Hostage Terry Waite was finally given his freedom after being held hostage by Islamic extremists for four years from 1987 to 1991.

The photo shows Waite, Assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs for the then Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie reunited with his boss at RAF Lyneham on November 18, 1991.

Waite was kidnapped in Beirut when Runcie sent him to Lebanon to secure the release of hostages including journalist John McCarthy.

In the video above, Press Association photographer John Stillwell explains how, just 18 months into his career, he captured the pair laughing at a joke at just the right moment from just the right angle.

The story was huge at the time and McCarthy managed to catch the action in a photograph that was used all over the world.

In ‘The Story Behind The Photo’ video series, available exclusively on, photographers offer insight into some of the Press Association’s best-known images.

Discover more stories behind the photos.