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Samira Ahmed (born 15 June 1968) is a British freelance journalist, writer and broadcaster at the BBC, where she has presented Radio 3's Night Waves and Radio 4's PM, The World Tonight, Sunday and Front Row. She also presented two Proms for BBC Four in 2011.

Samira Ahmed
Week of Women (31015246296).jpg
Ahmed in 2016
Born (1968-06-15) 15 June 1968 (age 51)
London, England
Alma materSt Edmund Hall, Oxford
City University, London
OccupationNews Presenter Journalism

Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent and for The Spectator magazine's Arts Blog. She was a reporter and presenter on Channel 4 News from 2000 to 2011. She presented Sunday Morning Live, a topical discussion programme on BBC One from 2012 to 2013.


Early lifeEdit

The daughter of Athar Ahmed[1] and Lalita (née Chatterjee, born 1939, Lucknow)[2] a TV presenter, chef and writer on Indian cookery[3] who previously worked for the Hindi service of the BBC World Service in Bush House.[4] Ahmed was educated at Wimbledon High School, a girls' independent school in Wimbledon, south London, and read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, between 1986 and 1989.[5] During this period she edited Isis and the Union magazines, both Oxford University student publications,[6] and won the Philip Geddes Journalism Prize for her work on student newspapers.[7] After graduation she completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Newspaper Journalism at City University, London.[8] She recalls that Lucy Mathen, the first female Asian reporter on BBC television,[9] who worked on John Craven's Newsround, was an inspirational figure for her, as was broadcaster Shyama Perera,[8] who was working in Fleet Street at around the same time.[10]

Journalism careerEdit

Ahmed became a BBC news trainee in 1990. She was a BBC journalist until December 1997, working as a news correspondent, a reporter on Newsnight and the Today programme, and a presenter on BBC World and BBC News 24. Shortly after her marriage, she became the BBC's Los Angeles correspondent and covered the O. J. Simpson trial, before working as an anchor and political correspondent in Berlin for Deutsche Welle TV.

In 1996, she married Brian Millar;[11] she joined Channel 4 News in April 2000 shortly after having her first child, and became a presenter after having her second child in July 2002. In June 2011 Ahmed left Channel 4, and went freelance.[12]

In 2009 she won Broadcast of the Year at the annual Stonewall Awards for her special report on "corrective" rape of lesbian women in South Africa.[13] The report was made after ActionAid contacted her about their campaign against homophobic crime.[14] She won the BBC's Celebrity Mastermind, with a specialist round on Laura Ingalls Wilder, in December 2010.[14][15]

Since October 2011 she has been a regular newspaper reviewer on Lorraine.[2] From June 2012 to November 2013 she presented the third and fourth series of Sunday Morning Live on BBC One.[6] In January 2013, Ahmed succeeded Ray Snoddy as presenter of Newswatch on the BBC News Channel.[16]

She is a Visiting Professor of Journalism at Kingston University and a regular contributor to The Big Issue.[17]

Personal LifeEdit

Ahmed is married with two beautiful children. Although she has publicly claimed that her daughter is the favourite.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Lalita Ahmed". IMDb.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Samira Ahmed: My Life in Media". The Independent. 13 August 2007. Archived from the original on 22 May 2009.
  5. ^ Samira Ahmed, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford.
  6. ^ a b About Samira Ahmed.
  7. ^ Past Lecturers Archived 4 August 2012 at Philip Geddes Memorial Fund.
  8. ^ a b Rabiah Malik, Samira Ahmed Archived 11 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Chick and Quill, City University alumni website, 23 February 2011.
  9. ^ Samira Ahmed, "Newsround, racism and me", The Guardian, 29 September 2011.
  10. ^ Shyama Perera, "How I have come to love the flag", The Independent, 4 June 2006.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Mark Sweney, "Samira Ahmed to leave Channel 4", The Guardian, 6 June 2011.
  13. ^ "2009 winners". Stonewall. Archived from the original on 9 November 2009.
  14. ^ a b Samira Ahmed (30 December 2010). "Celebrity Mastermind: memories of the black leather chair". Channel 4.
  15. ^ Ahmed, Samira (26 November 2010). "Spirit of the frontier". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Samira Ahmed takes over from Ray Snoddy as Newswatch presenter", Press Gazette, 3 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Presenters", Sunday, BBC Radio 4.

External linksEdit