Kirsty Lang

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Lang at the Financial Times 125th Anniversary Party, London, in June 2013

Kirsty Lang (born 1962) is a British journalist and broadcaster who works for BBC Radio and Television. Earlier in her career, she was on the staff of The Sunday Times and Channel 4 News, working as a presenter and reporter. Lang was a visiting professor at Columbia University in New York for several months at the beginning of 2012 and sits on the board of the British Council.


Lang was raised in various parts of the world; her family were evacuated from Nigeria at the time of the Biafran war in 1967. Lang was educated at private schools including Nishimachi International School in Tokyo, Lauriston Girls' School in Melbourne, Dartington Hall School in Devon, England and the International School of Geneva.

She first joined the BBC as a graduate trainee in 1986, having gained an MA in Journalism from City University, London[1] following a degree in International Relations and an MSc in Government and Politics from the London School of Economics. In 1989 she became a Central European correspondent for the World Service and later a reporter on the BBC's Newsnight.

After a spell as Paris correspondent for The Sunday Times, she became a co-presenter/reporter for Channel 4 News (1998-2002). She returned to the BBC when the digital channel BBC Four was established in 2002 and has presented The World, an evening news programme, and its replacement World News Today.

Lang is a regular presenter of a nightly arts and culture programme Radio Four's Front Row and has also been a stand-in anchor for The World Tonight and other programmes. She used to appear on the Today programme and The World at One.[2]

From January to April 2012, Lang was a visiting professor at Columbia University, New York City in the School of International and Public Affairs. From 19 November to 23 November 2012, she was one of the two co-presenters of "On the French Fringe", a programme broadcast on BBC Radio Four at 1:45 p.m. about life in France, looking at how activities in France such as films or cartoons had caught the national psyche in that country.

Lang also contributes, on occasion, to publications including The Times, The Guardian and the Radio Times, and was chair of the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2008.

Personal life[edit]

Lang is married to the journalist and Balkans specialist Misha Glenny with whom she has a son and two stepchildren.[3] She is, by her own account, "mildly dyslexic".[4]

Lang told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in March 2018 about her experiences after having to leave her BBC staff contract for freelance status as, for personal reasons, she went part-time. She explained that for financial reasons she had to work immediately after her step-daughter's funeral and through much of a period when she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer as her contract did not allow for sick pay.[5]


  1. ^ Kirsty Lang interview TV Newsroom, c2005; Retrieved 10 February 2009
  2. ^ "Kirsty Lang", BBC Radio
  3. ^ Misha Glenny "My family values", The Guardian, 28 February 2009
  4. ^ "Kirsty Lang bio", Speakers for Schools
  5. ^ Moore, Matthew (21 March 2018). "Freelance status meant BBC presenter Kirsty Lang worked during cancer treatment and step-daughter's death". The Times. Retrieved 22 March 2018. (subscription required)