BBC News Clive Myrie reveals why he and wife gave up on having children

Clive and Catherine Myrie in formal dress at a function
-Credit: (Image: Alpha Press)

BBC newsreader Clive Myrie has shared the reason he and his wife of 25 years decided not to have children.

The 59 year old Mastermind presenter, who has covered stories in over 80 countries and held positions in Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Washington, is wedded to upholsterer and furniture restorer Catherine. The pair first crossed paths in 1992 at a book launch about Swiss cheese - it was 'love at first sight' for Clive.

Despite marrying six years later, the couple chose not to have kids. As he gears up for the launch of his 2023 memoir, Everything Is Everything: A Memoir Of Love, Hate And Hope, Clive bares all regarding their choice.

When questioned if his demanding occupation influenced their decision, Clive, known for reporting from global warzones, responded: "It wasn't the danger of the job, just the travelling."

He expanded on this, saying: "We felt it would be selfish on children to drag them around the world. We've come from big families. I'm from a family of seven (children), Catherine's from a family of five kids. We weren't desperate for some kind of familial glue. You get to the point where it's much more difficult to have a child and then you realise, do we really want that anyway? ", reports the Mirror.

The seasoned journalist, with a television career spanning over three decades, disclosed that he and Catherine attempted to have a child when they were younger but "nothing seemed to be happening". Over time, the couple concluded that parenthood was not for them and they don't regret their decision.

"We were trying for a child, nothing seemed to be happening. Then we ended up moving and realised that it would be quite unfair because we just love travelling so much, " Clive shared with The Times. "We gradually decided it wasn't for us. We come from such big families, our get-togethers are always huge. We've led a fully and happy life and we dote on our nephews and nieces," he continued.

Clive's parents Lynne and Norris are part of the Windrush generation and migrated to England from Jamaica in the early 1960s before settling in Bolton. The racism the family endured and that Clive continues to face since appearing on TV - is a significant topic he discusses in his memoir.

He has received racist letters, emails, and messages, had faeces sent to him, and received a card featuring a gorilla with the message: 'We don't want you on our TV screens'. In 2017, he received a death threat which investigators deemed serious.

In an exclusive interview with the Press Association, Clive said: "I think things have improved, things are easier now, you will be judged on your capabilities and your abilities now, much more fairly than when I started in journalism and when Trevor McDonald (one of his inspirations) started, going further back. But when my parents came from Jamaica to this country, it was legal for them not to be served in a pub."

Clive detailed how he coped with the abuse he had been subjected to, admitting: "It used to get me angry and was upsetting. We all want to be liked, to be appreciated. To be attacked for something like the colour of your skin, that it results in bile, death threats and in extreme cases real murder (threats), is discombobulating because it's so ridiculous. There's nothing logical about racism."

He also mentioned still facing intolerance from individuals who feel there is too much emphasis on racial discussions in what they perceive as an evolved society. "(They think) This guy's done ok, he should be grateful that Britain gave him and his family an opportunity. No suggestion at all that I might have worked my a*** off for this. That is racism because the assumption is that it's been given to me through some box-ticking exercise."

Lastly, Clive remarked: "As I've got older and perhaps wiser, it's just sad. It's just pathetic. These people who reach for racist taunts are very sad, pathetic human beings and may be inadequate in some way themselves."

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