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Krishnan Guru-Murthy (born 5 April 1970) is a British journalist on Channel 4. He presents the Channel 4 News and the foreign affairs documentary series Unreported World.[1][2] He has caused awkward moments in interviews with celebrities by asking increasingly probing questions, including Quentin Tarantino and Robert Downey Jr.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy
Krishnan Guru-Murthy at Chatham House 2013.jpg
Guru-Murthy at Chatham House in 2013
Born (1970-04-05) 5 April 1970 (age 49)
Liverpool, England
Other namesKrishnan Guru Murthy
Alma materHertford College, Oxford
Years active1988–present
Notable credit(s)
Newsround, Channel 4 News
RelativesGeeta Guru-Murthy, Ravi Guru-Murthy

Early life and careerEdit

Guru-Murthy's father, a consultant radiologist, worked in Blackburn and Burnley; the family lived in West Bradford, Lancashire, before moving to a 'gothic folly' with four acres of land in a village outside Burnley.[3][4] Guru-Murthy was educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Blackburn, which was independent at the time but is now a Free School, followed by Hertford College at the University of Oxford, where he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Guru-Murthy's career began in 1988 on BBC2's DEF II discussion programme Open to Question and the youth current affairs programme Reportage. While at Oxford University he presented BBC2's Asian current affairs programmes East and Network East and took over presenting and reporting for the BBC's children's news programme Newsround from 1991 to 1994.

He then spent three years as a producer and reporter for BBC2's Newsnight and in 1997 became one of the launch presenters of the BBC's new rolling news channel BBC News 24, in the 12-4 pm slot. During his ten years at the BBC he also presented the news on BBC World, took part in various special events, such as the 1997 general election programme and the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, and co-presented The National Lottery Live on Saturday nights on BBC1.

Channel 4Edit

He joined Channel 4 News in 1998, aged 28, and is the second longest serving presenter after Jon Snow. Between 2003 and 2009 he was also the main presenter of Channel 4 News at Noon. He has reported and presented from around the world covering many disasters, conflicts and political movements, such as the Arab Spring in Egypt. He received nominations for the News Presenter of the Year Award in the Royal Television Society Journalism Awards in 2010 and 2014.

For Channel 4, Guru-Murthy presented The Operation: Surgery Live, which featured live heart, brain and abdominal surgery and he hosted The Event – How Racist are You?, The Autopsy and The Exorcism. He also appeared in a comic documentary about the band Gorillaz, entitled Gorillaz: Charts of Darkness.[5]

Guru-Murthy presented his own weekly radio programme on LBC 97.3 from 2003–2005, hosted UK Leaders Live, in which he interviewed the three main party leaders in the 2005 UK general election, and has appeared on BBC Radio 4 as a broadcaster and commentator, presenting the series Hindu Lives in 2005.

He has appeared as a guest on the comedy news show The News Quiz on Radio 4 and has had cameo appearances in several productions, including regular appearances in Bremner, Bird and Fortune. Guru-Murthy also hosted the Channel 4 quiz show Number One and two series of Going Cold Turkey. Going Cold Turkey featured drug addicts enduring withdrawal, live on television, as part of their attempts to stop using drugs. He used to write a weekly column in the Metro newspaper and the Asian newspaper Eastern Eye.

He presented The TV Show on Channel 4, a discussion programme about television. In the month before the 2010 General Election, Guru-Murthy moderated the first debate featuring the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his counterparts, in a special programme called Ask the Chancellors. He also hosted How to save £100 Billion – Live the night before the new government's Emergency Budget.[clarification needed]

In February 2010, Guru-Murthy interviewed the former Labour MP Jim Devine at length about his expenses in which the politician admitted "moving money around". The interview became key evidence in court when Devine was prosecuted for fraud and sentenced to sixteen months in jail.[6]

In 2011, Channel 4 announced that Guru-Murthy would become an "ambassador" for its foreign affairs programme Unreported World, which involved him reporting some documentaries and introducing others from the news studio. His first film was from South Africa called Trouble in the Townships. He has since made Unreported World documentaries in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, America and Cambodia.[7]

In January 2013, Guru-Murthy interviewed Quentin Tarantino, who was promoting his new film, Django Unchained. When he asked Tarantino to consider whether there is a link between film violence and real-life atrocities in America, especially in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Tarantino tried to answer even after Guru-Murthy kept reverting around to the point, and stated that his opinion on the matter was well-documented and then responded, "I'm not doing this, I'm not taking the bait", "I refuse your question. I'm not your slave and you're not my master. You can't make me dance to your tune. I'm not a monkey." When Guru-Murthy tried to steer the conversation back towards the controversial subject, Tarantino continued "It's none of your damn business what I think about that! … And I'm shutting your butt down." [8]

