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CZEXPATS Interview: Former director of BBC World Service

Around 100,000 people of Czech citizenship or origin currently lives in the United Kingdom. Among them, we can find many important personalities, but also individuals with unique personal stories. We decided to introduce you the most interesting of them in our project “CZEXPATS Interviews”, this time with former director of the BBC World Service Sir John Tusa.

How was his experience of living through the Second World War in Baťa's shoe factory in England? Was his Czech origin a burden in his career at the BBC? And how does a knighthood from the Queen change you as a person? All this and more in our interview with Sir John Tusa.

Sir John Tusa is a radio and television journalist and manager. He was born in Zlín in Czechoslovakia in 1936, and moved to England with his family in 1939. His father was the managing director of British Bata Shoe Company, established by Czechoslovak shoe company Bata. He joined the BBC in 1960 as a trainee and after presenting the BBC's 24 Hours and later Newsnight, he became managing director of the BBC World Service from 1986 to 1993. From 1995 until 2007, he was managing director of the Barbican Arts Centre in the City of London and he also held various positions in the Wigmore Hall, University of the Arts London or the European Union Youth Orchestra. He has also authored several book. In June 2003, he was awarded with knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.