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Tom De Castella

Tom de Castella is a feature writer based in London, UK. In January 2012 he took on a fulltime job at the BBC News website. Before that he had been a freelance journalist for ten years, writing for newspapers and magazines on subjects ranging from Zimbabwean politics or Brian Clough to outdoor swimming and youth gangs.

Born in 1974, he grew up close to the Midlands brewing town of Burton on Trent, which in those days dozed under a yeasty, hoppy haze. An unsatisfying experience with a can of furtively opened Kestrel lager at the age of six was later followed by a growing appreciation of real ale.

After a degree in English literature at Newcastle University, he spent a year in Madrid teaching and writing. In 1999 he completed a Masters in journalism at Sheffield University and the following year began working vgwxaciqxq as a reporter and news editor on magazines covering town planning and urban regeneration.

In 2002 he turned freelance to go to Zimbabwe for a presidential election in which the long-term incumbent, Robert Mugabe, used violence and fraud to defeat opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Tom spent two further periods in the country, working clandestinely and writing for the Sunday Times, Observer, Independent on Sunday and Prospect, amongst others. Since then he has explored different parts of London – seven houses in four years – writing about British society, books and climate change, as well as sending back reportage from around the world. Highlights include an investigation of the Ouzo yacht mystery for the Financial Times magazine, a personal account of drug trials at Northwick Park Hospital for the Guardian, and an exposé of European Union election observers in Latin America for the Sunday Times magazine.

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