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SERGEANT TO SPEAK AT AWARDS.

VETERAN broadcaster John Sergeant will be guest speaker at the final of the Journal's nebusiness Awards.

The former ITN political editor returns to the region where his career in journalism began and will entertain guests at the prestigious event, organised by the Journal and Evening Gazette in association with the North East Chamber of Commerce, on April 25.

The 68-year-old has fond memories of the North East, having trained as a journalist at Darlington College while reporting for the Liverpool Echo.

He said: "I will be delighted to be back in the North East presenting these awards."

As an honorary doctor of letters at Teesside University, and having trained as a journalist in Darlington, this part of the country has a place in my heart. I am sure it will be a great evening."

John, who also spent 30 years with the BBC, has covered conflicts in many parts of the world including Vietnam, the Middle East and Southern Africa, before settling down as a political correspondent. He often travelled with the prime minister of the day, including the late Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair. While in Moscow following Margaret Thatcher, he made a comment implying that she had already started campaigning for the General Election in June 1987, despite not having officially declared the contest. "I am serving my country." Thatcher replied.

Born in Oxford, the son of a missionary and linguist, John followed his father's work and spent time living in Jerusalem. He was educated at Great Tew Primary School, briefly at the independent Bloxham School in Oxfordshire, and then at the independent Millfield School in Somerset.

Following his retirement from political journalism in 2002, John has regularly appeared on the small screen. He regularly appears on BBC's The One Show and impressed the British public with his dancing skills in 2008, starring in Strictly Come Dancing. His appearances on programmes such as Have I Got News for You have made him a sought-after participant in television comedy and satire shows. Most recently John featured in a new three-part factual series for ITV1 - John Sergeant's Tourist Trail.

To book a table at the final, call Sue Coulson on 0191 201 6072 or email sue.coulson@ncjmedia.co.uk

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GREAT EVENING Broadcaster John Sergeant will return to the region that 'has a place in my heart' for the nebusiness Awards

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 12, 2013
Words:395
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