Simon Reeve is a bestselling author and television presenter, with a passion for history, current affairs, travel, wildlife and the environment.
His most recent book is Tropic of Capricorn, published by BBC Books, and accompanying a major BBC2 series of the same name presented by Simon. The Daily Telegraph said: “like all the best travellers, Reeve carries out his investigations with infectious relish, and in the realisation that trying to understand the country you’re in is not just fascinating, but also hugely enjoyable.”
His other books include The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the future of terrorism, which warned of a new age of apocalyptic terrorism. Originally published in 1998 it was the first in the world on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda and has been a New York Times bestseller. The Washington Times said it was “a compelling reconstruction”, and “an outstanding account describing a terrible and growing peril”. The Washington Post said it was “painfully relevant”. Ahmed Rashid (bestselling author of the critically-acclaimed Taliban) said it was “truly original investigative work”, noting “Reeve has had unprecedented access to Arab sources as well as US intelligence sources”. The book led to BBC News describing Simon as “perhaps the world’s leading expert on al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden".
Simon is also the author of One Day in September: the full story of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and Israeli revenge operation ‘Wrath of God’, published by Faber in 2000. The International Herald Tribune described the book as “a masterclass in investigative journalism”, saying it “brilliantly recaptures the tension of the day as well as the human cost of the botched police operation”. The New Yorker said it was “highly skilled and detailed…a page-turner”. The film of the same name, narrated by the actor Michael Douglas, won the Oscar for best feature documentary.
Simon, who is based in London, started work as a teenage postboy on a national newspaper, and spent more than five years as the youngest staff writer on the paper. He left to write investigative features for publications including Time magazine and Esquire, and produced, wrote or edited a series of current-affairs books investigating subjects such as terrorism, biological warfare, international organised crime and nuclear smuggling.
In recent years Simon has been presenting ‘adventure journalism’ TV series for the BBC, including Indian Ocean (2012), Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Equator, Explore, Places That Don’t Exist and Meet the Stans. He has been around the world three times and travelled extensively in more than 110 countries.
During 2011 Simon filmed Indian Ocean, for which he travelled around our third largest ocean for a 6x1hr BBC series due to be broadcast during 2012.
Simon’s previous TV project was the 6x1 hour series Tropic of Cancer, which saw him circling the planet, following the Tropic of Cancer east from Mexico to the Caribbean, then across the Sahara, borders in North Africa closed to foreigners for decades, the deserts of Arabia, and the jungles of Asia. Tropic of Cancer had a strong current affairs theme, including issues such as poverty, the drugs trade, climate change, industrial pollution, and a forgotten war. But it was also a spectacular travelogue. Simon visited 18 countries, meeting amazing people, witnessing bizarre and beautiful sights, and encountering spectacular and endangered wildlife.
Tropic of Cancer was shown on the BBC in 2010, and by broadcasters in dozens of countries, enthralling millions. It was Simon’s third round-the-world trip exploring the tropics, the region of the planet with both the richest natural biodiversity, and the greatest concentration of human suffering. The Times said: “a real gem. Reeve is in a class of his own…while he guides us along the Tropic of Cancer, through some of the most beautiful yet demanding places on the planet, he does so with a genuine sense of curiosity and openness, never succumbing to cliché or getting sidetracked by his own agenda”. Readers of a leading travel magazine voted it their favourite TV series of the year.
The 2008 BBC TV series Tropic of Capricorn (4×1hours) saw Simon travelling around the line marking the southern border of the tropics. On his epic journey, Simon passed through southern Africa, Madagascar, Australia and South America. The Daily Mail said: “Five Stars…Brilliant…a fascinating, illuminating journey…much more than a travelogue…compelling television.”
In the 2006 BBC series Equator, Simon headed east around the planet, passing through troubled areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Radio Times said it was “an extraordinary journey…eye-opening…revelatory…thrilling and thought-provoking…hits us with jaw-dropping facts…delivers a string of revealing snapshots.”
In Places That Don’t Exist (2005), Simon travelled through a group of unrecognised nations – countries so obscure they don’t officially exist. Among the destinations visited were Somaliland, Transdniestria, Nagorno-Karabkh, Ajaria and South Ossetia. The Daily Telegraph said the five-part series was: “exemplary… riveting… eye-opening… remarkable… superb”.
In Meet the Stans (2003), Simon travelled through Central Asia from the far north-west of Kazakhstan, by the Russian border, east to the Chinese border, south through Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the edge of Afghanistan, and west to Uzbekistan and the legendary Silk Road cities of Samarkand and Bukhara. The Times said: “Simon Reeve’s journey through Kazakhstan is a first-class Boy’s Own adventure on film and illuminating too. I can’t imagine anyone switching off who stays for the first five minutes.”
Simon is an ambassador for the nature conservation organisation WWF and has been awarded a One World Broadcasting Trust award for an “outstanding contribution to greater world understanding”.
His website is at: www.simonreeve.co.uk
Youtube site: www.youtube.com/shootandscribble
- Tropic of Capricorn: circling the world on a southern adventure, published by BBC Books, 2008.
- One Day in September: the full story of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and Israeli revenge operation ‘Wrath of God’, published by Faber & Faber, Arcade and Penguin, 2000.
- The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the future of terrorism, published by Andre Deutsch and North Eastern University Press (US), 1998.
Indian Ocean - BBC
Tropic of Cancer - BBC
Tropic of Capricorn - BBC
Explore - BBC
Equator - BBC
Places That Don't Exist - BBC
Conspiracies - SKY
Outrageous Fortunes - BBC
House of Saud: Inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - BBC
Meet the Stans - BBC