Peter Taylor was born and brought up in Yorkshire. He read Classics at Cambridge University and after a brief stint as a teacher joined ITV's This Week programme in 1967 as a researcher.
In 1969 Peter became a reporter on topical daily TV programme Today With Eamonn Andrews, before eventually returning to This Week as a reporter, where his first programme was Bloody Sunday, examining the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Peter would return to the subject of Northern Ireland throughout his career, becoming one of the foremost commentators on the Troubles.
While at This Week he also made landmark programmes on smoking and the politics of tobacco.
In 1980 Peter joined the BBC as a reporter on Panorama, a role he remained in for most of the 1980s before moving to BBC Two to present Brass Tacks from Manchester and then Public Eye from London.
In the 1990s Peter made a series of documentaries, including films on Bloody Sunday and the Maze prison, and then concentrated on making authored series including States of Terror, True Spies, and his Irish trilogy, Provos, Loyalists and Brits.
Since the 9/11 attacks Peter has focussed on the al-Qaeda terror network and Islamist extremism, making a BBC Two trilogy and several Panorama specials on the issue, the most recent of which examined the liquid bomb plot which paralysed global air travel in August 2006.
Peter's distinguished career has garnered many prizes, including Royal Television Society (RTS) Journalist of the Year, two RTS Judges Awards and three RTS journalism awards for individual programmes, the Grierson best documentary award, Broadcasting Press Guild Award and two Two Bafta nominations.
Peter has been awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree by Bradford University and in 2002 received an OBE for services to broadcasting. This autumn he was awarded the James Cameron Memorial Prize "for work as a journalist that combined moral vision and professional integrity".
He has written eight books, most related to the Irish conflict, terrorism and political violence.