||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2009)|
|Born||Alastair James Stewart
22 June 1952
Hampshire, United Kingdom
|Notable credit(s)||ITN (1980-)|
|Title||Alastair Stewart OBE|
|Spouse(s)||Sally Ann Jung (m. 1974)|
Alastair James Stewart OBE (born 22 June 1952) is a British journalist and newscaster. Stewart is employed by ITN where he is a main newscaster for ITV News. He also presented Police Camera Action! but had to give this up after being convicted of drink driving. He is a Patron of the charity Kids for Kids, helping children in Darfur, Sudan. Alastair joined Southern Television in 1976 then joined ITN in 1980 in which he served 3 years with Channel 4 News and remains a main newsreader with ITV News after 31 years, making him the longest serving male newsreader on British television having worked in both the local news, and the national news for the past 38 years.
Stewart was educated in Scotland, at the state school Madras College, St. Andrews, Fife, then in England at the independent school Salesian College, Farnborough, Hampshire and at St. Augustine's Abbey School in Ramsgate, Kent, followed by the University of Bristol, where he studied economics and politics and worked for the National Union of Students from 1974–76.
Awards and service
Stewart is an active supporter of a number of charities, including Kids for Kids which helps villages in Darfur. He is Vice President of both NCH Action for Children and Home-Start. He was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to broadcasting and charity. In 2008 he was made an Honorary Doctor of Laws by Bristol University for services to broadcasting.
Stewart's career in television started in 1976 with ITV's south of England company Southern Television in Southampton. He was a reporter, industrial correspondent, presenter and documentary maker. He recorded one of the last interviews with Lord Mountbatten before he was assassinated by the IRA in 1979, and even spent six weeks in Ford Open Prison to make a half-hour documentary.
He joined ITN in 1980 as industrial correspondent, soon joining its roster of additional newsreaders. From 1983 to 1986, he was a presenter and reporter with ITN's Channel 4 News, before moving in September 1986 to present ITN's News at 5.45.
Stewart provided live coverage of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster as the details of the tragedy unfolded. A two-minute news-flash became an unscripted, one hour special programme. He also anchored, with Sandy Gall, the award winning coverage on ITN on the night of the bombing of the Pan Am jet over Lockerbie and presented the ITV network coverage of the memorial service for the victims.
He moved again in May 1989, to ITN's flagship News at Ten bulletin, which he anchored live from the fall of the Berlin Wall, before spending a year in the United States as ITN's Washington correspondent. Four days after returning from his assignment in Washington he was sent to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, to anchor ITN's coverage of the Gulf War. He presented News at Ten, live from Saudi Arabia for two months. At the end of February, Stewart became the first British television reporter to broadcast live from the liberated Kuwait City. He presented News at Ten from Kuwait for a week before returning to the UK.
ITN's network coverage of the 1992 Budget saw the ninth year of Stewart's involvement in the presentation of this annual event for ITV. It was his fifth year anchoring the programme having taken the role from Sir Alastair Burnet, who retired from ITN in 1991.
During his time with ITN, he has also provided the commentary for many of its other special programmes on the ITV network including the State Openings of Parliament, numerous by-elections, state visits and for the Royal Weddings of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer and The Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson.
Other programmes he has presented since 1992 include Alastair Stewart's Sunday for BBC Radio 5 in 1994. In the same year, he started hosting the long-running series Police Camera Action! (see under '2000s'). Then in 1995, he joined GMTV, where he anchored Alastair Stewart's Sunday Programme until 2001.
Alastair Stewart made a brief appearance on the ITV Drama Series Bad Girls, as a news reporter who reported character Monica Lindsay's successful appeal. He also appeared as himself in a scene cut from the 1999 film Notting Hill, interviewing William Thacker's (Hugh Grant) flatmate Spike (Rhys Ifans). The scene appears as a DVD extra.
