THE KINDNESS OF KATE ADIE
Of the many blogs I have written in regard to heroes and people I admire, I have mentioned Bill Neely. However, I have hardly ever mentioned my other hero, the wonderful Kate Adie. I've mentioned her in passing, like in my bucket list and my blog about women, but never in a blog of her own, as I have with Bill. This has not been deliberate, just a bit remiss of me. I intend to correct that right now.
I first got to know Kate Adie around the same time Bill Neely began working at ITN: 1989. 1989 was as Bill Neely once put it, "The year of miracles". The Berlin Wall fell down and the Soviet system started to collapse too. However, this was November 1989. The beginning of the year wasn't so great. On the 15th of April thousands of miles apart, two different incidents happened that I will remember forever. In my hometown of Sheffield, we had the Hillsborough disaster. A tragedy that would change the face of football for a long time to come. Both for the people of Sheffield and the people of Liverpool.
Meanwhile, in Bejing, China, people were dying for a different reason. Students had taken to the streets, as many students, in many countries had before them, and have since. They were protesting for human rights and freedom and the things most people take for granted. And there, stading right in the middle of it all was Kate Adie. I took to her immediately. She was strong, dynamic, she gave me inspiration that women could do dangerous things, she had a tough no-nonsense way about her reporting. She was detached, doing exactly what she had to do.
I have followed her career ever since. She covered the Seige of the Iranian Embassy, the Zeebrugge disaster. She has been in Kosovo, has been embedded with troops in Iraq and like many people who wanted to cut their teeth, she ended up covering the Troubles in Northern Ireland. And even though she is detached on her reports, this doesn't mean she is a detatched person, far from it. Through her interviews and her books, I found out she is a very warm and compassionate person with an absolutely wicked sense of humour.
She has also been the butt of some harmless humour. As she has been known for going to a lot of warzones, there was a joke that said, "A good decision is getting on a plane at an airport where Kate Adie is getting off!" And there was this little gem:
She has wriiten openly about her career, being adopted, about the role of woman in war, especially World War II. And now she presents From Our Own Correspondent, still showing what an amazing broadcaster she is.
When she was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship on Sunday 13 May, I was so thrilled for her, I jumped up and down. Well, as best you can jump up and down sat in a car at a motorway services. It has been too long in coming. She should have been awarded it years ago.
To Kate Adie, I have only this to say: I should have mentioned you before and for that I apologise. You have inspired me just as much as Bill Neely has and in some ways more because you have showed me that woman can be brave, get into danger and be downright awesome. When I'm doing my work, I will always keep asking myself that important question when I'm confused: "What would Bill or Kate do?" I know what Kate would do. She would just, "Get on with it!" One day I hope to chat to you too, and unlike a lot of people, I will be happy to talk to you about Northern Ireland.
As I pursue my own journalistic endeavours, I know I have you to look up to and I always will. Maybe one day I will be in amazing places like Bejing or in the desert looking for a place to go to the bathroom. Thanks for the inspiration! You are one amazing woman!
My favourite anecdote by Kate:
|Kate revisits Bejing|
"You do not invade people's privacy too much. You do not expose the vulnerable. You do not question those who are incapable". ~ Kate Adie.