Andrew Jennings has been chasing bad men around the world for more than three decades. The 1980s were spent investigating the curious relationship between London's top gangster and the city's top detective. Andrew made a one-hour documentary but the BBC refused to show it. He resigned and, with Paul Greengrass (United 93, The Bourne Ultimatum), remade it in 1986 for Granada TV's World In Action programme. That brought the first award.
MEETING THE MAFIA
Next he went digging into the Sicilian Mafia – and filming nose to nose with the Mob in Palermo as they exported tonnes of heroin to England and America. This was essential preparation for his next investigation: the International Olympic Committee.
Revealing that the IOC’s president was an unrepentant jack-booting, right-arm waving Franco fascist got him a 5-day suspended jail sentence in Lausanne, Switzerland. Blue-shirted Juan Antonio Samaranch denied the photographic evidence and lied his head off in court as senior IOC members and officials nodded their heads supportively.
Since March 2003 Andrew has been the only reporter in the world banned from FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s press conferences. The Maximum Leader of the People’s Game fears that Andrew might wave embarrassing documents from his unique archive of confidential FIFA scandals.
FOUL! - Andrew’s new book about FIFA corruption is now in 15 languages despite an attempt by Herr Blatter using FIFA funds in Switzerland to persuade a Zurich court to impose a global ban (Yes, global, really!)
After 20 years elsewhere Andrew was welcomed back into the bosom of the BBC and his first Panorama programme in 2006 had violence and bad language – all off the pitch, by FIFA officials and directed at him. There have been two more since, the most recent on November 29, 2010, days before FIFA voted the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 edition to Qatar.
FISTFULS OF CAVIAR
At other times he’s been traumatised by Syrian artillery in Beirut, charmed by the Sandinistas on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, devoured illicit fistfuls of caviar with Chechen gangsters in the Caucasus mountains and been disgusted by a Utah polygamist parading his five teenage brides in a trailer park at the end of 100 miles of dirt track. The sixth was sulking and wouldn’t come out to be interviewed.
Andrew Jennings has won lots of awards in Europe and America. He writes for media everywhere, tabloid and highbrow, his television films are shown globally, he delivers polemics at academic conferences, contributes peer-reviewed essays to academic publications and urges journalism students to write investigations stylishly and humorously.
Some books . . .
1989: Scotland Yard's Cocaine Connection. The story of the strange relationship between London's top gangster and the city's top detective - and how the cop never arrested the crook who organised Britain's biggest ever cocaine importation.
1992: The Lords of the Rings was a smash hit translated into 13 languages. The Lords and its disclosures of Olympic corruption and the fascist background of the IOC president changed world perceptions of the organization forever. Published in USA as Dishonest Games. Sports Illustrated lists it as one of the Top One Hundred Sports Books of all Time.
1996: The New Lords of the Rings: Olympic Corruption & How to Buy Gold Medals. Top of the UK best-selling sports books list for five weeks and in top ten of all sports books published that year. Translated into German, Danish, Norwegian, Japanese and Spanish. Pirated in Chinese - twice, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and in Korean.
2000: The Great Olympic Swindle. The explosive story of organised crime and the Olympics, how the IOC fooled the world into thinking it reformed itself after the cash-and-sex-for-votes scandals - and the secret documents revealing how the IOC spent $2 million on American spin-doctors to mislead a pliant media.
2006: Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote-rigging and Ticket Scandals. Harper Collins