14 November 1964
|Alma mater||St Hilda's College, Oxford (BA)|
|Board member of||International Women's Media Foundation|
Katherine "Katty" Kay (born 14 November 1964) is a British-Swiss journalist, author and broadcaster. She presented BBC World News America and, with Christian Fraser, hosted Beyond 100 Days on BBC Four, BBC News and BBC World News. She has anchored BBC coverage of two Presidential elections. She also appears weekly on NBC News in Morning Joe.
Kay has co-written two books with ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman: Womenomics (2009) and The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know (2014). Kay is also the co-host of podcast When Katty Met Carlos with OZY Media CEO Carlos Watson. She resigned from Ozy Media in September 2021 after a New York Times report raised questions about its business practices.
Early life and education
Kay was born in Wallingford in 1964 and grew up in Blewbury (then in Berkshire, now in Oxfordshire). She spent time in various Middle Eastern countries where her father was posted as a British diplomat. She studied modern languages at St Hilda's College, Oxford and speaks fluent French and Italian. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988.
A short time later, a friend, Matt Frei, came to her with a tape recorder and persuaded her to become a journalist. Kay joined the BBC in 1990 as Zimbabwe correspondent for the African section of the BBC World Service. She then returned to London to work for BBC World Service radio, before being posted to Tokyo for BBC News television in 1992 and then Washington, D.C., in 1996. Soon afterwards, she joined The Times news bureau, but returned to the BBC as a freelance journalist in 2002, based in the United States.
From June 2004, Kay co-presented the BBC World news bulletins with Mike Embley in London, shown on 230 public broadcast-television stations throughout the US and on BBC America. In October 2007, she became correspondent to presenter Matt Frei of BBC World's one-hour Washington-based news broadcast, BBC World News America. She anchored the show until June 2021.
Kay also makes frequent appearances as a guest panelist on Morning Joe and Meet the Press on NBC, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, and in the past also appeared on The Chris Matthews Show, and Larry King Live on CNN. She occasionally substituted for Diane Rehm on The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio (NPR).
Kay anchored coverage of US Presidential Election nights across all BBC platforms in 2016 and 2020, on both occasions presenting with Andrew Neil. In 2021, she anchored the BBC's coverage of the Presidential inauguration of Joe Biden.
On 24 June 2021, Kay announced that the night's broadcast would be her last for the BBC. However, in March 2022 it was announced that Kay would return to the BBC as US Special Correspondent for BBC Studios, working across documentaries, podcasts and news, as well as US Election Night anchor.
Remarks about terrorism in Europe
On 24 May 2017, Kay attracted criticism for stating that Europeans should "get used to" terrorist attacks. Speaking on MSNBC two days after the Manchester Arena bombing, she also argued that "we are never going to be able to totally wipe this out." UKIP leader Nigel Farage strongly condemned Kay's comments, stating "Never. If we accept this as a way of life that is giving in, it is appeasement, it is surrendering."
Kay has been married since 1989 to ex-BBC reporter and current Head of Global Communications at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Tom Carver. The couple have four children and live in Washington D.C. In 2021, she became a Swiss citizen. Her father, who died in January 2021, was Swiss.
- Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, Womenomics, (HarperBusiness, 2 June 2009) ISBN 978-0-06-169718-0
- Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know, ISBN 006223062X ASIN: B00DB368AY
- Griffiths, Sian (22 April 2018). "Katty Kay and Claire Shipman: When girls hit a teen crisis, Dad can sort it best". The Times of London.
"This book has really touched a nerve," said Kay, 53, presenter of BBC World News America and a mother of four children...
- "Katty Kay". TV Newsroom. 10 June 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
- "When Katty Met Carlos". OZY. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
- Kay, Katty [@KattyKay_] (29 September 2021). "Yesterday morning I handed in my resignation to Ozy Media. I was looking forward to working with the talented young reporters but I did not expect this! t.co/fc5Ii6ifav" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 2 October 2021. Retrieved 3 October 2021 – via Twitter.
- Robertson, Katie (29 September 2021). "At Ozy Media, a Star Journalist Quits, and a Key Investor Backs Away". The New York Times.
- "Board of Directors". International Women's Media Foundation. 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
- "FreeBMD Entry Info".
- Kurtz, Howard (26 February 2007). "Katty Kay, Calibrating Britney for the Beeb". The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "Results for England & Wales Births 1837-2006: Katherine; Kay; 1964". Findmypast. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- "BBC News - World News America - Katty Kay". BBC News. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
- "She said... Katty Kay". BBC World Service. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2008.
- "Katty Kay". BBC World. Retrieved 5 January 2008.
- "Search for "katty kay"". Diane Rehm. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
- "Katty Kay: 'It's been a privilege to sit in this chair'". BBC News. 24 June 2021.
- "Katty Kay returns to the BBC".
- Kemble, Harry (25 May 2017). "BBC reporter under fire for saying we should "get used to" terror attacks". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- Farage, Nigel [@Nigel_Farage] (24 May 2017). "The BBC says Europe must get used to terrorist attacks. Never! t.co/2rI67dNYga" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 16 September 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2021 – via Twitter.
- "Nigel Farage: Accepting terrorism as a way of life is 'appeasement'". Washington Examiner. 24 May 2017.
- "Tom Carver to head global communications for Carnegie Endowment". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
- "BBC - Katty Kay". BBC. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
- Kay, Katty [@KattyKay_] (17 May 2021). "Today I became Swiss. The application process took 3 years and I cried when I opened the email. My dad, who died in January, was Swiss. As a child growing up in the Middle East, holidays with my Swiss grandmother were a refuge. When I arrive at Interlaken station I feel I'm home" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 22 September 2021. Retrieved 3 October 2021 – via Twitter.