Nicholas Owen (journalist)

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Nicholas Owen
Nicholas owen head crop.jpg
Nicholas Owen in 2007
Nicholas David Arundel Owen

(1947-02-10) 10 February 1947 (age 72)
Islington, London, England
OccupationJournalist, newsreader, broadcaster, writer
Years active1964–present
Employer BBC
Notable credit(s)
BBC News
ITV News
Home town Kingswood, Surrey, England
(m. 1969;div. 1979)
Brenda Owen(m. 1983)
Children2 and 2 step-children

Nicholas David Arundel Owen (born 10 February 1947) is an English journalist, television presenter and radio presenter. He now works for the BBC, presenting on the BBC News channel and BBC One.

Journalist person who collects, writes and distributes news and other information

A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.

Television presenter person who introduces or hosts television programs

A presenter is a person who introduces or hosts television programs. Nowadays, it is common for personalities in other fields to take on this role, but some people have made their name solely within the field of presenting, particularly within children's television series, to become television personalities.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.


Early life

Born in Islington, London to Tom and Edna, Owen moved with his family while a child to Kingswood, Surrey, and was raised there and in the Redhill and Reigate area. [2] He was initially educated at Hamsey Green primary school, Sanderstead. But after his mother died when he was aged eight from rheumatic fever, [1] he was raised by his father and sent for a period to boarding school, at what is today The Beacon School, a state comprehensive Academy school on Picquets Way in Banstead in Surrey, [3] but was then known as Banstead County Secondary School, a state Secondary Modern School for boys, which later merged with the girls' school to become Nork Park County Secondary School in 1963. [4] Owen left what was then West Ewell secondary modern, on Danetree Road in Ewell (also in Surrey), with five O-levels. [2]

Islington Area of London

Islington is a district in Greater London, England, and part of the London Borough of Islington. It is a mainly residential district of Inner London, extending from Islington's High Street to Highbury Fields, encompassing the area around the busy High Street, Upper Street, Essex Road, and Southgate Road to the east.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Kingswood, Surrey village in United Kingdom

Kingswood or Kingswood with Burgh Heath is a large village on the North Downs in the Borough of Reigate and Banstead in Surrey, England. Part of the London commuter belt, Kingswood is just to the east of the A217 separating it from Tadworth and has a railway station. Burgh Heath in its north is combined with it to form a ward. Reigate is 3.6 miles (5.8 km) south of its centre and London is 15.5 miles (24.9 km) to the north northeast. Kingswood with Burgh Heath had a population of 6,891 in 2011.


Owen began his journalistic career on the Surrey Mirror in 1964 aged 17, [2] [5] before moving to Fleet Street in 1968 to work for the Evening Standard . [2] [5] He then joined The Daily Telegraph before spending seven years with the Financial Times . [2] [5] He then joined the magazine Now in 1979 as Deputy Business Editor, later becoming Business Editor. [2]

Fleet Street street in the City of London, England

Fleet Street is a major street mostly in the City of London. It runs west to east from Temple Bar at the boundary with the City of Westminster to Ludgate Circus at the site of the London Wall and the River Fleet from which the street was named.

<i>Evening Standard</i> daily tabloid newspaper in London

The Evening Standard is a local, free daily newspaper, published Monday to Friday in tabloid format in London. It is owned by Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev. It is the dominant local/regional evening paper for London and the surrounding area, with coverage of national and international news and City of London finance. Its current editor is former UK Conservative Member of Parliament and Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. In October 2009, the paper ended a 180-year history of paid circulation and became a free newspaper, doubling its circulation as part of a change in its business plan.

<i>The Daily Telegraph</i> British daily broadsheet newspaper

The Daily Telegraph, commonly referred to simply as The Telegraph, is a national British daily broadsheet newspaper published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed across the United Kingdom and internationally. It was founded by Arthur B. Sleigh in 1855 as Daily Telegraph & Courier.

In 1981, Owen switched to television reporting, joining the BBC in the north of England, covering general and industrial stories for both regional and national news and current affairs programmes. He described colleague Mike Neville, a well-known North East newsreader and presenter, as his mentor in a 2004 article. [6]

Mike Neville (newsreader) British television presenter

Michael Neville, MBE was a British broadcaster, best known as a presenter on regional TV news in North East England. In a 43-year career with the BBC and ITV franchisee Tyne Tees Television. In 1990, Neville was awarded the MBE for services to broadcasting.

Owen moved to ITN in 1984, as Channel 4 News' Business and Economics Correspondent. [5] During the First Gulf War he presented the highly acclaimed Midnight Special Programmes when they were launched on Channel 4. He also anchored The Parliament Programme, Channel 4's first daytime political series. Between 1991-1994, he co-presented the ITN Lunchtime News with Carol Barnes. [7]

ITN British-based news and content provider

Independent Television News (ITN) is a UK-based television production company. It is made up of two divisions: Broadcast News and ITN Productions. ITN is based in London, with bureaux and offices in Beijing, Brussels, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, New York, Paris, Sydney and Washington DC.

<i>Channel 4 News</i> television series

Channel 4 News is the main news programme on British television broadcaster Channel 4. It is produced by ITN, and has been in operation since Channel 4's launch in November 1982.

