Philippa Thomas Online

Life and leadership coaching


I’ve been reporting for BBC news for three decades:  across the UK, the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia.

I’m now a presenter for BBC World News television – though my commentaries here and any mistakes are entirely my own – and a leadership and life Coach.

My writing ranges across politics, diplomacy, psychology, education & literature. I began this blog as a 2011 Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard.  I’m now a Masters student in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology at the University of East London. You can talk to me on Twitter at @PhilippaBBC

Thank you for reading.


48 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Phillipa, my name is David Zhao, and I’m a reporter for the Harvard Radio Station, WHRB 95.3FM. I am doing a story on the future of print media, in the context of Wikileaks. I would like the chance to speak with you and feature you in an interview on the subject. Please let me know if you are interested in setting up a phone interview in the next few weeks. Thanks!

    • David,

      I’ll have to decline – though thanks for the offer – I’m not following Wikileaks day by day – though I would be happy to help on any of the issues you see me address directly here – you can also see more of my policy interest via @BBCPhilippaT on twitter. Sorry.


  2. Pingback: Wikileaks documenten en informatie over Julian Assange Wikileaks documenten

  3. Pingback: Bradley Manning being ‘mistreated’, says Hillary Clinton spokesman |

  4. Well now, Ms Thomas, you have created a bit of a stir. Seems like PJ Crowley expressed himself with unexpected candour re Manning….

    How are you! How many kids!! Congratulations on the Fellowship – what an interesting thing to do. How many years ago did we first meet in the BBC World Service newsroom?!

    Just got back from six weeks in the Middle East – endless fun….

  5. Pingback: Bradley Manning being mistreated, says Hillary Clinton spokesman | World news | The Guardian | Slinking Toward Retirement

  6. Hi Phillipa,

    I’ve been closely following the saga surrounding PJ Crowley. I’m sure you heard he was forced to resign because of his comments regarding Bradley Manning’s detention.

    I was wondering if perhaps you’d like to offer any thoughts on this for a story on our website



  7. A wonderful report. Writing in the Guardian Ryan Gallagher wrote,

    “The US condemns human rights abuses abroad yet appears to be allowing the psychological torture of Bradley Manning…

    “In recent days and weeks the US government has condemned human rights abuses and repression in almost every country across the Middle East – yet at a prison within its own borders it sanctions the persecution, alleged psychological torture and debasement of a young soldier who appears to have made a principled choice in the name of progress.

    “”Government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal,” said Barack Obama in 2008. But the stench of his hypocrisy is no longer bearable. It is time, now more than ever, that Bradley Manning received the justice he so clearly deserves.”

    And BTW, what a lovely banner. Who took the pic? It is subject to copyright?

  8. Hi Philippa,

    I feel compelled to inform you that ‘ends’ refer to the area you live in and has nothing to do with gangs, as you just implied on the BBC News coverage of the London riots I am watching.


  9. Hi Philippa,

    I work on English-speaking radio in Spain and would please ask you to let me interview you on air regarding your experience at the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry.
    Please…..say yes?

    Thanks, I hope, and kindest regards


  10. Philippa, why can’t you leave a straightforward email address like everybody else? Yesterday on Newshour you suggested that people should not be allowed to send money to Somalia in case it was being sent to Al Shabaab. What about the guy in London sending £20 a month to his mother in Somalia to save her from dying from starvation? Your remark was utterly stupid and shows that you are not connected with the ordinary world. Tony Hart.

    • Mr Hart I think you make a good point about the dangers of generalization. I did not mean in the least to imply that all remittances are suspect; rather to ask what can be done in the particular cases where money does end up funding violence. I certainly did not suggest that people should not be allowed to send money to Somalia.

      I am sorry if my question was carelessly phrased. I do take note of feedback. I do however think your final rude comment detracts from the power of your point. Philippa.

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  12. Who is pretty?………Megan fox
    Who is classy?………Meryl streep
    Who is charming?… Julia Roberts

    Who is pretty, classy and charming……… Philippa Thomas!

  13. Hi Philippa,

    My name is Naser and I am looking for one of your reports on bbc. It is about the food waste. I saw it’s Persian translation here ( I have hard time finding it’s English version and I couldn’t find any better way to contact you. How may I get the link to that report? Thank you

  14. Dear Naser –

    The video report wasn’t posted on the BBC website . Sometimes they are, sometimes they’re not!

    But here’s the BBC Online report:

    And here’s the original detailed research from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers:

    I hope that helps.

    Best wishes, Philippa

  15. Hello Philippa, this is first time for me.
    I have just seen you report on the Pope election on the BBC news. I have never heard or seen you before, my fault. Anyway, I am not a religious person and I find the ways of the Catholic church mystifying but I was engaged straight away by your presentation and found it most instructive. That’s it really, one little thing which is banal in the extreme, did you nearly trip up whilst presenting your article ? If you did you handled it very well.

