Guru-Murthy at Chatham House in 2013
5 April 1970
|Other names||Krishnan Guru Murthy|
|Alma mater||Hertford College, Oxford|
|Notable credit(s)||Channel 4 News|
|Relatives||Geeta Guru-Murthy, Ravi Guru-Murthy|
Early life and career
Guru-Murthy was educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Blackburn, Lancashire, which was independent at the time but is now a Free School, followed by Hertford College at the University of Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
Guru-Murthy's career began in 1988 on BBC2's DEF II discussion programme Open to Question and the youth current affairs programme Reportage. While at Oxford University he presented BBC2's Asian current affairs programmes East and Network East and took over presenting and reporting for the BBC's children's news programme Newsround from 1991 to 1994.
He then spent three years as a producer and reporter for BBC2's Newsnight and in 1997 became one of the launch presenters of the BBC's new rolling news channel BBC News 24, in the 12-4 pm slot. During his ten years at the BBC he also presented the news on BBC World, took part in various special events, such as the 1997 general election programme and the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, and co-presented The National Lottery Live on Saturday nights on BBC1.
Broadcasting for Channel 4 and others
He joined Channel 4 News in 1998, aged 28, and is the second longest serving presenter after Jon Snow. Between 2003 and 2009 he was also the main presenter of Channel 4 News at Noon. He has reported and presented from around the world covering many disasters, conflicts and political movements, such as the Arab Spring in Egypt. He received nominations for the News Presenter of the Year Award in the Royal Television Society Journalism Awards in 2010 and 2014.
He presented The Operation: Surgery Live for Channel 4, which featured live heart, brain and abdominal surgery. Guru-Murthy hosted The Event – How Racist are You?, in which the former American schoolteacher Jane Elliott performed her brown eyes, blue eyes" experiment on a group of British adults. He has also presented some of Channel 4's most controversial programmes, including The Autopsy and The Exorcism, and appeared in a comic documentary about the band Gorillaz, entitled Gorillaz: Charts of Darkness.
Guru-Murthy presented his own weekly radio programme on LBC 97.3 from 2003–2005, hosted UK Leaders Live, in which he interviewed the three main party leaders in the 2005 UK general election, and has appeared on BBC Radio 4 as a broadcaster and commentator, presenting the series Hindu Lives in 2005.
He has appeared as a guest on the comedy news show The News Quiz on Radio 4 and has had cameo appearances in several productions, including regular appearances in Bremner, Bird and Fortune. He also appeared during short cameos in productions such as Shaun of the Dead and Dead Set. Guru-Murthy also hosted the Channel 4 quiz show Number One and two series of Going Cold Turkey. Going Cold Turkey featured drug addicts enduring withdrawal, live on television, as part of their attempts to stop using drugs. He used to write a weekly column in the Metro newspaper and the Asian newspaper Eastern Eye.
He presented The TV Show on Channel 4, a discussion programme about television. In the month before the 2010 General Election, Guru-Murthy moderated the first debate featuring the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his counterparts, in a special programme called Ask the Chancellors. He also hosted How to save £100 Billion – Live the night before the new government's Emergency Budget.[clarification needed]
In February 2010, Guru-Murthy interviewed the former Labour MP Jim Devine at length about his expenses in which the politician admitted 'moving money around'. The interview became key evidence in court when Devine was prosecuted for fraud and sentenced to sixteen months in jail.
In 2011, Channel 4 announced that Guru-Murthy would become an "ambassador" for its foreign affairs programme Unreported World, which involved him reporting some documentaries and introducing others from the news studio. His first film was from South Africa called Trouble in the Townships. He has since made Unreported World documentaries in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, America and Cambodia.
In January 2013, Guru-Murthy interviewed Quentin Tarantino, who was promoting his new film, Django Unchained. When he asked Tarantino to consider whether there is a link between film violence and real-life atrocities in America, especially in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Tarantino stated that his opinion on the matter was well-documented and then responded, "I refuse your question. I'm not your slave and you're not my master. You can't make me dance to your tune. I'm not a monkey." When Guru-Murthy tried to steer the conversation back towards the subject later in the interview, Tarantino continued, "It's none of your damn business what I think about that! … And I'm shutting you down.".
In April 2015, he interviewed Robert Downey Jr., who was promoting Avengers: Age of Ultron. Half way through the interview Guru-Murthy said "I think we have two, three more minutes.." but was interrupted by Downey who said "Your foot's starting to jump a little bit you better get to your next question." He asked Downey if his relationship with his father, drug use and alcoholism had anything to do with is career. Downey then walked out of the interview saying "it's getting a little Diane Sawyer in here." After the interview was watched several million times on Youtube. Guru-Murthy, in an account published in The Guardian newspaper, described how the question areas had been discussed in advanced with Downey's PR man.
He has also been Channel 4's commentator on events such as the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Paralympic Games in 2012, the Winter Paralympics in Sochi and the reburial of Richard III in Leicester in 2015.
Guru-Murthy is Patron of the Duchenne Children's Trust and founded the Duchenne Dash in 2013, a London to Paris cycle ride in twenty four hours. The ride is done by various media executives and news presenters and in three years has raised over one million pounds.
Private life and family
Guru-Murthy is married with two children. His sister, Geeta Guru-Murthy, is a news presenter and journalist with BBC World News and his brother Ravi Guru-Murthy is a Vice-President of the International Rescue Committee.
- Guru-Murthy, Krishnan (14 November 2005). "Krishnan's thoughts". BBC. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
- "Channel 4 profile". Retrieved 30 March 2009.
- "Krishnan Guru-Murthy". The Observer. 14 January 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- "Gorillaz: Charts of Darkness (2001)". IMDb. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- "When Jim Devine admitted 'moving money around'". Channel 4. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- Nancy Tartaglione (January 11, 2013). "Quentin Tarantino Has Heated Exchange With UK Journalist On Film Violence, Says "I’m Not Your Slave": Video". Deadline. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- "Last weekend: Krishnan Guru-Murthy in London". The Guardian. 29 April 2006. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
|Main Presenter of Newsround