An only child, and brought up in Carshalton Beeches, she was a voracious reader and dreamed of being an explorer. Although she was rebellious at school, and at one point was asked to leave, she won a place at Oxford and went on to edit the university newspaper. While working as an intern for the Financial Times, she interviewed Benazir Bhutto and was invited to her wedding in Pakistan. That experience led to her determination to be a reporter from the front line.
Her work has taken her to South Africa, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, and among her best-selling books are two which tell the stories of remarkable young women - Nujeen Mustafa who escaped from Aleppo in her wheelchair, and the Nobel prize-winner Malala Yousafzai.
Presenter: Kirsty Young
Producer: Cathy Drysdale.