John McCarthy CBE Delivers Inspiring Talks at Bede's


On Wednesday 27 February, we were honoured to welcome John McCarthy CBE to Bede's Senior School for two talks: one for Sixth Form pupils as part of the Bede's Diploma, and the other for parents, staff, local residents, alumni and other members of the Bede's Community.

Over 300 people attended the evening talk, making this one of the most well-attended public talks that Bede’s has ever hosted. 

John McCarthy CBE is a British journalist, writer and broadcaster.  In April 1986, as a young journalist on his first foreign assignment for the United Press International Television News, John was snatched on the way to the airport just before he was about to fly back home.  John was kidnapped by Islamic Jihad and became Britain's longest-held hostage, being held in captivity for more than five years until his release on 8 August 1991.  He was appointed a CBE in 1992.

John McCarthy told the dramatic story of his captivity in a dignified, self-deprecating and inspiring way that made the audience understand how he came through five years of not knowing whether he would see another day.

Charlotte Webb, Lower Sixth pupil, says, "I felt incredibly lucky to be hearing first hand from John McCarthy, someone whose story has been accounted by so many through a TV screen. In a short time he was able to recall the traumas of the Lebanon hostage crisis of which he was a victim, all the while making us smile and laugh with his optimism and personable nature. All who listened were left in awe of John McCarthy’s strength and of his story."

Pictured top, left to right: Megan, Charlotte, Echo, John McCarthy, Gabriel, Max and Lotte


Pictured above: Headmaster Peter Goodyer with John McCarthy

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