Bridget Kendall MBE (born 27 April 1956) is an English journalist who was the BBC's Diplomatic correspondent working for the corporation's radio and television networks. In July 2016, she became the first female Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge.
Kendall was born in 1956 in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, a daughter of statistician David George Kendall and Diana (née Fletcher). She has two brothers (one of whom is statistician Wilfrid Kendall) and three sisters.
Kendall was educated at Perse School for Girls in Cambridge; she then read Modern Languages at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and spent two years in Russia on British Council scholarships in 1977 and 1982. Her postgraduate Soviet studies took her from St Antony's College, Oxford to Harvard University, where she spent two years as a Harkness Fellow in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Kendall joined the BBC in 1983 as a radio production trainee for the BBC World Service. She was the BBC's Moscow correspondent from 1989 to 1995, and developed her background in Russian politics. She was in Moscow to witness the power struggles in the Soviet Communist party as Mikhail Gorbachev tried to introduce reform, and reported on the break-up of the Soviet Union and the internal conflicts in Chechnya, Georgia and Tajikistan. She sent reports of the coup in August 1991 and covered Boris Yeltsin's rise to power.
Kendall was the BBC's Washington correspondent from 1994, becoming the Corporation's diplomatic correspondent in November 1998. She speaks fluent Russian, and has interviewed world leaders including Vladimir Putin live from the Kremlin as part of an internet webcast in March 2001.
She interviewed King Abdullah of Jordan for the BBC later in 2001, and hosted a similar event in Moscow with former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in 2002. She is the host of the talk show The Forum on BBC World Service radio.
On 1 February 2016, Kendall was elected as the first female Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge. She took up her new post at the college in July, and will continue to broadcast for the BBC as an external contributor.
Kendall married freelance television journalist Nick Worrall in the early 1990s; they later divorced. She is the partner of BBC editor Amanda Farnsworth.
Kendall received the James Cameron Award for journalism in 1992 for reports on events in the former Soviet Union, and was the first woman to receive that award.
Later that year, she won a Bronze Sony Radio Award for Reporter of the Year and was made an MBE in the 1994 New Year's Honours list.