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Giving the Gift of Education

Alastair Leithead (80-90)

Image: Alastair Leithead

Alastair is currently the BBC's Asia Correspondent living in Bangkok, covering a region spreading from Tibet to Japan. Prior to moving to Thailand, he was living in Afghanistan, covering the resurgence of the Taleban, the NATO mission and the country's post-2001 changes. He was the only reporter working for a UK broadcaster who lived in Kabul, and covered all domestic and international outlets. Alastair won the 2007 Bayeux Television Award for war correspondents, BAFTA short-listed in 2008 for best news coverage and short-listed in 2005/6 for the Royal Television Society's TV Journalism Award. Before Afghanistan, he was based briefly in Miami, covering the worst hurricane season for many years, also periodically travelling to Iraq. He was in Najaf for the siege of the shrine, and arrived in the country as Saddam Hussein was arrested and when the battle for Fallujah was raging.

After the RGS, Alastair received a Geography degree at Manchester University. He began his journalistic career at the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, quickly moving into broadcasting at BBC Radio Newcastle and then to London as a domestic news producer before becoming a foreign correspondent. He has worked at the BBC for over 14 years. “Journalism's all about talking to and getting on with people and then just telling stories. The RGS gave me the best possible start to my working life, both academically and with all the sports, drama and writing I had the chance to be involved with. The Bursary Campaign is a great way for Old Novos to give something back and help level the playing field for those who want to go on to even greater things.”