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Kate Adie - Winner's Acceptance Speech, Fellowship, Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards in 2018

13 May 2018

Winner's acceptance speech by Kate Adie in the Fellowship category 

KATE ADIE: Thank you.  Thank you. Thank you so much.

I should, first of all, with my history, explain a broken arm.  Not sustained in a foxhole in a war zone, but an accident in a pothole in a pavement.

I'm here tonight to say a huge thank you to BAFTA and to the BBC.  I spent my working life with the BBC, starting in local radio.  I never imagined I would be a reporter.  I was a humble station assistant.  But in my very first few months in the BBC, I encountered one of its great traditions, to be taken very seriously: the weather forecast.

Unfortunately, on local radio we couldn't afford the Met Office forecast, so on local radio I used to say, "Here is the weather: race to the window and have a good look out."  From there, I found myself heading into journalism, rather by mistake. 

I have to say thank you to three men ‑‑ there were hardly any women around in senior jobs then ‑‑ David Wayne, Robin Walsh and Chris Cramer.  They said to me, "Get out there and do it", so I did.

I'm also going to say so much in the way of thank you to great colleagues in the BBC who made reporting possible, sometimes in very difficult circumstances.

I've been very lucky.  I think that being a reporter is just a wonderful job.  It's fascinating.  It's surprising.  It demands a lot of you, but it is so rewarding.  And you get the chance, via television, to tell people at home all about it.  It's a fabulous feeling.

I also think that it's important because it's essential in a democracy.  We hold truth to power.  We tell it like it is.  And in these times I think that is even more important than ever.

There are challenges, such as I remember several months in the first Gulf War, in the Middle East desert, the only woman with 43,000 British troops.  No facilities, no trees, no bushes.

Well, a woman just gets on with it.  Of course we do.  And you also remember, when you're on your way to war, to put in your earrings.

It's a wonderful job to do.  I've had marvellous colleagues, great support from the BBC.  But over all of those years I have learned one very special thing.  It's an absolute privilege to be a reporter. 

Thank you.