Page last updated at 08:05 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 09:05 UK

Gavin Esler

Gavin Esler is an author, newspaper columnist and award-winning BBC broadcaster.

As well as being a presenter on the BBC's flagship news and current affairs programme Newsnight, he hosts Dateline London and numerous other programmes on BBC World, the BBC News Channel and BBC radio.

Gavin is a regular presenter on BBC Radio Four with programme credits including Four Corners and Six Places that Changed the World.

For eight years Gavin was the BBC's chief North America correspondent based in Washington, and he has reported on international affairs from all over the world including the Brazilian rainforest, the Aleutian Islands, Russia, the Middle East and China.

Recent interviewees include Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, former French President Jacques Chirac, King Abdullah of Jordan, Vaclav Havel, Bill Clinton, Thabo Mbeki, Dolly Parton, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Daniel Barenboim, Penelope Cruz, Seamus Heaney and Angelina Jolie.

His radio documentary series for Radio 4 include "Lost for Words" about the loss of languages around the world and Brits, a series examining whether the UK can continue to bind together Scots, Welsh, English and the citizens of Northern Ireland.

He is a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines including The Independent and The Mail on Sunday.

His books include four novels, most recently "A Scandalous Man" (HarperCollins 2008) and a book of non-fiction, The United States of Anger, (Penguin 1998) which examines why - despite the obvious successes of the United States - so many ordinary Americans are discontented and feel alienated from much of US society.

A Scandalous Man was described by fellow author Bernard Cornwell as "a compelling book, its political sophistication made luminous with wisdom sympathy and story telling".

Gavin's fifth novel, Powerplay, is scheduled to be published by HarperCollins in August 2009.

He won a Royal Television Society Award for two documentaries on Alaska, and a Sony Gold for a Radio 4 documentary "Letters from Guantanamo" about the detainee Sami al Hajj who was released after the documentary was broadcast.

He is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, a member of Bafta and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law by the University of Kent at Canterbury.

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