Distinguished friends

George Alagiah

George Alagiah OBE was born in Sri Lanka in 1955, and in 1961 his family moved to Ghana in West Africa. George subsequently came to England to undertake his secondary education a school in Portsmouth, and went on to study politics at Van Mildert College, Durham University. George joined the BBC in 1989 after seven years in print journalism with South Magazine. Before going behind the news desk, he was one of the BBC’s leading foreign correspondents, reporting on events ranging from the genocide in Rwanda, the plight of the Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq and civil wars in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Somalia: he also covered the and 9/11 attacks on New York. A specialist on Africa and the developing world, George Alagiah has interviewed, among others, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and Robert Mugabe. Since December 2007 George has been the sole presenter of the BBC News at 6, and GMT with George Alagiah on the BBC’s global channel, BBC World.

From 2002 to 2009 George Alagiah was a patron of the Fairtrade Foundation; he is also a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is married to Frances Robathan, with whom he has two sons. George Alagiah is the author of two books; the award winning Passage to Africa; and A Home from Home, a look at multicultural Britain.