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Crossing Continents Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Meriel Beattie biography
Meriel Beattie
Meriel Beattie joined the BBC in 1993
Meriel Beattie was born in South Wales to very Scottish parents.

Thanks to their homesickness, Meriel became used to travel early on, making the long drive to the northwest highlands - with only essential toilet stops permitted - for every single vacation.

She studied French and German at Oxford, which gave plenty of opportunities to travel, ski and have fun abroad under the guise of study.

After a year at Cardiff University post-grad centre for Journalism Studies, she joined Reuters as a trainee journalist.

Meriel's first posting was to Vienna in 1988 - then the Reuters East European headquarters - supposedly just for a year, with the warning that it would "probably be a bit boring".

Less than a year later the whole communist eastern bloc started to collapse.

She ended up spending five and a half incredibly exciting years between Vienna and various hotel rooms around the region, living out of suitcases.

Having joined the BBC in 1993, she moved to Budapest and found herself reporting on how many of the countries in the region who had voted socialist parties out of power in 1989 then voted them back in.

On her return to the UK in 1996 she began working at the BBC World Service but found it slightly strange living in one place for long periods.

The perfect solution arrived with the launch of Crossing Continents in 1998.

Since then she has lived in Pakistan for 3 years and is expecting her third child in April 2003.

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