Dan Wooding’s career must rate as one of the most unusual in journalism. For he has gone from being a correspondent for the National Enquirer and a staffer on two of Britain’s raciest tabloids, to an undercover reporter and campaigner for persecuted Christians in the restricted countries of the world.
Wooding, 76, who lived for a time in Liverpool England and was later educated at Queensbridge School, Moseley, Birmingham, England, began his journalistic career in 1968 in London, England, with The Christian, Britain’s oldest evangelical newspaper, rising to become its chief reporter. During that time, he interviewed people like Coretta Scott King and did the last-ever interview with Mahalia Jackson. He then moved to the Middlesex County Times in Ealing, London, where he wrote some of the earliest stories on the Monty Python team, who made most of their programs in Ealing.
After five years with this local paper, when he also became a correspondent for all of Britain’s national newspapers, including The Times, he was given a staff job as a senior reporter with the Sunday People in London, which has 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, Johnny Mathis, Burt Lancaster, David Soul, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr from The Beatles. He also interviewed Mother Teresa in Calcutta. Wooding was also a London-based correspondent for the National Enquirer, America’s largest circulation tabloid and later worked as a senior reporter with Britain’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, Burma, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Grenada, Lebanon, North Korea, Romania, Uganda and Vietnam, to name some of the hot spots. In fact, he is one of the few Christian journalists to be able to report from inside North Korea, where he provided daily 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 10 years on the UPI Radio Network. He has worked as a writer and broadcaster with Billy Graham in Moscow, Russia; Essen, Germany and, more recently, 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.
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 of ASSIST News Service a daily news service that sends stories to some 2,000 media around the world.
While still in London, Dan was a reporter for BBC Radio 1. In the United States, he has been the co-host of the popular TV show, The Hollywood Connection, as well as a regular guest on the “700 Club” and on the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Joy program. He also is a regular guest on various radio and TV stations in the US, UK and New Zealand.
He hosts the weekly Front Page Radio who which is carried each Sunday at 2:00 PM on KWVE 107.9 FM in Southern California and many other Calvary Chapel stations across the US. He also hosts two weekly television shows, Windows the World and Inside Hollywood with Dan Wooding, which features interviews with Christians working in the entertainment business. Both can be found at www.assistnews.net, which is his website.
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 and broadcasting.
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 eight of the 45 books he has written. One of them 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 Wooding a special award for his journalism at their annual media breakfast in Beverly Hills, California, in March, 2002.
One of his books, From Tabloid to Truth, which is his autobiography, came out on February 13, 2004 and more information can be found at www.FromTabloidToTruth.com. He has since released “Red Dagger,” his first novel, a thriller based in Gaza. Dan’s latest novel is Mary: My Story from Bethlehem to Calvary (http://marythebook.com/), which is a novel about the life of Jesus, through the eyes of his beloved mother. It is based on some 365 scriptures.
Wooding was born in Nigeria of missionary parents who were both from Liverpool, England. He has toured Southeast Asia and other parts of the world as a speaker. He has been married to Norma for 54 years and they have two sons, Andrew and Peter, who are both journalists in the UK, and six grandchildren.