Mark Urban (born 1961) is a British journalist, historian, author,
broadcaster and orientalist, and is currently the Diplomatic Editor
BBC Two's Newsnight.
1 Education and early career
2 Correspondent career
3 Military historian
6 External links
Education and early career
Educated at the independent day schools Rokeby School and King's
College School, Wimbledon, south London, Urban continued his education
London School of Economics.
After graduation, he served in the Army, for nine months as a regular
officer in the
Royal Tank Regiment
Royal Tank Regiment on a Short Service Limited
Commission and four years in the Territorial Army.
Urban joined the
BBC in 1983 as an assistant producer, working on
BBC news programmes. From 1986 to 1990 he was the defence
correspondent of The Independent, before rejoining the
BBC as a
general reporter on Newsnight. From 1993 to 1994 he was Middle East
BBC News, before becoming Newsnight's diplomatic
editor, a role he has held since 1995. He has at times been an
embedded reporter, first with British and then U.S. troops.
In his years on Newsnight, he has reported on many of the most
compelling foreign news stories in the past two decades: the Gulf War;
the attempted coup d'état of 1991 in Moscow; 1993 events in Moscow;
Bosnian War; Middle East peace process; the War in Kosovo; and the
recent US military campaigns in War in Afghanistan and War in Iraq.
In 2009 Urban received a Peace Through Media Award from the
International Council for Press and Broadcasting.
In 2001, Urban published his first book on the Napoleonic Wars in the
Iberian Peninsula. He claims that his study of George Scovell, in The
Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes: The Story of George Scovell,
established him as a narrative historian who could
effectively weave together first-hand accounts of the war without
losing grip on the over-all story. His second narrative history,
Rifles: Six Years with Wellington's Legendary Sharpshooters, published
in 2003, continues the story of the Iberian campaign, through the
history of the famed 95th Rifles. His study of the Royal Welch
Fusiliers followed the same pattern as his earlier successes,
combining first-hand accounts with an overarching narrative.
His book, Task Force Black: The Explosive True Story of the SAS and
the Secret War in Iraq, was published in February 2010 by Little,
Brown, and is, according to early reviews, "a heart-stoppingly vivid
account of the Iraq conflict," particularly the so-called "Black Ops"
efforts at counter-terrorism.
Soviet Land Power (1985) ISBN 9780711014428
War in Afghanistan (1987) ISBN 9780333514771
Big Boys' Rules: The SAS and the secret struggle against the IRA
(1992) ISBN 9780571168095
UK Eyes Alpha: Inside British Intelligence (1996)
The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes: The Story of
George Scovell (2001)
Rifles: Six Years with Wellington's Legendary Sharpshooters (2003)
Generals: Ten British Commanders Who Shaped the World (2005)
Fusiliers: Eight Years with the Redcoats in America (2007)
Task Force Black: The Explosive True Story of the Secret Special
War in Iraq
War in Iraq (2011) ISBN 9780312541279
The Tank War: The British Band of Brothers - One Tank Regiment's World
War II (2014) ISBN 9781408703632
The Edge: Is The Military Dominance Of The West Coming To An End?
(2015) ISBN 9781408705834
^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data,
WorldCat Identities linked authority file
BBC News 2.
Mark Urban bio.
BBC Two. Accessed 13 February 2010.
^ Mark Urban, Debrett's People of Today
^ a b
Mark Urban on Newsnight's coverage of peace and war, 2 February
^ Tony Rennel. "SAS's secret war." The Mail online (London, UK). 13
February 2010. Accessed 13 February 2010.
Newsnight at war, 2 February 2005
Appearances on C-SPAN
Mark Urban on Charlie Rose
Mark Urban on IMDb
Works by or about
Mark Urban in libraries (
ISNI: 0000 0001 1082 8889