Guto Harri
Born (1966-07-08) 8 July 1966 (age 55)
Cardiff, Wales
EducationThe Queen's College, Oxford (BA)
School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University (PG Dip.)
OccupationBroadcaster, writer, strategic communications consultant
Children3

Guto Harri (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈɡɪtɔ.hariː]; born 8 July 1966) is a Welsh broadcaster, writer and strategic communications consultant.

Harri spent 18 years as a journalist at the BBC. From 2008 to 2012 he was director of external affairs for the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.[1] He has since worked in a number of roles, first at News International from 2012 to 2015, and from 2016 to 2017 at Liberty Global. In 2018 Harri joined Hanover Communications as a vice president.[2] He left in March 2020 to join Hawthorn Advisors. He remains a director of Hydro Industries.

Background

Guto Harri was born in Cardiff to writer and psychiatrist Harri Pritchard-Jones and Lenna (née Harries).[3][4] A native Welsh speaker, he studied at Tonyrefail School and Ysgol Bryntaf,[5] before attending Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari.[3] Following his A Levels, Harri was accepted into The Queen's College, Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics and economics (PPE).[6] He then undertook a postgraduate course in Broadcast Journalism at Cardiff University.[3]

Career

He started his career in Welsh-language radio before moving into network radio and television. He remained a regular contributor on the S4C news programme Newyddion[5] as well as on a number of historical documentaries for S4C.[5] He later presented a number of BBC Wales' main election programmes.[5]

Harri was a regular presenter on BBC television and radio programmes such as The World at One,[7] Westminster Live, Straight Talk, Despatch Box and The World This Weekend.[5] He covered the collapse of Communism in Romania, Czechoslovakia and East Germany before reporting on the Gulf War from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and northern Iraq.[5] He became the BBC's chief political correspondent in November 2002[3] and also presented the channel's weekly interview programme, One To One.[3] He moved briefly to Rome from July 2004 to January 2005 and then became North America business correspondent based in New York City until June 2007.

After leaving the BBC at the end of 2007, he was approached to work for Conservative Party leader David Cameron, but joined London public relations agency Fleishman-Hillard as a senior policy advisor, reportedly spending four days as an adviser to Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.[4] In May 2008 he was appointed communications director for Mayor of London Boris Johnson's administration at London City Hall.[1] Harri joined News UK in May 2012 as a director of communications and corporate affairs, but left in December 2015, remarking that he was leaving with the "job done" after the fallout over phone hacking at the company.[8]

He then joined Virgin Media owner Liberty Global in February 2016 as their managing director of external communications.[9][10] He left the role in December 2017.

In May 2018 Harri took a part-time role with London PR firm Hanover Communications as a vice president,[2] for GQ magazine as a contributing political editor,[11] and also for Hydro Industries, a water treatment company based in Llanelli where he is a director.[12][13]

Since June 2018 he has presented the S4C current affairs television programme, Y Byd yn ei Le.[14]

In May 2021, it was announced that Harri would be joining GB News as co-host of a weekly news and discussion programme.[15] On 13 July 2021 Harri took the knee on GB News to show support for the England football team's kneeling for anti-racism; following backlash from viewers, GB News suspended him indefinitely for failing to maintain the editorial standards expected by the network.[16][17] Shortly afterwards he resigned from GB News,[18] having written in The Sunday Times that the channel was "becoming an absurd parody" that was replicating cancel culture on the far right.[19][20]

Harri is a board director of Hawthorn Advisors, a communications consultancy based in London.[21]

Family and personal life

Harri grew up in Rhondda Cynon Taf. He married his wife, Shireen, in 2000 and has three children.[22] In 2005 Harri published an advert in the Western Mail seeking a Welsh-speaking nanny for their two children while he worked for the BBC in New York, in which he argued the importance of the language in bringing up his children.[23] Outside of work he says he enjoys rowing, sailing, fishing and cooking.[4]

Harri is a trustee for S4C and a member of the S4C authority appointed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. He is also a non-executive board member for Hay-on-Wye book festival.[citation needed] He was previously a trustee for UK-based cultural NGO Visiting Arts.[24] Harri is trained and serves as a volunteer crew member on the River Thames for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.[25] He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of South Wales.[3]

References

  1. ^ a b "Ex-BBC man is Johnson spokesman". BBC News. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Guto Harri". Hanover Communications. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Honorary Doctorate for political broadcaster, Guto Harri". www.southwales.ac.uk. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Prior, Neil (21 May 2012). "From Boris to Murdoch for PR man". BBC News. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Guto Harri". BBC News. 20 October 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  6. ^ Mulholland, Hélène (4 May 2012). "Top Boris Johnson aide may quit City Hall". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  7. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (9 May 2008). "New recruit: Boris Johnson appoints Guto Hari". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  8. ^ Sweney, Mark (10 November 2015). "News UK PR chief Guto Harri to leave after three years". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  9. ^ Mulholl, Hélène (20 May 2012). "Boris Johnson's former aide takes PR job with News International". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  10. ^ Sweney, Mark (21 December 2015). "News UK PR chief Guto Harri to join Virgin Media owner Liberty Global". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  11. ^ Harri, Guto (13 May 2019). "The Vatican has proved that, if you want a decision made quickly, you need to lock them in". British GQ. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  12. ^ "HYDRO INDUSTRIES LIMITED - Filing History (free information from Companies House)". Companies House. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Meet the team - Guto Harri". Hydro Industries. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Guto Harri yn rhoi'r byd yn ei le mewn cyfres newydd". Lleol.Cymru (in Welsh). 12 June 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Guto Harri joins new TV channel GB News". Nation.Cymru. 29 May 2021. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  16. ^ Waterson, Jim (16 July 2021). "GB News pulls Guto Harri off air after 'taking the knee' row". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  17. ^ "GB News says presenter Guto Harri breached standards by taking the knee". BBC News. 16 July 2021. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  18. ^ Brown, Mark (18 July 2021). "Guto Harri quits GB News as Nigel Farage is given prime-time show". The Observer. London.
  19. ^ Harri, Guto (18 July 2021). "They claim to believe in free speech, but not when I took the knee". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 17 August 2021. I joined, part-time but with an ongoing commitment, because I liked and trusted those in charge and supported the broad vision. But the channel is rapidly becoming an absurd parody of what it proclaimed to be. Rather than defending free speech and confronting cancel culture, it has set out to replicate it on the far right.
  20. ^ "Harri 'quits GB News following row over taking the knee". RTE News. 19 July 2021. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  21. ^ "Our People". Hawthorn Advisors. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  22. ^ "BBC Press Office biography".
  23. ^ "Guto seeks Welsh-speaking nanny". WalesOnline. 1 June 2005. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  24. ^ "Visiting Arts Board".
  25. ^ "Guto Harri". Atlantic Speaker Bureau. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
Media offices Preceded byNick Robinson Chief Political Correspondent: BBC News 2002–2004 Succeeded byJames Landale