Jonathan Maitland

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Jonathan Maitland (b.1961) is a Jewish broadcaster and writer in Britain.

Personal life

Despite his surname (of Norman-Scottish origins), Maitland's mother is Jewish and was born in Haifa, Israel. He describes himself as non-religious. Aged three he was sent to a boarding school, and at 13 his mother turned the family hotel in Ewell, Surrey, into a retreat for homosexuals. He was later educated at Epsom College and graduated from King's College London with a degree in law. He lives in west London with his wife Helena and their son, Manny. He has two stepsons, Ivo and Felix.


Maitland started his journalism career as a reporter on a local free-sheet, The Sutton Guardian. He reported for BBC Radio Bristol from 1986 to 1988 and also for the BBC Radio 4's highly political "Today" programme from 1988-1994. From 1995-1998 he presented and reported the BBC TV's "Watchdog" programme. One item, about annoying dress codes at golf clubs, saw him take to the fairways in a leather mini skirt with a pair of deer antlers on his head. When challenged he pointed out that neither breached the long list of forbidden clothing.

In 1999 he joined ITV to present the BAFTA nominated "House Of Horrors'", the first show to secretly filmed, which expose dodgy builders. He also hosted "The Man In The Van" and "Vote For Me" for ITV. He has presented and reported for the channel's flagship current affairs show "Tonight" since 1999.

He writes for newspapers and magazines and has written comedy sketches and songs with, or for, the satirists Chris Morris, Rory Bremner and actor Alistair McGowan.


He has written five books including How to Make your Million from the Internet (and what to do if you don't), which detailed his attempt to make a million from the dot-com boom by mortgaging his house for £50,000, in which he failed. How to Survive your Mother described his unconventional childhood in suburban middle-class Surrey. The rights were bought by ITV but no film was ever made. He also co-authored the authorised biography of singer Eva Cassidy.

He part funded Chris Morris's debut feature film Four Lions (2010) in which he has a cameo as a newsreader. He has co-written (with Chris England) a feature film script called Whatever Happened to Stanley Matthews which has been 'optioned' and is currently in development. His first play, Dead Sheep, about the Geoffrey Howe speech which led to Margaret Thatcher's downfall, is being staged at The Park Theatre in London from 1 April 2015 for six weeks.


Maitland has presented several episodes of "Profile" and two series of "Lyrical Journey", both for Radio 4. The latter, which he devised, involves taking musicians to a place they have written a song about. They then perform it in front of people for whom it has special significance. The series featured songs by the Proclaimers ("Sunshine on Leith"), Squeeze ("Up the Junction"), Deacon Blue ("Raintown") and Billy Bragg ("A13 Trunk Road to the Sea"). It was critically acclaimed and featured on the station's 'Pick of the Week' several times but then "rested" after Series number two by BBC radio executives.

Although possessing no musical talent whatsoever, Maitland played bass for wedding-cum-pub band Surf N Turf for 8 years. In 2002 the group performed his brother Peter's composition I Give In in the Song For Europe contest, hoping to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest on BBC TV. They failed to qualify, coming last.

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