Robert Peston honoured as Fellow

Robert Peston, Fellow of Aberystwyth University

Robert Peston, Fellow of Aberystwyth University

12 July 2011

The BBC’s award winning Business Editor, Robert Peston, will be presented as Fellow of Aberystwyth University today, Tuesday 12 July 2011.
Widely acclaimed for his work during the Northern Rock banking crisis, Robert Peston has won numerous awards for his journalism, including Journalist of the Year, Specialist Journalist of the Year and Scoop of the Year (twice) from the Royal Television Society, Performer of the Year from the Broadcasting Press Guild, and Broadcaster of the Year and Journalist of the Year from the Wincott Foundation.

Prior to joining the BBC, he was political editor and financial editor of the Financial Times, City Editor of the Sunday Telegraph and a columnist for the New Statesman and Sunday Times.

Robert Peston will be presented as Fellow of Aberystwyth University by Mr Nicholas Perdikis, Director of the Aberystwyth School of Management and Business.

He is one of seven Fellows to be honoured by Aberystwyth University during the 2011 Graduation Ceremonies which take place on 12, 13, 14 and 15 July.

Presentation of Robert Peston as Fellow of Aberystwyth University by Mr Nicholas Perdikis, Director of the Aberystwyth School of Management and Business.

Is-lywydd: braint a phleser yw cyflwyno Robert Peston yn gymrawd o Brifysgol Aberystwyth.

Robert Peston needs no introduction to this audience.  As Business Editor of BBC News, his face and voice are well known to all. In particular, he is known for identifying Northern Rock as the UK bank most unlikely to withstand the 2008 financial crisis. Some have foolishly accused him of causing the run on the bank. We know better but it was his prescience and forensic skills acquired while in the City that led him to reach this conclusion. For his coverage of the crisis at Northern Rock he won the Royal Television Journalism Award for Scoop of the year in 2008.

Robert was educated at Highgate Wood Secondary School a local comprehensive whose head was a Welshman, before going up to Balliol College Oxford to read PPE. We will forgive him that! After graduating and winning a scholarship he then moved on to the Universite Libre de Bruxelle for post graduate work.

Robert then embarked on a career in the City, working for the stock broker Williams de Broe but gave that up to become a financial journalist; first joining the Investors Chronicle before moving to the Independent for its launch in 1986. He then moved to the short lived Sunday Correspondent and then to the Independent on Sunday in 1990. Various editorial positions then followed at the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Times. He also contributed to the Spectator before taking up his current position as the BBC’s Business Editor. 

His television journalism has gained him many awards. In addition to his “Scoop” he won the both Specialist Journalist of the year and Television Journalist of the year in 2008/2009 and the Woncott Award for Broadcaster of the year in 2008 for the excellence of his blog.

In addition to his broadcasting he has found time to write two well received books.  The first “Brown’s Britain” dealt mainly with the relationship between the Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Chancellor Gordon Brown.  This book was described by the Director of the LSE, Sir Howard Davies, as “a book of unusual political significance”.

His second, book a compelling and lucid account of, as its title states “Who Runs Britain and Who’s to Blame for the Economic Mess We’re in”. In that book he makes the clear link between the banking system’s bonus culture and its risk taking activities. This book is significant not just because it develops that link but also because it expresses the issues in a language that is accessible to a wide and non specialist audience.  Academic economists please note!

A great believer in engaging more broadly with schools, Robert founded Speakers for Schools which encourages inspirational speakers and leading figures from business, politics, the arts, science and the media to give talks to pupils in state schools. He will be visiting our own local comprehensive Penglais School and talking to its students in the autumn.

With a house in the Aberystwyth area, he also gives freely of his time to support local charities and has recently contributed to the National Library’s evening lecture series.

Early in the new academic year, he will initiate our celebrations to commemorate the centenary of economics as a subject at Aberystwyth. He may not know this but Aberystwyth preceded Oxford in establishing a Chair in economics! You should have come here!

For his success in journalism, his insightful writing and his contribution to the local community and in particular his support of Arsenal (managed by an economist) it is a pleasure to recognise his accomplishments in Aberystwyth today.

Barchus Is-Lywydd : mae’n fraint i gyflwyno Robert Peston yn gymrawd o Brifysgol Aberystwyth.