Mishal Husain (born 12 March 1973) is a British news presenter for BBC Television and BBC Radio. She is a host on Today, Impact, BBC World News and BBC Weekend News. She has hosted HARDtalk and BBC Breakfast. Husain is also a relief presenter of the BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten. She has occasionally presented Newsnight on BBC Two.
|Education||New Hall, Cambridge|
European University Institute
BBC World News
BBC Weekend News
Husain was born in Northampton, England to parents originally from Lucknow that later migrated to Pakistan. Her grandfather, Syed Shahid Hamid, was a two-star general in the Pakistani army who had served in the British army in World War II, becoming a private Military Secretary of Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck.
When she was two, the family moved to the United Arab Emirates, where her father practised as a doctor. Husain attended the British School in Abu Dhabi; the family were also based in Saudi Arabia for a period. Husain returned to England at the age of 12 to continue her education at Cobham Hall, an independent school in Kent. She read law at New Hall, Cambridge, now Murray Edwards College, Cambridge followed by a master's degree in International and Comparative Law at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.
Husain gained her first experience of journalism at the age of 18, spending three months as a city reporter in Islamabad, Pakistan, at the English-language newspaper The News. Then, while at university, she did several stints at the BBC as work experience.
Her first job was at Bloomberg Television in London from 1996, where she was a producer and sometime presenter. Two years later, in 1998, she joined the BBC as a junior producer in the newsroom and for the News 24 channel, and then in the Economics and Business Unit. Within a few months she moved in front of the camera and has since worked in a variety of roles: on the daily Breakfast programme, on Asia Business Report (based in Singapore), and as a presenter of business news on both BBC World News and the BBC News Channel. From September 2002 she was the corporation's Washington correspondent, serving as the main news anchor through the buildup to the invasion of Iraq and during the war. She has interviewed many high-profile figures including Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, Richard Perle, Paul Kagame and Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In 2017, she was criticised by the Daily Mail following an interview with then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the Today Programme on Radio 4, and Husain's moderation of a BBC election debate, held in Cambridge. The Mail labelled her as a "spokesman for [Labour leader Jeremy] Corbyn" following the debate, as well as calling it a "lightweight performance". The criticism also mentioned her interview with Johnson, during which she had asked him to "please stop talking". In an interview with The Guardian, she later clarified that she had planned to say "please stop talking about Diane Abbott" (Shadow Home Secretary) and that she was interrupted before she could complete her sentence, while acknowledging that she "could have been better prepared".
In 2016, Husain cross examined the Burmese Leader Aung San Suu Kyi "Kyi lost her cool following a tense interview". It was claimed Suu Kyi was heard muttering "no one told me I was going to be interviewed by a Muslim" .
In 2011, Husain hosted Impact on BBC World News, but in spring and summer 2011 she was engaged on making a documentary on the Arab Spring, for airing in the autumn of 2011. She presents the Sunday evening editions of the BBC Weekend News on BBC One. On 8 May 2010, she published an autobiographical essay in The Independent based on a nostalgia trip to the UAE. On 2 December 2011, it was announced that Husain would be part of the BBC's Olympic Presenting team. On 7 November 2013, it was announced that Husain would be part of the BBCs Commonwealth Games Presenting team. On 17 March 2013 she presented the last News at Ten to be broadcast from BBC Television Centre.
On 16 July 2013, the BBC's Director-General Lord Hall announced that Husain was to become a presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme in the autumn. She continues to present the Sunday evening editions of the BBC Weekend News on BBC One and on occasions on BBC World News and the BBC News Channel. Husain presented her first edition of Today on 7 October 2013, when her co-presenter was John Humphrys. Husain is also a relief presenter of the BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten. She has occasionally presented Newsnight on BBC Two.
Other work and awardsEdit
When the first series of Star Spell – a spin-off from Hard Spell that had only appeared before as a one-off episode – aired, Husain appeared as word pronouncer, replacing Nina Hossain. She continued in this role throughout the second series of Hard Spell. Husain appeared in a round of the BBC's Celebrity Mastermind in 2010, coming third out of four. Her specialised subject was the Narnia books of C. S. Lewis.
She is also one of the judges for the Amnesty International Media Awards. She featured on a show entitled Gandhi that was broadcast by the BBC in March 2012. She also featured as the morning anchor presenter on BBC One during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Husain is an ambassador for the charity Mosaic, which helps young people from deprived communities to realise their talents and potential.
Amid widespread condemnation of the killing of ISIL hostages in 2014, Husain voiced support for the use of social media to denounce its extremism. In an interview with the Radio Times, she urged Muslim scholars to use social media to condemn its attempt to use horrific videos to draw support in the West, from the leading British Islamic organisations.
Husain, who is the first Muslim presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, said, "I think the Not In My Name campaign is a very positive development because outrage is shared by all right-thinking people. I would really like to see much more of the counterpoint from a theological perspective, with scholars taking to social media to refute the awful arguments we see put forward in those videos."
- Biographies - Mishal Husain. BBC Press Office, April 2009.
- "Mishal Husain". FrostSnow.
- "Mishal Husain biography". articlefirm.com.
- Victoria Ward, "Today programme appoints Mishal Husain to replace James Naughtie", telegraph.co.uk, 16 July 2013.
- Alexia Skinitis, "Significant others: Mishal Husain", The Times, 17 October 2009.
- Yaqoob, Tahira (5 November 2010). "BBC's Mishal Husain: from UAE to US to China". The National (Abu Dhabi). Retrieved 3 July 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- John Plunkett, "Mishal Husain: 'driven' presenter powers way on to BBC Radio 4's Today", The Guardian, 16 July 2013.
- Khairi, Umber (5 January 2004). "Top of the World". Newsline. Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Retrieved 30 October 2010.
- "Mnangagwa: Mugabes 'to be left in peace'". 15 March 2018 – via www.bbc.com.
- Williams, Zoe (18 August 2018). "Mishal Husain: 'With a name like mine, my career would only have been possible in Britain'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
- "A return to the Emirates: Mishal Husain's journey back to the UAE was a family holiday with a difference", The Independent, 8 May 2010.
- "BBC announces Olympic presenters". BBC News.
- Elisabeth Mahoney. "Mishal Husain's debut on the Today programme – radio review". The Guardian.
- BBC News Entertainments and Arts Retrieved on 8 September 2015.
- Mishal Husain Archived 5 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine, KBJ Management. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
- "BBC announces Glasgow 2014 presenting team", Sport On The Box, 7 November 2013.
- Mosaic Charity home page. Accessed 8 September 2015.
- "British Muslim Awards 2014 winners". Asian Image. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Julia Llewellyn Smith, "'Hello, good morning, and here's my news'", Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2006.
- "BBC Muslim presenter calls for British Muslims to condemn ISIS terror". Al Arabiya. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- Gabriella Swerling, "Muslim presenter urges scholars to condemn Isis", The Times, 21 October 2014.
- Sherwin, Adam (20 October 2014). "BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Mishal Husain says 'British Muslims should speak out and condemn Islamic State terror'". The Independent. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
| Weekend presenter of BBC Breakfast
Fiona Bruce and Peter Sissons
| Sunday presenter of BBC Weekend News
| Today presenter
with John Humphrys, James Naughtie, Sarah Montague, Evan Davis, Justin Webb and Nick Robinson