Dan Wooding's career must rate as one of the most unusual in journalism and broadcasting. For he has gone from being a correspondent for the National Enquirer and a staffer on two of Britain's raciest tabloids - the Sunday People and the Sunday Mirror - as well as an interviewer for BBC Radio 1, to an undercover reporter and campaigner for persecuted Christians in the restricted countries of the world.
Wooding, 72, was born in Nigeria, West Africa, in 1940, the son of British missionary parents, Alf and Anne Wooding, who were both from Liverpool and met and married in Nigeria. He has toured Southeast Asia and other parts of the world as a speaker and has been married to Norma for 50 years and they have two sons, Andrew and Peter. Andrew lives in Sheffield, England, and has written eight books himself. Peter, who lives in North Wales, is the director of ASSIST Europe and is also the CBN correspondent for the UK and is regularly featured on CBN with his news reports. Dan and Norma have six grandchildren, all living in the UK.
Educated at Queensbridge School, Moseley, Birmingham, England, Wooding began his journalistic career in 1968 in London, England, with The Christian, Britain's oldest evangelical newspaper, rising to become its chief reporter. His first-ever interview for the paper, then owned by Billy Graham, was with Coretta Scott King at St. Paul's Cathedral where she was due to speak at a memorial service for her late husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Shortly after that, he did the last-ever interview with the legendary black Gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, two days before she passed away.
When The Christian closed, he then moved to the Middlesex County Times in Ealing, London, where he wrote the first-ever story on the Monty Python team, who made most of their programs in Ealing.
After five years with this local paper where he became the Chief Reporter, he also became a correspondent for all of Britain's national newspapers, including The Times, and eventually was given a staff job as a senior reporter with the Sunday People in London, which at that time had the second highest circulation of any newspaper in Europe. Specializing in crime, religion and show business, he interviewed people like Ronnie Kray, Britain's most infamous gangster, Robert Wagner, Johnny Mathis, Burt Lancaster, David Soul, as well as Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr from The Beatles.
In 1975, he flew to India to interview Mother Teresa in Calcutta and Wooding was also a London-based correspondent for the National Enquirer, America's largest circulation tabloid and later worked as a senior reporter with London's Sunday Mirror.
After a spiritual renewal in his life, Wooding left this form of journalism and has specialized in eyewitness reporting of persecuted Christians around the world. He has filed stories from Albania, Argentina, Burma, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gaza and the West Bank, Grenada, India, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malawi, Nicaragua, North Korea, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam, to name some of the hot spots. (He was one of the first-ever Christian journalists to be invited to report from North Korea and he spent a week there filing stories for the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC.)
His articles on Christians being persecuted for their faith are published worldwide and his weekly commentary was carried for ten years on the UPI Radio Network.
Besides his reporting activities, he has also assisted in taking Bibles behind the then Iron Curtain to Russia and Romania, and also to Cuba.
Wooding has worked as a writer and broadcaster with Billy Graham in Moscow, Russia; Essen, Germany and in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He wrote the cover story on Billy Graham, his wife Ruth, and son Franklin, for the March/April 1996 issue of the Saturday Evening Post and also the cover story for the re-launch of Plain Truth magazine on Billy Graham.
Wooding is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) based in Lake Forest, California, and is the president and chief editor of the ASSIST News Service that sends stories to 2,600 media outlets around the world. People can get a free subscription to the ASSIST News Service by going to http://www.assist-ministries.com/feedbkdan/index.htm
While still in London, Dan was a reporter for BBC Radio 1. In the United States, he has been the co-host of the TV show, The Hollywood Connection, as well as a regular guest on the 700 Club. He is now a host of His Channel Live, a one-hour live Internet TV talk show that that goes out to 192 countries. (www.hischannel.com).
Dan also hosts a weekly half-hour radio show called Front Page Radio, which is carried each Sunday at 5:00 PM on KWVE 107.9 FM (www.kwve.com) in Southern California and on many of the Calvary Chapel stations in the US and also on Calvary Chapel Radio in the UK, and Lighthouse Radio in Belize.
Dan Wooding is a member of the National Union of Journalists and the International Press Association, and, since moving with his family to the United States in 1982, Wooding has received numerous awards for his writing.
In 1984, he was awarded the Bronze Halo award from the Southern California Motion Picture Council for his stories on the "Suffering Church." The Evangelical Press Association in the USA awarded him first prize in their 1984 "Higher Goals" contest for his eyewitness reporting from war-torn Lebanon. In February 1987, he received a Silver Angel from the Hollywood-based Religion in Media organization for eyewitness reporting from Albania. The Friends of the Library of the University of California, Irvine, has honored him with awards for 8 of the 45 books he has written. One of the latest is Blind Faith, which he co-authored with his 93-year-old mother, tells the moving story of her work as a pioneer Braille Missionary amongst the blind people of Nigeria. Queen Elizabeth has subsequently honored the book. The Christian Film & TV Commission based in Hollywood, California, gave Dan Wooding a special award for his journalism at their annual media breakfast in Beverly Hills, California, in March, 2002.
He was also among those honored at last year's British Pakistani Christian Awards event held in London, England, on Friday, November 9, 2012. Wooding was given his top award in the category "Best help from a non-Pakistani Christian" for his work as a journalist and broadcaster in shedding light on the persecution of Christians in Pakistan.
Wooding's autobiography, From Tabloid to Truth (www.FromTabloidToTruth.com), was released on February 13, 2004, and carries a foreword by Brother Andrew - "God's Smuggler" - with whom Dan worked as a writer for seven years.
Rick Warren, author of the best-selling book, "The Purpose Driven Life," endorsed the book saying, "Dan Wooding has lived one of the most amazing and exciting lives you could ever imagine. This is a book you won't put down once you pick it up!"
One of his latest books, Red Dagger, is a fast-moving novel based mainly in Gaza and Israel, but also in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Veteran American entertainer, Pat Boone, said of the book, "Red Dagger is a gripping novel about terror, betrayal and redemption. Much of it is set in Gaza, but also features a Northern Ireland terrorist and an American journalist who, after moving to London, finds himself spending too much time in a bar called 'The Stab in the Back' with other drunken hacks. The conclusion of the book has a most dramatic twist that held my attention right to the very end. I enthusiastically endorse Red Dagger, which is written by one of the world's most traveled journalists."
Since then, besides Mary: My Story from Bethlehem to Calvary, three more of his books have been published. They are: Caped Crusader -- Rick Wakeman in the 1970s, with a foreword by Sir Elton John, Terry Dene: Britain's First Rock and Roll Rebel, with a foreword by British superstar, Marty Wilde, and King Squealer, with Maurice O'Mahoney, with a foreword by Rick Wakeman.
Dan Wooding can be contacted at ASSIST, PO Box 2126, Lake Forest, CA 92609, USA.
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