The Wine Down with Laithwaites and John Simpson

John Simpson has been reporting for the BBC for more than five decades.

He’s been tortured, was the victim of a faux execution and has reported while under fire. All of that experience gave him the context for his second novel, Our Friends in Beijing.

Telling the story of Jon Swift (loosely based on the author himself), Our Friends in Beijing settles some scores, John admits!

Following his appearance at Henley Literary Festival, John joined Laithwaites’ Grant Hedley for a glass of wine and a chat about his career.

We poured him a glass of Domaine des Tourelles Rouge du Liban, made in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, an area John is now stranger to.

You can watch our interview with Iain below and stay tuned for more author videos from The Wine Down with Laithwaites including Elizabeth Day, Iain MacGregorCandice Brathwaite and Sir Vince Cable.

Laithwaites is proud to be sponsoring Henley Literary Festival for a tenth consecutive year.

About Laithwaite's Wine

We’re wine nuts, not wine snobs. We’ve been exploring the world on a mission to find great wine for the last 50 years. If you love adventure as much as we do, you belong with us. We know our winegrowers like family – and in some cases they actually are. Expect to hear from these legends of the soil, see behind the scenes access into vineyards and wineries and get news on fresh finds from our travels on this page. Drink responsibly. Visit for further health information. You must be aged 18 or over to follow.

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