John McCarthy has worked as a journalist since leaving university. In 1986, on his first foreign assignment, he was abducted by Islamic Fundamentalists and held hostage for 1,943 days.
Subsequently, this terrifying experience was explored in the film Blind Flight and in John’s best-selling book Some Other Rainbow (co-written with Jill Morrell).
His other books are Between Extremes (with Brian Keenan), A Ghost Upon Your Path: An Irish Journey, and You Can’t Hide the Sun: A Journey through Palestine.
Alongside his writing John has pursued a broadcast career, with many of his programmes reflecting his knowledge of and interest in travel, religion and history. He has worked for the BBC, ITV, Sky Arts and Al Jazeera, and his television work includes Out of the Shadows, It Ain’t Necessarily So, Faultlines, Island Race, The Art of Faith, God’s Business and Britain’s Secret Treasures.
In radio he has been a presenter on the World Service. As with much of his TV, John’s radio work is often personal and authored. BBC radio series include, amongst others, John McCarthy’s Bible Journey, A Place Called Home, Excess Baggage, God of War, God of Peace, Saturday Live, The Child Preachers, Heart and Soul, Behind Enemy Lines and Good Morning Sunday. He is a regular presenter of Something Understood.
He is Patron of the charity Freedom from Torture, and has been awarded an Honorary D.Litt from Hull and the CBE.