BROADCASTING titan turned politician Martin Bell OBE will discuss his long service as the BBC war correspondent and years as an independent MP at Selby Town Hall on June 2 at 8pm.

"Martin has led the most extraordinary and exceptional life. Any one of the ventures he has been involved in would be worthy of a full show," says Chris Jones, Selby Town Council's arts officer.

“The tales from his three decades as a war correspondent would be enough on their own to keep you on the edge of your seat for a great many evenings, but when you add in his foray into politics and subsequent work for UNICEF, there's a positive treasure trove of great stories to be heard.

"This is a rare opportunity to spend time with one of the UK’s greatest ever broadcast journalists in an intimate evening of fascinating stories, as well as a chance for audience members to ask their own questions."

Bell joined the BBC in 1962 and was soon appointed chief Washington correspondent, covering the civil rights movement and the death of Martin Luther King before becoming a war reporter. Known as "the man in the white suit", he was assigned to 18 different conflicts in a broadcast career lasting more than 30 years, covering wars in Vietnam, Nigeria, Angola, El Salvador, Nicaragua, the Gulf, Rwanda, Croatia and Bosnia among others, even giving evidence on five occasions to the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.

He was wounded by mortar fire in Sarajevo in 1992, spending two weeks in a United Nations Field Hospital until fit to return home in a military aircraft alongside injured personnel.

Bell took his fearless style of probing into the Houses of Parliament from 1997 to 2001 on being elected as the first independent MP in nearly 50 years, defeating the Conservative incumbent, Neil Hamilton, in Tatton a year after Hamilton was accused of receiving payments in exchange for asking question in Parliament. He achieved a swing of 48 per cent and a winning majority of more than 11,000 votes.

Bell is now part of Britain's 22-strong team of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors, representing UNICEF in Tajikistan, Malawi, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Yemen and South Sudan.

Bell was awarded the OBE in 1993 and has twice been named Royal Television Society Reporter of the Year. He won the Sandford St Martin prize for religious broadcasting, has written eight books and even has a chrysanthemum named after him.

Tickets for An Evening With Martin Bell OBE cost £17 on 01757 708449 or at or £19 on the door from 7.30pm.