In October 2014, Guru-Murthy interviewed the writer, actor and director Richard Ayoade. During the interview in which Ayoade became increasingly evasive and contrary, his co-presenter Jon Snow was reduced to fits of laughter off-screen, with Guru-Murthy later calling it "the perfect joke interview".[9]

In April 2015, he interviewed Robert Downey Jr., who was promoting Avengers: Age of Ultron, asking increasingly probing questions into Downey's personal life. He asked Downey if his relationship with his father, drug use, and alcoholism had anything to do with his career. A visibly upset Downey then walked out of the interview saying "it's getting a little Diane Sawyer in here, and you're a bit of a schmuck". The interview has been watched several million times on YouTube.[10] Guru-Murthy, in an account published in The Guardian newspaper, stated that the question areas had been discussed in advance with Downey's public relations man, and that he should have said in response to Downey's question "are we promoting a movie?" that "you are, but I'm not". He also went on to say that Channel 4 News does not do "promotional interviews" and "if a movie star has no interest in engaging, maybe don't offer them up to the news. Find one of the cast who does."[11]

Guru-Murthy has appeared as himself in a number of movies and TV dramas including Shaun of the Dead and Dead Set.[12]

He has also been Channel 4's commentator on events such as the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Paralympics,[13] the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi and the reburial of Richard III in Leicester in 2015.[14]

Charity supportEdit

Guru-Murthy is Patron of the Duchenne Children's Trust and founded the Duchenne Dash in 2013, a London to Paris cycle ride in twenty four hours. The ride is done by various media executives and news presenters and in three years has raised over one million pounds.[15][16]

Personal lifeEdit

Guru-Murthy is married with two children.[17] His sister, Geeta Guru-Murthy, is a news presenter and journalist with BBC News and his brother Ravi Guru-Murthy is a Chief Innovation Officer of the International Rescue Committee.[18]

Guru-Murthy has played in a rock band with Peter Barron, the former editor of Newsnight and Tim Hincks, the chief creative officer of Endemol UK.[19]

Guru-Murthy suffers from Crohn's disease.[20]


  1. ^ "Channel 4 profile". Archived from the original on 26 March 2007.
  2. ^ "Krishnan Guru-Murthy". The Observer. 14 January 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Fame & Fortune: TV newsman reports to his mother". The Times. Times Newspapers Limited. 5 January 2003. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  4. ^ Greenstreet, Rosanna (7 July 2001). "My childhood home: Krishnan Guru-Murthy". Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Gorillaz: Charts of Darkness (2001)". IMDb. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  6. ^ "When Jim Devine admitted 'moving money around'". Channel 4. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Unreported World - Episode Guide". Channel 4. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  8. ^ Nancy Tartaglione (11 January 2013). "Quentin Tarantino Has Heated Exchange With UK Journalist On Film Violence, Says "I'm Not Your Slave": Video". Deadline. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  9. ^ Ayoade: 'Interviewing famous people on their latest project is like commuting for me too' The Independent, 24 October 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Robert Downey Jr full interview: star walks out when asked about past". YouTube. Channel 4 News. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  11. ^ Guru-Murthy, Krishnan (26 April 2015). "Krishnan Guru-Murthy: do stars and news need to go their separate ways?". the Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  12. ^ Simon Pegg. "Simon Pegg on why the undead should never be allowed to run | Film". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  13. ^ Tom Sutcliffe (30 August 2012). "First Night: Paralympic Opening Ceremony, Olympic Stadium - Paralympics - Olympics". The Independent. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Week of exclusive live programming for burial of King Richard III - Channel 4 - Info - Press". Channel 4. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Duchenne Dash • Posts Tagged 'about'". Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Krishnan Guru-Murthy on Twitter". 8 June 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  17. ^ "Krishnan Guru-Murthy: Presenter". Channel 4 News. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  18. ^ "IRC Staff Leadership | International Rescue Committee (IRC)". Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  19. ^ "Last weekend: Krishnan Guru-Murthy in London". The Guardian. 29 April 2006. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  20. ^ "Ep 11: Krishnan Guru-Murthy". Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2019.

External linksEdit