Sonali Shah (born 26 July 1980 in Edgware, London) is a British newsreader who presented the BBC's children's news programme Newsround from July 2006 until November 2011. She now occasionally presents the weekend edition of BBC World News.

Sonali Shah
Sonali Shah AIB.jpg
Shah in 2011
Sonali Gudka

(1980-07-26) 26 July 1980 (age 39)[1]
OccupationJournalist and television presenter
Notable credit(s)
Escape to the Country
The National Lottery Draws

She currently presents BBC television programmes including Escape to the Country, The National Lottery Draws and Crimewatch. She is also a regular reporter on Watchdog.[2]

Early lifeEdit

Sonali Gudka was born in Edgware to immigrant Indian parents, who run a pharmacy.[1] Shah trained as a dancer for over 10 years, studying Indian classical, Indian folk and Streetdance.[3] Sonali attended Longfield First and Middle School, and went on to Whitmore High School in Harrow. She studied broadcast journalism at the Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism at Nottingham Trent University.[4]


Aiming for a career in medicine, Shah began presenting on the local hospital radio. After university, in early 2002 she joined BBC World Service as a producer, also presenting on World Business Report and The World Today. In 2002 she moved to BBC Radio 5 Live as launch producer for Jeff Randall’s Weekend Business, which won a Sony Radio Award. She then began reporting for Weekend Business, as well as Wake Up to Money and 5 live Money.[3]


Shah joined Newsround initially as an afternoon relief presenter. From 2006, as part of a new team replacing Ellie Crisell and Jake Humphrey, she presented breakfast, afternoon and weekend bulletins for the show as well as presenting the main programme from 2008. Shah also reported for Sportsround, and posted an online diary from the 2010 Commonwealth Games for the Newsround website.[5] She made a number of Newsround Specials,[6] including two documentaries from Afghanistan in 2010,[7][8] which were also shown on the BBC News Channel.[citation needed][9] In 2011 she guest presented Match of the Day Kickabout on BBC Two, and made guest appearances on Sadie J and Blue Peter.

On 9 November 2011, Shah announced she was leaving Newsround before it moved to its new base at MediaCityUK in Salford.

BBC SportEdit

In 2010 Shah went to Delhi, to present coverage of the Commonwealth Games for BBC Sport on BBC One and BBC Two.[10] She was one of the main reporters for the events coverage.[11]

She was one of three BBC presenters, along with Manish Bhasin and Rishi Persad, at the 2011 Cricket World Cup in the Indian sub-continent.[12][13] Also in 2011, she reported from the University Boat Race.[14] and Wimbledon.[15] She regularly presents a special programme for BBC One called British Olympic Dreams, broadcast since February 2011, that follows the Britain's potential Olympic hopefuls for 2012. She also anchored shows on BBC Three during the games as well as being stationed at Lords for the archery.

BBC NewsEdit

In 2009, Shah made a move to the BBC News Channel's Business News on top of Newsround. She can be seen occasionally broadcasting in the afternoon and evening.

In August 2011, Shah moved to BBC World News. She presented the daytime bulletin on the Weekend and remains a relief presenter. In December 2011, she stood in for Rhod Sharp on Up All Night. She focuses on BBC News and BBC Sport.

Shah was among the BBC News team for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II coverage on BBC One. Shah was a reporter from the crowds at The Mall.[16]

In May 2014, Shah became a sports reporter for Today, the daily morning news programme for BBC Radio 4.[17]


On 2 March 2013, Sonali Shah and her Newsround co-presenter Ore Oduba appeared on the BBC's Let's Dance for Comic Relief, dancing to "Hey Ya!" by Outkast. They were eliminated, and did not get through to the final.[18]

In 2014, Shah became a presenter of house-buying BBC TV show Escape to the Country. Since 2015, Shah has presented The National Lottery Draws and Crimewatch. Both shows are broadcast on BBC One.[19]

In August 2016 Shah covered for sports presenter Matt Williams on BBC Radio 2 during Simon Mayo Drivetime 3 week summer break

Personal lifeEdit

Shah resides in London with her husband Adarsh and their children, daughter Ariana (born October 2013),[20] and son Rafi (born October 2016). She is 5 ft 1in in height, and "needs heels for interviewing tall sportspeople".[21]


  1. ^ a b "All about Sonali". BBC News. 27 January 2009.
  2. ^ "Crimewatch". Sonali Shah Website. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Sonali's Commonwealth Games diary: Part 1 Newsround, CBBC, 4 October 2010
  6. ^ Army Season BBC Press Office, 4 October 2010
  7. ^ Children probably safer in Kabul than London, New York or Glasgow, NATO's top civilian representative in Afghanistan tells CBBC Newsround BBC Press Office, 22 November 2010
  8. ^ Newsround in Afghanistan - Growing Up In A War Zone Newsround, CBBC, 22 November 2010
  9. ^ BBC News Channel BBC iPlayer, 21 January 2011[link expired]
  10. ^ Ten things you didn't know about Delhi BBC Sport, 3 October 2010
  11. ^ Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games on the BBC BBC Press Office, 17 September 2010
  12. ^ "Cricket World Cup on the BBC". BBC Sport. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  13. ^ BBC to show Cricket World Cup highlights BBC Press Office, 16 February 2011
  14. ^ The 2011 Boat Race in HD for first time BBC Press Office, 21 March 2011
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External linksEdit