Mark Tully was born in Calcutta in 1935. Son of a wealthy accountant, he was brought up by a strict European nanny. In 1946, a year before Indian independence, the family moved to Great Britain.
After military service and after receiving an M.A. in History and Theology from Cambridge University, Mark Tully considered becoming a priest in the Church of England. After just two terms at Lincoln Theological College, he decided to abandon these studies.
Joining the BBC in 1964, he was soon offered a position as India Correspondent in Delhi. He has mapped the great events on the subcontinent, including Bangladeshís independence war and separation, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the Indian army attack on the Golden Temple of Amritsar and the assassinations of both Indira and Rajiv Gandhi. For 25 years, Mark Tully had been the familiar face and voice of the BBC World Service.
Among his books are Amritsar: Mrs. Gandhi's Last Battle (1986), India: Forty Years of Independence (1988), No Full Stops in India (1991), The Defeat of a Congressman: And other Parables of Modern India (1992), The Heart of India (1997), Jesus: Prophet, Messiah, Rebel (1997) und India in Slow Motion (2002).
Mark Tully received in 1985 the Dimbleby Award of the British Academy of Film and Television and an OBE from the British Empire. He received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Strathclyde and the Richmond American International University of London. Tully is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. The Government of India awarded him the title Padma Shri.
Mark Tully works as a freelance broadcaster and writer for BBC radio. He lives in India and England.
"Thereís no objective text. However, there are degrees of attention given to personal response and personal feeling, and I think reportage should err on the side of the more objective. So itís not memoir, itís not autobiography, itís not internal journey."Isabel Hilton (jury member 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006)