September 2, 2023

The BBC’s Katya Adler: ‘I was never in danger of taking myself too seriously’

In 30 years of frontline reporting, the multilingual Europe editor has had her share of seismic news stories. But she still loves conversing with irate callers and is not above giving viewers a laugh at her own expenseThis summer alone, Katya Adler has covered riots in France, a snap Spanish general election and a Nato summit in Lithuania. She even made it to London to debut as a Proms presenter, enthusing about Beethoven’s Fifth and discussing the enduring power of folk music with composer and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson. And yet, to the British public, her name remains synonymous with Brexit.When she took up the post of BBC Europe editor in 2014, returning from maternity leave after the birth of her third child, it must have seemed a far cry from the intensity of her years of frontline reporting in Kosovo and the Middle East. Instead, of course, the EU referendum happened and she found herself at the epicentre of another kind of drama, unenviably tasked with finding out what Brussels bureaucrats were thinking as divorce negotiations got under way. “Why would they want to tell me when I’m part of the other side of the table, to put it politely?” she points out. But tell her they did, albeit anonymously. One senior official even took her call while his wife was in labour, a detail that still delights her. Continue reading...
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