Born in Leeds, John showed an early interest in newspapers when, aged eleven, he wrote the 'Grimthorpe Street Gazette': a one-page paper detailing the latest goings-on in his street. It was a short-lived enterprise, not least as he only had one copy of it - which he charged neighbours a penny to borrow and read.
But it was while working as a journalist at the Yorkshire Post that he heard of a new opening at the BBC - a move that was to change his life forever...
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, John was, to children and parents alike, a friendly guide to the big wide world through Newsround, making news accessible for everyone.
Since then, having presented Countryfile from across the breadth of Britain for 30 years, John has introduced us to the people, landscapes and animals which make it so special.
He has been telling the story of Britain since 1970, and now you can read the story of his own life in this entertaining memoir.