John Craven OBE
TV & Radio Broadcaster
Official Agent: Jo Carlton
Whatever your age, it's unlikely that you'll require an introduction. John Craven is perhaps best known as the presenter and editor of the hugely popular John Craven's Newsround, a role which established him as a household name spanning two generations. Newsround was the first television news programme in the world to report directly to children — although also watched by millions of adults! John stayed for more than 3,000 editions, spending 17 years with the programme. Children once voted him among their 100 All-Time Greats. The programme celebrated its 50th anniversary on 4th April 2022.
John enjoys an equally high profile in his role as presenter of the long-running Countryfile, BBC1's rural and environmental current affairs programme, which he joined in 1989. In July 2014, John celebrated his 25th anniversary of the show by becoming guest editor for a week, deciding on the programme's content and setting missions for his fellow presenters. He has distilled his knowledge, wisdom and love of the countryside into his book John Craven's Countryfile Handbook, published by BBC Books. John co-presents the seasonal Countryfile Diaries series for BBC1 Daytime and also takes part in the Countryfile Live events at Blenheim Palace in August.
One of the BBC's longest standing presenters, John was a host on Saturday morning children's television for over 10 years. In late 2006 he took part in a massively popular Swap Shop reunion show for BBC2, teaming up with the original line up of Noel, Keith and Maggie. He also presented Country Cops for BBC2, and shared his genuine passion for antiques in Craven's Collectables for Anglia TV.
John's other presenting roles have included BBC2's Castle in the Country, co-presented with Gloria Hunniford and Live from Chatsworth for BBC1. Both programmes were hugely successful in the ratings. At Christmas John has presented wildlife specials on BBC1's Animal Sanctuary. John has also appeared on Country Tracks and Rewind the 60s for BBC1 and has been a guest on shows such as The One Show, BBC Breakfast and The Alan Titchmarsh Show. More recently John has hosted BBC1's Songs of Praise.
John co-hosted Britain's Heritage Heroes, a 15-part series for BBC2, which put Britain's past very much in the present and explored how parts of the UK's heritage are at risk of disappearing forever. The series was based on seven main aspects of Britain's heritage that are under threat including landscape, wildlife/nature, architecture, crafts/artisans, food, travel and monuments — and celebrated the individuals who work tirelessly to save it.
John is also the host of Beat The Brain, a quiz series for BBC2 in which a team of four contestants must navigate a selection of tricky puzzles, fiendish logic problems and prickly posers in an effort to win a cash prize. He has also appeared as a contestant on ITV's The Chase: Celebrity Special and BBC1's Pointless Celebrities.
Born in Leeds, John started his journalistic career on local newspapers and joined the BBC as a news writer in Newcastle upon Tyne, later moving to Bristol as a reporter with regional television. In 1971 he made his debut as a network television presenter on the current affairs programme Search.
When not broadcasting, John is busy with corporate work, writing, speaking engagements and personal appearances. During his career John and his programmes have won many awards, including two BAFTAs and the TV Times Awards. He is married with two daughters and lives in North Oxfordshire.
John was awarded an OBE in the Millennium Honours for services to broadcasting. In 1996, the Royal Television Society appointed him a member of its exclusive Hall of Fame, in recognition of an outstanding contribution to British television.
In March 2000, John enjoyed the accolade of being handed the Big Red Book by Michael Aspel on This is Your Life.
In 2011, Newsround (and indeed, John) celebrated its 40th anniversary and was honoured at the Children's BAFTAs, receiving the Special Award in celebration of the programme's 40 years of broadcasting and in recognition of the significant contribution the programme has made to children's television for the past four decades. John was also the focus of a special documentary The John Craven Years, which aired on BBC2 on Christmas Eve and took a look back at his broadcasting career.
In November 2014, John joined choirmaster Gareth Malone and an array of untrained voices from the world of television, sport and theatre to release the official 2014 BBC Children in Need single Wake Me Up, which went on to top the UK singles charts at Number 1. Gareth's All Star Choir, the two-part documentary behind the single aired on BBC1 and the choir also performed on Children in Need night.
John Craven's long-awaited autobiography Headlines and Hedgerows: A Memoir was published on 25th July 2019 by Michael Joseph.
In 2021 John celebrated 50 years as a BBC presenter and his 1250th episode of Countryfile by revisiting parts of the country that hold special memories for him.
In April 2022 John appeared on various news outlets to look back at 50 years of Newsround. In June 2022 he took part in the BBC's coverage of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
- Countryfile - BBC1
- Newsround At 50 - CBBC
- The One Show - BBC1
- The Queen's Platinum Jubilee - BBC1
- The Big Freeze: Winter '63 - Channel 5
- Countryfile Spring Diaries - BBC1
- Countryfile Summer Diaries - BBC1
- Countryfile Autumn Diaries - BBC1
- Countryfile Winter Diaries - BBC1
- Back In Time For Tea - BBC2
- The Chase: Celebrity Special - ITV
- Songs Of Praise - BBC1
- Beat The Brain - BBC2
- Sunday Brunch - Channel 4
- Mel & Sue - ITV
- Gareth's All Star Choir - BBC1
- Celebrity Antiques Road Trip - BBC2
- Celebrity Fifteen To One - Channel 4
- Room 101 - BBC1
- Britain's Heritage Heroes - BBC2
- Greatest Kids TV Shows - Channel 5
- The John Craven Years - BBC2
- All Star Christmas Presents - Sky1
- 12 Again - CBBC
- Country Tracks - BBC1
- The Alan Titchmarsh Show - ITV1
- Pointless Celebrities - BBC1
- Welly Telly: The Countryside On Television - BBC4
- Rewind The 60s - BBC1
- Breakfast - BBC1
- Castle In The Country - BBC2
- Richard & Judy - Watch
- It Started With Swap Shop - BBC2
- Country Cops - BBC2
- Live From Chatsworth - BBC1
- Animal Sanctuary - BBC1
- Craven's Collectables - Anglia TV
- John Craven's Newsround - BBC1
- Swap Shop - BBC1
- Search - BBC NE
- Headlines and Hedgerows: A Memoir (2019)
- John Craven's Countryfile Handbook (2010)