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Monday, April 19, 1999 Published at 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK


Former hostage McCarthy weds in private

John McCarthy at RAF Lyneham after his 1991 release

Former hostage John McCarthy has married his girlfriend Anna Ottewill in a private ceremony.

Guests at the service at St Mary's Church in Bepton, West Sussex, included Mr McCarthy's fellow Beirut captives Terry Waite, Brian Keenan, Terry Anderson and their wives.

Jill Morrell, Mr McCarthy's former girlfriend who campaigned for his release throughout the five-year ordeal, was not present.

News of the wedding, which took place last Friday, emerged on Monday.

[ image: Terry Waite: 'Perfect day']
Terry Waite: 'Perfect day'
Mr Waite said: "It was a perfect day - a marvellous day, just as the couple wanted it to be. It really was a very small occasion, as they deliberately wanted it, quiet and private."

Mr McCarthy, 43, met Ms Ottewill, 32, a BBC Publications editor who comes from the Bepton area, when they worked on the book of the television series Island Race. Mr McCarthy starred in the series with comedienne Sandi Toksvig.

The journalist was taken hostage in Lebanon in April 1986, and eventually freed in August in 1991.

He was the youngest of the Beirut hostages and had spent only five weeks in Lebanon before he disappeared. He was standing in for the bureau chief of Worldwide Television News, his first foreign assignment.


He was ordered home for his safety when American F1-11s bombed Libya from bases in Britain.

But someone who had witnessed Mr McCarthy's preparations to leave had tipped off the kidnappers.

Mr McCarthy's two-car convoy was just minutes into the journey to the airport when his car was intercepted.

Mr McCarthy and Ms Morrell, whose fairytale relationship captured the public imagination, split up in 1995. Their book Some Other Rainbow was an international best-seller.

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