Clive Myrie hit back at questions over Ukraine reporting: Cant find the words!

Clive Myrie addresses loss of American journalist in Ukraine

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Mastermind host and frontline news reporter Clive Myrie hosts Have I got News For You tonight. He welcomes writer and comedian Andy Hamilton and fellow journalist Helen Lewis to join regulars Ian Hislop and Paul Merton as they delve into the news. Then, on Saturday, Clive welcomes Jeremy Edwards, Sonali Shah, Dave Rowntree and Camilla Tominey to take on the black chair on Celebrity Mastermind. The contestants take on one specialist subject and one general knowledge round in the popular quiz format.

Clive is instantly recognisable thanks to his spot on Mastermind, replacing the legendary John Humphrys last year, but this has also caused him some annoyance.

He is a journalist by trade, having worked at the BBC for 30 years.

But Clive spoke recently about his work covering the conflict in Ukraine, and how many viewers have questioned why he is there.

The journalist said many viewers thought he was just a presenter.

Earlier this month, he was asked on Today by presenter Nick Robinson, who had also reported live from Ukraine following the invasion: “Are you having some people coming up to you saying ‘what’s that bloke from Mastermind doing out in a war?’”

Clive replied: “I’m struggling to find the words to deal with this kind of question, because at the end of the day… I’ve been a journalist for 30 years. I’m actually a journalist, not a presenter.”

He added: “I know that there have been complaints from some people saying, ‘Why has a presenter gone out to report on the war?’ I am a reporter as well.

“My job is not to sit behind a desk reading a damn autocue. It’s to get out there and tell stories and I do it all the time.

Clive spent two weeks in Kyiv after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Writing for the BBC, Clive recalled the fear palpable among those sheltering in make-shift bomb shelters in Kyiv.

He wrote: “There was a real fear foreign saboteurs were moving among the population and anyone caught outdoors would have been arrested.

“You could see the nervousness on the faces of the soldiers and partisans manning checkpoints, despite the black balaclavas shielding them from the cold. Their eyes told stories of apprehension, concern, worry and existential threat.”

On the constant attacks being inflicted on Ukraine by Russia, he added: “The city was awash with rumour and dread. Who might that be in the bomb shelter next to you, who is listening in to your conversation in the bread queue? Best stay indoors and observe the curfew.

“Villages, towns and cities across the land saw a vanishing, as citizens descended underground to subterranean worlds of refuge.”

Clive also opened up on his shock after seeing a woman feeding pigeons, despite the ongoing bombardment.

He said: “I can’t get the image of the woman feeding the pigeons out of my head. She was risking bombs and missiles to feed the pigeons.

“For me, she represents strength and courage – the indomitability of an independent state, not the cowering fear of the colonised.”

This week, Clive also discussed how journalists covering conflicts deal with the violence in front of them.

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He told Morning Live: “I am able to compartmentalise. Obviously there are images and there are things that you see that will stick with you, possibly for the rest of your life.

“I think if you’re not able to disentangle yourself from what you see during the day and what you experience, later on in the night when you’re with your family and friends, then I think there is potentially a problem.”

Clive also said it’s not the case that reporters covering conflicts are “adrenaline junkies”.

He added: “I can tell you none of us like danger, and as far as adrenaline is concerned I can get that from going to a very good opera.

“So that’s not why we do it. We are just journalists and we happen to report from time to time from conflicts.”

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