Frank Gardner OBE is the BBC’s Security Correspondent.
Broadcaster, Author, Inspirational and After-Dinner Speaker, Frank Gardner is the BBC’s full-time security correspondent reporting for TV and radio on issues of both domestic and international security, notably on Al Qaeda and ISIS related terrorism.
In 2004, Frank Gardner survived being shot six times at close range by Al Qaeda terrorists in the Riyadh suburb, Saudi Arabia.
His cameraman Simon Cumbers was killed, however Frank’s miraculous survival was most likely due to a small Qur’an he was carrying with him which his attackers found when attempting to rob him.
After many months in hospital he returned to the BBC to resume his job and in June 2005 he was awarded an OBE for services to journalism.
Frank Gardner’s fascination with the Middle East began as a teenager when he had a chance meeting with Wilfrid Thesiger (who extensively travelled and photographed the Middle East).
A fluent Arabist with a degree in Arabic and Islamic studies from Exeter University, Frank spent nine years as an investment banker in New York, London and Bahrain before switching to journalism and becoming the BBC’s Middle East correspondent based in Cairo.
Frank Gardner has reported extensively on the so-called ‘War on Terror’ in Guantanamo Bay, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.
In May 2006, Frank’s first book, Blood and Sand, was published by Transworld, reaching number three in the Sunday Times Bestseller List.
The book is a remarkable snapshot of the Middle East over a number of years and the poignant story of what can happen to your belief system when the culture you have embraced ends up trying to kill you.
Frank Gardner openly condemns his attackers saying, “I just think it’s cowardice to shoot somebody who’s defenceless. That isn’t brave, that’s not making a stand for your beliefs, that’s just cowardice. What kind of battle is that? It’s one thing for them to be taking on the police in a shootout but taking on a couple of unarmed defenceless journalists?”
Frank’s determination to return to his full and active life make his story both fascinating and inspirational and as a result, he is in high demand for keynote and after-dinner speaking engagements.