Sadler was educated at the Royal Masonic School for Boys and Harris College, Preston, now the school of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Central Lancashire, where he gained a Diploma in Journalism Studies.
After his studies, Sadler worked as a reporter for the Harrow Observer and Reading Evening Post, and then for Southern Television in Southampton, UK, Westward Television in Plymouth, UK and HTV Bristol. In 1981, he moved to ITN where he was promoted from the position of a news reporter to the position of Middle East correspondent. In 1991, he joined CNN where he spent two decades covering the world but spent most of his time in the Middle East. In 2009, he became a presenter for the program ‘Inside the Middle East’ on the CNN network.
Sadler is perhaps best known for his work in covering the Gulf Wars while he was ITN’s Middle East Correspondent and later CNN’s Beirut Bureau Chief. He has covered wars in Chad, Libya, Uganda, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Iraqi Kurdistan and the Falklands. He is currently the Chairman of the Editorial Board of the N1 News Channel, a 24-hour cable news platform, exclusively affiliated with CNN that covers events in ex-Yugoslav countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia.
Sadler has won numerous individual and team awards over his career. He won the RTS Regional News Award in 1980, the RTS International News Award in 1987 and with the ITN team, won the BAFTA for the quality of coverage while in Lebanon in 1983. While with CNN his team won the Emmy for their program ‘Saving Somalia’. He has reported from around the world on many conflicts and won a BAFTA award for Best Actuality Coverage of the Gulf War and an Overseas Press Club of America Award for Meritorious Reporting.
Sadler is married to Dr Jelena Sadler, a former News Producer for CNN, his fourth wife. His third wife was author Tess Stimson. He has four children.