During his 20 years at the BBC, he covered stories from North America, Africa, Asia, and the The Middle East. In 2001, as the Taliban left Afghanistan, Pannel was the very first journalist to enter the capital, and he later returned in 2008, covering the push for democratic change in Kabul. 
Pannell reported from Syria for three years as a civilian protest movement transformed into civil war, making more than a dozen trips to rebel-held areas. He also covered the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain and the war in Libya. 
Pannell received an International Emmy Award for his coverage of the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel ; the Royal Television Society Award for International News Coverage on his 2013 report of Syrian rebel-held areas; and an International Press Award for his enterprise stories on displaced families in Syria. He has also won two additional Emmys and two Peabody Awards for his excellence in reporting.
He is married and has three children.