfile” programme which celebrates the British countryside and highlights rural and environmental issues every Sunday evening. He joined Countryfile in 1989 after fronting for 17 years the programme which made him a household name, “John Craven’s Newsround”.
In the Millennium Honours, John was awarded the OBE for services to broadcasting and in March 2000 he was handed the big red book on “This Is Your Life”. In 1996, the Royal Television Society inducted him into its Hall of Fame and in 2002 presented him with its prestigious Baird Medal in recognition of his “outstanding contribution to television.”
Born in Leeds, John started his career on as a reporter on the Harrogate Advertiser and the Yorkshire Post before joining the BBC. He worked on regional programmes in Newcastle upon Tyne and Bristol and then in 1972 launched Newsround on the BBC1 network. John presented more than 3,000 editions of the news bulletin aimed at children (but also appreciated by many adults!) and became its editor.
For ten years he was also one of the faces of Saturday morning television, first on Swap Shop and then Saturday Superstore, and Britain’s children voted him one of the top 100 people of all time!
Countryfile is the most popular factual programme of the week on British television with audiences reaching eight million and John also fronts the spin-off show Countryfile Diaries. At Christmas 2011 BBC2 showed an hour-long documentary on his career, The John Craven Years. He has also presented Britain’s Heritage Heroes and hosted the quiz show Beat the Brain on BBC2. In 2014 he was a member of Gareth Malone’s All-Star Choir in aid of Children in Need and they got to number one in the pop record charts!
John is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, one of the world’s leading forums on natural history. His most recent book is John Craven’s Countryfile Handbook – the result of his many years on the programme. John is married with two daughters and five grandchildren and lives in rural Oxfordshire.