    • Hello John – Glad you enjoyed our virtual reality explainer. And yes you spotted the moment where I pause for a split second to think, “where is the edge of the virtual reality table?”, as I’m standing in an empty green studio, with all the graphics to be superimposed after I leave! best wishes, Philippa

  16. Philippa,

    I stumbled on your blog about your time in America and it brought back a deluge of wonderful memories for me. I lived in Virginia and Maryland in the early 70’s when my father was posted to Washington. I started school there and many of my earliest and most vivid memories are of my time there. I must admit to being totally captivated by your blog about your time there with your family as it mirrored my experience and triggered so much.
    70’s America was a real adventure for a little English boy! I’ve kept in touch with some of my peers from that time and still visit when I can. I’ve retained a fascination for the country and the people ever since. So thank you for the spark that ignited some wonderful memories and the excuse to dig out faded polaroid’s of me in dodgy 70’s outfits as a kid in the US.

  17. Peter that’s so lovely to hear! During our last American assignment, our son was 4-7 years old, and it was a fantastic family experience. We were consciously celebrating it as we went – as you saw. I’m glad it inspired you to revisit shining memories. P

    • Philippa, we visited many of the states you did and even some of the same places. I was a similar age to your son at the time too. I recall vividly how being English in America made us unique to many Americans, perhaps because in the 70’s the world was a little smaller. I’d really like to hear some of your thoughts around that, though I realise this is not the right forum for that. If you can see my email address, feel free if you ever have the time or the inclination! Enjoyed the blog, thank you.

  18. I enjoy listening to Your voice,Your something Special.Happy Hollidays.

  19. Excellent european election commentary !

  20. Dear Philippa,

    I’m a German journalism student and right now, I’m writing my Bachelor thesis. Therefore, I compare the US reporting of the BBC show Reporters with the one of a German TV show, called “Weltspiegel”. To get valid information, it’s not enough to simply compare the content of both shows, but to do some guided interviews with experts. You as a host of Reporters are a true expert. That is why I’d like to interview you on that topic. We could do this interview via e-Mail or Skype at the beginning of January.

    I’d really appreciate your help, as I always like your performance on TV and it would be a pleasure to work with you.

    Thanks in advance! Hope to hear from you soon.

    Verena Fuecker

  21. I wonder if you could be the daughter of Sybil Thomas who lived in Bushey Heath many years ago and used to teach my son in his first ‘school’ at the age of three in Little Bushey Lane. I still have the handwritten report!
    Anne S.

  22. Hi Anne – afraid not – though my mum was a teacher – that’s not me. sorry to disappoint! P

  23. Hello! Served you today at L.K. Bennett. Nice to have met you. Will dip into your blog now and then!

    Love, Chi

  24. Hi Chi – thanks ! – producers remarked on my new silver shoes on air just now – on BBC Four and BBC World again at 7!

  25. Hi Phillippa,! I wonder if you ever went to school in Singapore? I had a classmate when I was 9 and she shared your name and the same sunny smile. Catching you on BBC World News brought back great memories of childhood and a nagging curiosity to confirm the sense of familiarity.

  26. Hello. I have watched you on BBC World News and I think you are a very lovely woman. Best of luck to you. 😊😊

  27. Hi Phillipa … Can you please tell me if you if you lived in strewsbury when you were very little ….. I had a neighbour called Phillipa Thomas ….. I have lived in Australia for 41 yes now and my mother heard you on the BBC radio and wondering if its the same Phillipa Thomas……regards Trudy morris QLD Australia…

  28. Dear Trudy thanks for contacting me but as far as you are concerned, I am the wrong Philippa Thomas! It’s an unusual name but there are obviously a few of us around…

  29. i’m from Sri Lanka I like ur news presentations. thanks

  30. Hi Philippa, I work with a speaker bureau and have a client who is interested in your potential availability as a host for a corporate event. Is this the kind of thing that could be of interest to you? Please let me know if you would like me to send through more details. Many thanks, Wendy

  31. Hi Philipha,
    I would like to contact you regarding an invitation to break a fast with the Ahmadiya Muslim Community at London’ oldest Mosque or europe’ largest mosque, and its link with tackling extremism. Thanks
    How can I email you? I’ve left my email.
    Kind Regards

  32. Hi
    Did you ever live on Hurley drive in cheadle hulme ?
    I was your nabour Dave

  33. Good morning Philippa
    I was wondering if you ever worked in any other dept at the BBC Wood Lane in late 80’s early 90’s?

  34. Hi Philippa –

    May I say that you should be reading the news, not acting it?!

    We really don’t need or appreciate the rolling eyes or the hand gestures!!


  35. Dear Philippa…about the novitshok case….immediately after the pictures of the novitshok poisoners were shown in newspapers and tv I said to my wife ,emigrant from Karelia,that it is only question of a few weeks before they are identified because they have hundreds and hundreds of people during their lifetime who know them by appearance and surely some of them dont keep his/her mouth shut. The identity of the other poisoner will also come out soon.

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