Fergal Keane

Fergal Keane

Fergal Keane is one of the BBC’s best-known correspondents and has won numerous awards for his reports from the world’s trouble spots. 

He has been the BBC’s correspondent in Southern Africa, Asia and Northern Ireland as well as a peripatetic reporter following conflict around the globe.

As well as reporting conflicts to TV and radio audiences, Fergal has written about his experiences in numerous bestselling books combining historical perspectives with deeply personal remembrances.


Fergal began his journalistic journey in 1979 as a reporter for the Limerick Leader and Chronicle before moving to the national daily The Irish Times. He moved into broadcasting for RTE as a reporter and presenter from 1984 to 1987 before reporting from Belfast for the station.

Fergal joined the BBC in 1989 as Northern Ireland correspondent moving to become Southern Africa correspondent in 1990 where he covered the transformation of South Africa from apartheid regime to democracy and the genocide in Rwanda.

In 1995 Fergal became the BBC’s Asia correspondent reporting on the handover of Hong Kong to China and the gas attacks on the Tokyo underground.

Following the Hong Kong handover Fergal was based in London but covered major international stories including the Kosovo war and the invasion of Iraq. He is now Africa Editor for BBC News. 

Among his documentary projects Fergal presented a three-part series, Forgotten Britain, meeting people living on the edge of affluent societies and a five-part series, The Story of Ireland.

In 2018 Fergal provided the commentary for the Westminster Abbey service marking the centenary of the Armistice.

In 2022 he presented a BBC Two documentary Fergal Keane: Living with PTSD, in which he revealed the impact of PTSD on himself and others. The programme explored the latest thinking behind the disorder and its treatment.


The Bondage of Fear: A Journey Through the Last White Empire describes the last days of apartheid South Africa and examines how fear founded the state and how fear stalks its future. Published in 1995.

Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey is Fergal’s first-hand account of the genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994. Published in 1996

Letter to Daniel: Despatches from the Heart is a collection of Fergal’s despatches to his family and to his listeners with many of his pieces for From Our Own Correspondent. Published in 1996.

Letters Home 1999 is another anthology of Fergal’s despatches, both personal and professional. Published in 1999.

A Stranger’s Eye: A Foreign Correspondent’s View of Britain sees Fergal cast his Irish eye over the state of modern Britain as he travels the land to see if the expectations of post-1945 Britain have been met as the century closes. Published in 2000.

All of These People is Fergal’s memoir of life as a war reporter and an account of his personal battles both growing up in Ireland and with the stresses of life on the frontline. Published in 2005.

Road of Bones: The Epic Siege of Kohima tells the story of one of the most brutal battles in modern history as British and India troops held off the Japanese Imperial Army on the Indian border. Published in 2010.

Wounds, published in 2017, is a part family memoir and part history examination of the civil war in Fergal’s north Kerry home after the British left in 1922.

The Madness: A Farewell to War examines Fergal’s experience of PTSD and the conflict and instability of early life were reflected in his determination to report on the most harrowing stories. Published in October 2022.


Fergal was appointed an OBE for services to journalism in 1997.

An honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Liverpool Fergal has also received honorary degrees in literature from the University of Strathclyde, Bournemouth University and Staffordshire University.

Fergal was named overall winner of the Amnesty International Press Awards in 1993 and their television prize in 1994 for his investigation of the Rwanda genocide.

In 1994 he became the only journalist to win both the Royal Television Society Journalist of the year and the Sony Radio Reporter of the Year in the same year.

His book Season of Blood won the 1995 Orwell Prize

His Radio 4 From Our Own Correspondent despatch Letter to Daniel, addressed to his newborn son, won The Voice of The Viewer award and a Listener Award in 1996.

Fergal’s 1997 documentary Valentina’s Story about the Rwandan genocide won a BAFTA.

He has won the James Cameron Prize for war reporting, the Edward R. Murrow Award for foreign reporting and the Index on Censorship prize for journalistic integrity. 

In 2009 Fergal won a Sony Gold Award for his Radio 4 series Taking A Stand.

Road of Bones: The Epic Siege of Kohima won the British Army Military Book of the Year in 2011.

As part of the BBC team covering the 2015 refugee crisis Fergal won a Peabody Award and an Emmy.

His book Wounds won the 2018 Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize and the 2017 non-fiction Irish Book of the Year.



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