Paul Kriwaczek was born in Vienna in 1937. He grew up in north-west London, where the Yiddish language and culture were still strong among his friends' parents. In London he trained as a dentist, and spent a decade working in Iran and Afghanistan. From there he travelled extensively in Asia and Africa before developing a career in broadcasting and journalism. In 1970, he joined the BBC full-time and wrote, produced and directed for 25 years; he retired in the mid 1990s and lives in north London. Paul is fluent in six languages, including Farsi and Yiddish.