Imagine having to write a goodbye letter to your family in case you didn't come home from work, like broadcaster Clive Myrie was once forced to do.

Clive Myrie is a regular on our TV screens and as well as hosting the upcoming election night coverage alongside Laura Kuenssberg, viewers can currently see him travelling around the Caribbean in the BBC's Clive Myrie's Caribbean Adventure. In the 15 part series, one of the countries 59 year old Clive visits is Jamaica, which is where his parents hail from.

His mum Lynne and dad Norris are Windrush generation and came to England in the early 1960s before settling in Bolton, where Clive was born. Lynne worked as a seamstress with high-profile fashion designer Mary Quant, while his father was a factory worker who made car batteries for British Leyland.

Clive went to Hayward Grammar School and then studied Law at the University of Sussex, but chose to join the BBC in 1987 as a trainee local radio reporter on the graduate journalism programme. Although his parents were initially dubious about his career choice, saying: "We didn't fly 6,000 miles to this freezing cold country for you to do that," they are now incredibly proud of his achievements.

After working for BBC Local Radio as a reporter he became a BBC foreign correspondent in 1996 and has since reported from 80 different countries. During his illustrious career, Clive has been the BBC correspondent for Tokyo, LA, Asia, Paris, and Europe before being appointed as a BBC News presenter in April 2009.

He has reported from Kathmandu after the 2015 earthquake and Bangladesh during the Rohingya refugee crisis. In 2022 he fronted the BBC News coverage from Ukraine and spoke to viewers while air raid sirens blared out and he was forced to shelter underground amid missile fire. But one of his most dangerous assignments was in Iraq.

During the invasion of Iraq by coalition forces in March 2003, Clive was an embedded correspondent with 40 Commando Royal Marines. The assignment was so life-threatening that the journalist had to write a "goodbye" letter to his family in case he was killed on the job. "I've been in some dangerous situations, but I don't think I ever thought about the danger," he told The Big Issue in 2022. "I just thought, I want to be in a warzone and experience and tell the story of conflict in a particular place.

"It's interesting talking to soldiers, and to those who do go into battle. You never ever think, really consciously, that you're going to be the one who gets shot or blown up or killed. Something has to present itself to you that makes it clear that you could be the one.

"So for instance, when I was embedded with the Royal Marines going into Iraq in 2003, we all had to write goodbye letters to our families, a sort of last will and testament I suppose. Just in case we didn't come back. That process, saying goodbye in letter form, does remind you that you might not get back."

The veteran broadcaster is no stranger to danger on the job, which can be a worry for Clive's family and friends, during more than three decades at the BBC. One of those loved ones is Clive's wife, Catherine Myrie, who works as an upholsterer and furniture restorer.

The couple met at the launch of a book about Swiss cheese in 1992 and he said for him it was "love at first sight". But the pair, who married six years later, never had children.

Clive opened up about their decision ahead of his book in 2023 about his life called Everything Is Everything: A Memoir Of Love, Hate And Hope. Asked if his job had a bearing on his decision not to have kids, Clive explained it wasn't the fact he often reported from warzones that led them to decide children weren't going to be a part of their lives. He said: "It wasn't the danger of the job, just the travelling."

He expanded: "We felt it would be selfish on children to drag them around the world. We've come from big families. I'm from a family of seven (children), Catherine's from a family of five kids. We weren't desperate for some kind of familial glue. You get to the point where it's much more difficult to have a child and then you realise, do we really want that anyway?"

Clive revealed he and Catherine did try for a child when they were younger but "nothing seemed to be happening". Gradually, the couple decided becoming parents wasn't for them and don't regret it for a second.

"We were trying for a child, nothing seemed to be happening. Then we ended up moving and realised that it would be quite unfair because we just love travelling so much," Clive told The Times . "We gradually decided it wasn't for us. We come from such big families, our get-togethers are always huge. We've led a fully and happy life and we dote on our nephews and nieces," he added.

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Clive Myrie's Caribbean Adventure is on BBC2 tonight at 6.30pm.

2024-06-10T16:38:44Z dg43tfdfdgfd