Gulf War 1990–1991 war between Iraq and Coalition Forces

The Gulf War, codenamed Operation Desert Shield for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm in its combat phase, was a war waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait arising from oil pricing and production disputes. The war is also known under other names, such as the Persian Gulf War, First Gulf War, Gulf War I, Kuwait War, First Iraq War or Iraq War, before the term "Iraq War" became identified instead with the 2003 Iraq War.

From 1994 to April 2000 Owen was Royal Correspondent for ITV News. [5] In that capacity he played a major role in reporting on the death and Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. He compiled a book on her life entitled Diana – The People's Princess. [8] . Throughout this period, he was a regular presenter of weekend news bulletins on ITN, as well as a relief presenter for both the Lunchtime and Early Evening bulletins.

ITV News is the branding of news programmes on the British television network ITV. ITV has a long tradition of television news. Independent Television News (ITN) was founded to provide news bulletins for the network in 1955, and has since continued to produce all news programmes on ITV. The channel's news coverage has won awards from the Royal Television Society, Emmy Awards and BAFTAs. Between 2004 and 2008, the ITV Evening News held the title of "RTS News Programme of the Year". The flagship ITV News at Ten has won numerous BAFTA awards, and also being named "RTS News Programme of the Year" in 2011 and 2015.

Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales

The public funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales started on 6 September 1997 at 9:08am in London, when the tenor bell sounded to signal the departure of the cortège from Kensington Palace. The coffin was carried from the palace on a gun carriage, along Hyde Park to St. James's Palace, where Diana's body had remained for five days before being taken to Kensington Palace. The Union Flag on top of the palace was lowered to half mast. The official ceremony was held at Westminster Abbey in London and finished at the resting place in Althorp.

From 2003 to 2006, Owen once again became the main presenter of the ITV Lunchtime News on ITV. In April 2005, he joined Katie Derham on the programme, which was extended to 60 minutes as part of ITV Day. He contributed heavily to ITN's coverage of budgetary matters.

In October 2006, Owen took part in BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing . He was voted off in the first week of the show on 7 October. Also in October 2006, he appeared on ITV Play's nightly game show The Mint and gave away the jackpot of over £130,000 to the winner.

The BBC Press Office announced in November 2006 that Owen had signed to BBC News as a presenter. Owen's last broadcast on ITV was the ITV Evening News on 7 February 2007, and he took up his BBC News post on 3 March 2007. [9] Owen is a relief presenter on the BBC News Channel, as well as being a main relief presenter for the BBC Weekend News on BBC One.

Owen has a regular Saturday afternoon show on Classic FM, [5] and contributes to other radio and TV programmes.

Personal life

Owen is married to former newspaper reporter Brenda. The couple live in Reigate, [2] and have four children and eight grandchildren. In 2012 his autobiography Days Like This was published. [10]

In July 2002, Owen was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and he became an Honorary Patron of Kidney Cancer UK in 2003. [11] On 23 August 2007, Owen was a celebrity guest in an episode of the live television programme Doctor, Doctor , broadcast on channel Five, in which he talked about his kidney cancer with the presenter and GP, Mark Porter. Owen explained that the cancer was found unexpectedly when he had a scan for abdominal pains, and that he had an operation to remove the diseased right kidney with the encapsulated tumour. Since the 1980s he has been a supporter of the charities Cancer Research UK and ActionAid, taking part in various fundraising events for these organisations. [12]

He is also an Ambassador of The Children's Trust, a UK charity for children with brain injury. [13] and Patron of Dyscover Ltd a Surrey-based charity for people suffering from aphasia following stroke or brain injury.

Owen has a passion for railways, and has written books on the Brighton Belle [14] and the history of the trolleybus. [15] Owen provides the voiceover on the Tramlink in Croydon, telling passengers where the tram is going, and what the next stop is. Owen was a Vice-Patron of the Bluebell Railway's project to extend the line towards East Grinstead, and in November 2008 was the public face of the launch to remove 96,000 cubic metres (3,400,000 cu ft) of domestic waste from Imberhorne cutting. [16]


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  1. 1 2 "Nicholas Owen". Daily Mail. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Nicholas Owen on life in Reigate". Surrey Life. July 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  3. "BBC and ITN journalist Nicholas Owen". Surrey Today. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013.[ permanent dead link ]
  4. Peter Denton. "Featuring... Banstead County Secondary School". Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Nicholas Owen". Classic FM . Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  6. Owen, Nicholas (25 October 2004). "My Mentor: Nicholas Owen on Mike Neville". The Independent. London, England.
  8. Nicholas Owen (4 June 2007). Diana: The People's Princess. Carlton Books. ISBN   1844428885.
  9. BBC – Press Office – Nicholas Owen signs to BBC News 24
  10. Nicholas Owen (10 February 2012). Days Like This. Blenheim Press Limited. ISBN   1906302235.
  11. About KCUK Archived 12 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  12. "Celebrity wine lovers outsmart each other in aid of global poverty". ActionAid. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  14. Nicholas Owen (March 1972). Brighton Belle. Southern Electric Group. ISBN   0950237604.
  15. Nicholas Owen (11 July 1974). History of the British Trolleybus. David & Charles. ISBN   0715363700.
  16. "Rubbish cleared for steam trains". BBC News. 25 November 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2013.