He has also been a regular presence in ITV's national election coverage, co-anchoring their network coverage of the general elections of 2005 (with Jonathan Dimbleby), 1997 (with Dimbleby and Michael Brunson), 1992 (with Jon Snow) and 1987 with Alastair Burnet. He was the main anchor of Election Night Live: America Decides, ITV's through-the-night programme covering the 2008 US Presidential Elections.
He also presented a programme called Police Camera Action!, which originally started in 1994, on ITV, showing video footage of examples of road crime from police cars. But in 2003, he had to give this up after his second conviction (being four times over the legal limit after ordering a Chinese takeaway, he drove into a telegraph pole) for drink driving. Episodes that had already been recorded for broadcast in 2002 were finally shown in January 2006. However, in September 2007, a new series of Police Camera Action! had returned to screens, primarily with new presenter Adrian Simpson, but with Alastair being reinstated to introduce and conclude each episode.
In February 2007, he became co-presenter of the ITV News (known as the Tyne Tees & Border News), replacing Nicholas Owen. The bulletin was revamped in July 2009, from which point Stewart became one of two main alternate newscasters for the programme. Also in 2007, he hosted a political programme for ITV, Moral of the Story, which aired at various late times on Sunday nights, but was decommissioned after failing to attract substantial viewing figures.
In August 2009, it was announced that he would become main co-presenter of the ITV News at 6:30, relinquishing his role as presenter of London Tonight. This came into effect from 7 September 2009. It was also announced simultaneously that he would be the main presenter of ITV's general election results programme.
Stewart is a fan of the band The Rolling Stones, winning Celebrity Mastermind on 29 December 2009 with them as his specialist subject. When asked by host John Humphrys if there was anybody left he would like to interview, he answered the Pope and Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, clarifying Jagger first.
On 15 April 2010, Stewart moderated the first ever United Kingdom leaders debates between the Prime Ministerial candidates in the 2010 general election, featuring the incumbent Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, debating on live television. Three debates were to take place, produced by ITV, the BBC and Sky. By random lots, ITV drew the first debate, and chose Stewart to act as moderator.
Stewart has appeared twice on Celebrity editions of the ITV game show The Chase. His first appearance was aired on 19 October 2013, and saw him win £7,250 for The Ebony Horse Club. His second appearance was a Text Santa special of the show, which aired on 20 December 2013 and featured some of his fellow ITV News presenters including Matt Barbet and Charlene White. He was defeated by the "chaser", Anne Hegerty, but the team managed to win £55,000 without him.
- The Face of London Award at the 2002 Royal Television Society awards.
- Presenter of the Year Award at the 2004 Royal Television Society awards for his live coverage of the Beslan siege.
- News presenter of the Year at the 2005 RTS awards for his ITV News Channel programme Live with Alastair Stewart.
- Kids for Kids patrons list
- "Profile: Alastair Stewart, chairman of the leaders TV debate". The Scotsman. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- Sykes, Kathy (20 February 2008). "Alastair James Stewart OBE, Doctor of Laws". University of Bristol. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- "Me and my school photo: Alastair Stewart". Daily Mail. 29 May 2009.
- Archive: Birthdays from Birmingham Post, HighBeam Research
- Alastair Stewart OBE - Justadrop.org, clean water charity for the world
- "Alastair Stewart: My Life In Media". The Independent. 31 July 2006.
- Alastair Stewart, Now You're Talking speaker agency
- "Drink-driving TV host dropped", BBC News 2003-07-01
- Plunkett, John (19 August 2009). "More Mark Austin on News at Ten". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 19 July 2009.
- Nicola Weatherall, "Sunderland University to honour Eddie Izzard, Charlie Spedding and Alastair Stewart", The Journal, 5 July 2012
- Alastair Stewart at itv.com
- Alastair Stewart on Twitter
- Alastair Stewart at the Internet Movie Database
|RTS: Television Journalism
Presenter of the Year
|Male host of ITV News at 1:30
February 2007 – present
|Male co-host of ITV News at 6:30
7 September 2009 –