The Random 19 with renowned journalist, author and broadcaster Kate Adie.


Renowned war correspondent Kate Adie CBE DL is an English journalist, author & broadcaster. She was Chief News Correspondent for BBC News between 1989 and 2003, during which time she became a familiar household name, reporting from war zones around the world.

Kate has lived in Dorset since leaving west London for her country cottage in the county in 2012. She fell in love with Dorset when working on farming programmes at BBC Bristol.

“I love lumpy countryside, hills and water, and unexpected views, which is what I loved about Dorset.”

1. What’s your relationship with the Blackmore Vale (the area, not us!)? 

It’s my lovely neighbour, with intriguing names like Hammoon and Child Okeford I’m very much attached to the Cerne, Sydling and Piddle Valleys.

2. What was the last song you sang out loud in your car? 

Only my little dog had to hear it, thank goodness. He’s not telling.

3. Last movie you watched? Would you recommend it?

I feel like I must be the only person in the world who hadn’t seen Casablanca, so I found  myself watching it on some obscure ancient movie channel the other evening. 

Humphrey Bogart et al, in a nightclub full of spies and foreigners and men with guns…

It reminded me of a similar place on the border of Armenia and Turkey: full of suspicious-looking heavy drinkers waving bottles, deafening music, a brawl going on in the corner, and a nice man who insisted on introducing us to the large hairy bloke waving a Kalashnikov – 

“Please meet our local MP…”

6. What would you like to tell 15yr old you?

That, more than any of us appreciate at 15, your childhood has been lucky and loving, and will lead to a magical and fascinating life.

4. It’s Friday night – you have the house to yourself, and no work is allowed. What are you going to do?

Watch terrible telly (so I can better appreciate the stuff that’s meant to be good), and eat a pomegranate (impossible to eat publicly). 

5. Who’s your celebrity crush?

I once interviewed Anthony Hopkins, and was so breathlessly smitten that I failed to notice his fellow actor next to him. When challenged about this back in the newsroom, I said Who? 

Mel Gibson, they said. 

7. Chip Shop Chips or Homebaked Cake?

Cake please.

8. If you were sent to an island for a year and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

(the island is already equipped with a magical power source and a laptop)

A bath.

A trailer – full of gardening kit, with seeds and fruit tree saplings. 

A Welsh harp (of course I can’t play one. But given a year, and no listeners…)

9. What book did you read last year that stayed with you?

War Doctor, by David Nott.  Extraordinary – and such a humane man.

10. What’s your secret superpower?

An ability to read the paper, do needlepoint, throw toys for the dog, use the ipad – all while appearing utterly engrossed in a live Zoom.

11. What shop can you not pass without going in?


(and yes, I queried this with Kate. This isn’t a shop called Fudge. It’s literally “any shop that sells fudge…” Ed)

12.  Favourite quote? Movie, book or inspirational – we won’t judge.

‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’
(John Stuart Mill, 1867)

13. What’s the best evening you’ve ever had?

When after a particularly close call involving a bullet, I realised that every next evening – and day – was a bonus. 

14. A penguin just walked in the door wearing a panama hat. Why is he here?

There are two possibilities: 

• People will do anything to get on TV.  

• I thought I’d only had two glasses of wine…

15. Your top three most-visited favourite websites (excluding social media!)?

My browing history is mostly panic enquiries; 

“How much mini-lego can a puppy eat?”  

“Can you microwave a very frozen thing at the back of the freezer when surprise guests arrive?” 

16. Favourite crisp flavour?

Sea salt and black pepper.

17. The best biscuit for dunking?

Chocolate digestives are not for dunking.

18. What in life is frankly a mystery to you?

Lots – so I got a job asking questions…

19. You have the power to pass one law tomorrow, uncontested. What would you do?

Universal Credit.  No one should go hungry. 


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