Sonali Shah

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Sonali Shah
Born Sonali Gudka
(1980-07-26) 26 July 1980 (age 33)[1]
Edgware, Greater London, England
Ethnicity British Indian
Occupation Journalist, television presenter
Notable credit(s) Newsround
BBC World News
BBC Sport

Sonali Shah (born 26 July 1980 in Edgware, London, England) is a British newsreader of Indian descent, 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.

Early life[edit]

Sonali Gudka was born in Edgware to immigrant Indian parents, her parents run a pharmacy.[1] Shah trained as a dancer for over 10 years, studying Indian classical, Indian folk and Streetdance.[2]


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.[2]


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 show from 2008. Shah also reported for Sportsround, and posted an online diary from the 2010 Commonwealth Games for the Newsround website.[3] She made a number of Newsround Specials,[4] including two documentaries from Afghanistan in 2010,[5][6] which were also shown on the BBC News Channel.[7] In 2011 she has guest presented Match of the Day Kickabout on BBC2, 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 home at MediaCityUK in Salford.

BBC Sport[edit]

In 2010 Shah went to Delhi, to present coverage of the Commonwealth Games for BBC Sport on BBC One and BBC Two.[8] She was one of the main reporters for the events coverage.[9]

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.[10][11] Also in 2011, she reported from the University Boat Race.[12] and Wimbledon.[13] 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 News[edit]

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 made a move to BBC World News. She presented the daytime bulletin on the Weekend and will remain as a relief presenter. In December 2011, she stood in for Rhod Sharp on Up All Night. Having now left Newsround, she will now focus 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 for the programme in the crowds at The Mall.[14]


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.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Shah resides in London with her husband and supports Arsenal FC.


External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Ellie Crisell
Main presenter of Newsround
2008 – 2011
Succeeded by
Ore Oduba