Cole Moreton is a writer and broadcaster whose BBC Radio 4 series The Boy Who Gave His Heart Away won multiple awards including Best Documentary in the BBC Radio Awards, Best Writing at the World’s Best Radio Awards in New York and the coveted gold for Audio Moment of the Year at the Arias (formerly known as the Sonys), the industry Oscars run by the Radio Academy.
Cole has written and presented other series and documentaries for BBC Radio 4 including The Lost Cockney Voice, Waco: Surviving The Apocalypse and the ground-breaking special The Walk: For Richer, For Poorer – an immersive, deeply moving walk from Harrods Food Hall to a food bank, talking to the super rich and those who are struggling. Cole also presented the Sunday programme for Radio 4, with a one-hour special on art and spirituality.
His numerous radio and television appearances as an expert contributor include The Big Questions, Newsnight, Today and The Moral Maze. He is the co-creator of the Edge of England podcast exploring life in the landscape around Beachy Head.
Cole interviews people for the Mail on Sunday and was named Interviewer of the Year at the Press Awards 2016, then shortlisted again in 2018. His writing has appeared in the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Sunday Times, among many other.
As chief feature writer of the Sunday Telegraph he produced reports, features, analysis and comment on major events from the Olympics to the death of Nelson Mandela. Cole pioneered new ways of telling stories online and on social media as well as in print, incorporating short films, video diaries and pieces to camera.
During a decade on staff at The Independent on Sunday he learned to handle big stories on the other side of the desk, as an editor as well as a writer. Cole ran the features, comment and foreign sections at various times as executive editor and was part of the team that designed and launched the IOS as Britain’s first quality compact Sunday newspaper. He was among colleagues nominated twice for Team of the Year at the Press Awards, for coverage of 9/11 and the London bombings.
Cole is a skilled interviewer, adept at listening and asking the right questions regardless of the background or standing of the person he is with. His specialist interests include national identity, culture and emerging forms of spirituality. He has also written at length about the arts, particularly music and literature.
The first of Cole’s four non-fiction books was Hungry For Home: A Journey To America From The Edge Of Ireland and published by Viking. This combination of journalism, travelogue and dramatised true events told the story of the evacuation of the Great Blasket Island in County Kerry and followed the journey taken by the islanders to new lives in the United States. It was shortlisted for the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for a first book in any genre, alongside White Teeth by Zadie Smith.
His second book was called My Father Was A Hero (Viking) and told the story of the men and women who returned home to London after WW2 but could not handle peace time. His third book Is God Still An Englishman? How Britain Lost Its Faith (But Found New Soul) was published by Little, Brown. It explores the dramatic changes in British culture and spirituality over the last 30 years and celebrates the possibilities for the future.
His fourth book was a retelling of the story of The Boy Who Gave His Heart Away for HarperCollins. His debut novel The Light Keeper will be published in August 2019.
Cole has spoken at many literary festivals and events including Cheltenham, Ways With Words and Greenbelt. He has been a visiting lecturer at Westminster University and a former tutor for the Arvon Foundation.
After joining the Waltham Forest Guardian at the age of 16 and training as a journalist, he went on to work as a writer in refugee camps around the world, including Asia and Africa, before returning to this country to graduate with a First Class degree in Contemporary Writing (English, in plain English). Cole is based in London and East Sussex, where he spends as much time as possible staring out to sea. He is a father of four, three of whom came at once.
His literary agent Elizabeth Sheinkman is firstname.lastname@example.org. Cole can also be contacted directly via the following form: