John attended Magdalen College, Oxford reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics, before training to be a journalist at Darlington College. His career in journalism started on the Liverpool Echo, before he joined the BBC as a radio reporter, and worked as a war reporting from countries such as Vietnam and Israel. in the early 1980's he became a Political Correspondant and covered the opening sessions of the European Parliament, as well as working on documentaries and radio, including presenting BBC Radio 4 programmes such as "Today" and "The World At One", moving up to the role of the BBC's Chief Political Correspondant in 1992, before changing to ITN.
While studying at Oxford, he was well known for appearing in student comedy revues, and after finishing university, he starred with Alan Bennett in a sketch show for the BBC. This has stood him in good stead, along with memorable performances on shows such as "Have I Got News For You", and since retiring as a journalist, he is in demand to take part in comedy and satire shows, as well as reporting on BBC's "The ONE Show".
John was partnered with professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff, and took part in the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing. They started the series with a charming Waltz which took everyone by surprise, and gained them enough public support to be voted through to the next round where they danced a Tango. They had to tackle latin next with a Samba in week five, which the judges didn't think was good enough and put them at the bottom of the leader board, but again the public kept them in for the next week and another latin dance, the Paso Doble, which scored slightly better and kept them off the bottom with the judges. A Foxtrot followed with another bottom place on the leaderboard, but the couple were saved by the public again. In week eight, it was back to latin with a Cha Cha Cha, and the judges absolutely slated John, with Craig giving them just 1 point and they received just 12 points overall, but John's charm and wit along garnered the public support yet again, and the couple were again saved from the dance-off. They danced an American Smooth in week nine, which led to the judges attempting reverse psychology on the public, and starting to compliment the couple in the hope that this might be the week they were voted into the bottom two, but yet again, they were kept out of the dance-off for another week.
By this time, the media attention for John was widespread across both tabloids and broadsheets as well many discussions on television, and the furore around the public continuing to vote for the couple, led to John making an unprecedented move. During the week before the tenth round of the competition, John announced that he had decided to leave the competition, saying, "The trouble is that there is now a real danger that I might win the competition. Even for me that would be a joke too far." The couple danced a farewell dance in week ten, reprising their Waltz from the very first week of the series. During the whole competition, John tried to maintain his wit and charm, and keep to the spirit of the competition. Meanwhile, throughout the entire series, it was a credit to Kristina that she choreographed beautiful routines to compliment John's ability and style, had the dignity to continue her job in the most professional manner, and was selfless and humble when she finally had to say goodbye to the competition, resulting in an emotional thank you speech full of admiration for both the show and her partner.
Strictly Come Dancing
|1||Waltz||Come Away With Me||5||5||6||6||22|
|3||Tango||Boulevard of Broken Dreams||3||6||6||7||22|
|5||Samba||Papa Loves Mambo||2||4||5||5||16|
|6||Paso doble||Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto||3||6||6||6||21|
|7||Foxtrot||I Wanna Be Loved By You||3||5||6||6||20|
|8||Cha Cha Cha||Twist and Shout||1||3||4||4||12|
|9||American Smooth||True Love Ways||5||6||7||7||25|
Week 1 - Waltz
Week 3 - Tango
Week 5 - Samba
Week 6 - Paso Doble
Week 7 - Foxtrot
Week 8 - Cha Cha Cha