Margaret's Work and Career
Margaret is a respected Non-Executive Director and Regulator. She's on the Board of the Food Standards Agency and Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, helping steer them through the challenges of Covid and of exiting the EU. She also lectures, writes and broadcasts on terrorism, national security, risk management and the environment.
She made her name as an award winning journalist who was an authoritative face on our TV screens for three decades, starting out as a reporter in Northern Ireland, before working her way up through Newsnight and Panorama, to become BBC TV's first Environment Correspondent. She's a passionate supporter of Reading Football Club and was born in Zululand, South Africa.
Her career in television, radio and newspapers saw her cover some of the biggest stories in the world for the BBC's flagship News and Current Affairs programmes – including the July 7th bombings.
She has first hand experience reporting from the frontline, on some of the toughest and most sensitive assignments, and has travelled extensively in the Middle East, the USA and war zones like Iraq and Somalia. She's covered espionage including the Salisbury and Litvinenko assassinations and the growing threat of international terrorism post 9/11.
As a Senior Researcher and Associate Fellow with RUSI (Royal United Services Institute for Security and Defence Studies), she wrote academic papers and she continues to report on security issues and to meet with the most important people in security and intelligence. She works as an independent analyst, chairs conferences, lectures to students and to wider public, security and commercial audiences, and makes films for private and public sector clients.
Margaret has frequently met and interviewed Government ministers at the highest level, and their special advisers and top civil servants, - including those in Downing Street, the Home Office ad the Department for Health and Social Care. She has a deep knowledge of the working of the Government, police, and the judiciary and has been briefed regularly by the most senior judges and officers in the country, including people from the anti-terrorist branch and MI5. She has a wide network of contacts in police, intelligence and government.
Margaret has a developed sense of how the media will play stories and what they will seize on – and of how the public and the government will react. The BBC demanded the highest levels of independence and integrity and Margaret understands the importance of presentation and focus in putting across a specific message, of keeping an open mind and always being aware of the bigger picture beyond the specific story.
As the BBC's Environment Correspondent, her incisive and accessible reporting placed issues like climate change and global warming on the political agenda, and she received the top environment award, a BEMA, for TV Environment Correspondent of the Year.
Margaret was the only Western TV journalist in East Berlin when the Berlin Wall came down. She covered the freeing of the Guildford Four, Princess Diana's death, the end of the Cold War, 9/11, 7/7, Russian assassinations and Islamic State in Syria. She's been part of BBC's BAFTA award winning teams, won a BEMA and has been nominated for Royal Television Society and Monte Carlo broadcasting awards.