In the 1980s and 90s, Martin Sixsmith was a foreign correspondent for BBC television, spending five years in Moscow, where he covered the presidencies of Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, four years in Washington, four years in Brussels and two years in Warsaw.
Between 1997 and 2002 he worked for the British Government as Director of Communications and Press Secretary to several cabinet ministers. He is now an author, presenter and journalist. He was a consultant on the BBC2 political sitcom The Thick of It and the 2010 movie In the Loop. His book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee was made into the film Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, which was nominated for four Oscars.
In 2011, he presented the BBC’s 50-episode history of Russia. In 2014 he presented Radio Four’s 25-part history of psychology and psychiatry.
His non-fiction books include Moscow Coup (1997); The Litvinenko File (2008); Russia, A Thousand Year Chronicle of the Wild East (2011); Putin’s Oil (2012); The War of Nerves – Inside the Cold War Mind (2021). An Unquiet Heart (2019) tells the story of the Russian poet Sergei Yesenin and the remarkable women who loved him. The Russia Conundrum, written with the former oligarch, political prisoner and democracy campaigner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, will be published on 8 September.