James Mossman

Presenter, Author

1926 – 1971


Who was James Mossman?

David James Mossman was a British journalist, broadcaster, a TV reporter, film-maker, interviewer and former MI6 agent with a famously acerbic interviewing style. He once verbally attacked then-Prime Minister Harold Wilson live on air, over his support of US President Lyndon Johnson over the Vietnam War. On another occasion, he took the Singapore prime minister to task for his habit of throwing his political opponents in jail.

A member of the Panorama team in the 1960s specialising in foreign affairs, he was reassigned to presenting regular arts slot by the BBC because of the controversy around his interviewing style.

With producer David Webster, he made two notable programmes about the 1964 US presidential election: A Choice or an Echo, about the differences between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater; and Thunder on the Left, about the Right-wingers surrounding Goldwater.

Generally recognised to be very handsome, he had a Canadian male lover called Louis Hanssen. Hanssen was married and 8 years younger than Mossman. He died in 1968 of an accidental overdose. Work colleagues of Mossman described Hanssen as domineering.

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Sep 10, 1926
  • United Kingdom
Apr 5, 1971

on July 23, 2013


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