Mishal Husain

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Mishal Husain
Mishal Hussain.jpg
Born (1973-02-11) 11 February 1973 (age 42)
Northampton, England
Nationality British
Ethnicity Punjabi, Muhajir
Education Cambridge University
European University Institute
Occupation Newsreader, journalist, news presenter
Notable credit(s) BBC Weekend News
Impact
Religion Islam[1]
Spouse(s) Meekal Hashmi
Children 3
Website Profile

Mishal Husain (Urdu: مشاعل حسین‎) [məˈʃaːʕɪl ħʊˈseɪn], (sometimes spelt Mishal Hussein, born 11 February 1973) is a British-Pakistani news presenter for the BBC, currently appearing on Today, BBC World News and BBC Weekend News. She was previously a presenter on HARDtalk and BBC Breakfast.[2]

Early life[edit]

Husain was born in Northampton, England.[3] Her parents are from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.[4] Her father attended Army Burn Hall College in Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[5] Her grandfather, Syed Shahid Hamid, was an army officer, as a private Military Secretary of Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck.

When she was two, the family moved to the United Arab Emirates, where her father practised as a doctor. Husain attended the British School in Abu Dhabi; the family were also based in Saudi Arabia for a period.[6] The daughter of a Pakistani surgeon, Husain was born in Britain, but grew up in the United Arab Emirates, returning at the age of 12 to the UK to complete her education at Cobham Hall, an independent school in Cobham, Kent.[3] She studied Law at New Hall, Cambridge (now Murray Edwards College, Cambridge), followed by a Master's degree in International and Comparative Law at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.[1][7]

Journalism career[edit]

Husain gained her first experience of journalism at the age of 18, spending three months as a city reporter in Islamabad, Pakistan at the English-language newspaper The News. Then, while at university, she did several stints at the BBC as work experience.[7]

Her first job was at Bloomberg Television in London from 1996, where she was a producer and sometime presenter. Two years later she joined the BBC in 1998 as a junior producer in the newsroom and for the News 24 channel, and then in the Economics and Business Unit. Within a few months she moved in front of the camera and has since worked in a variety of roles: on the daily Breakfast programme, on Asia Business Report (based in Singapore), and as a presenter of business news on both BBC World News and the BBC News Channel. From September 2002 she was the corporation's Washington correspondent, serving as the main news anchor through the buildup to the invasion of Iraq and during the war.

She has interviewed many high-profile figures including Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy US Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Pentagon adviser Richard Perle and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.

As of 2011, Husain is hosting BBC programme Impact which airs Monday to Friday on BBC World News, but in spring and summer 2011 was engaged on making a documentary on the Arab Spring, for airing in the autumn of 2011. She presents the Sunday evening editions of the BBC Weekend News on BBC One.[1] On 8 May 2010, she published an autobiographical essay in The Independent based on a nostalgia trip to the UAE.[8] Husain is also a relief presenter of the BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten. She has occasionally presented Newsnight on BBC Two.

On 2 December 2011 it was announced that Husain would be part of the BBCs Olympic Presenting team. On 7 November 2013 she was announced that Husain would be part of the BBCs Commonwealth Games Presenting team. [9] On 17 March 2013 she presented the last News at Ten to be broadcast from BBC Television Centre.

On 16 July 2013 the BBC's Director General Lord Hall announced that Husain was to become a presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme in the autumn. She continues to present the Sunday evening editions of the BBC Weekend News on BBC One and on occasions on BBC World News and BBC News Channel.[2]

Husain presented her first edition of Today on 7 October 2013, when her co-presenter was John Humphrys.[10]

Other work[edit]

When the first series of Star Spell – a spin-off of Hard Spell that had only appeared before as a one-off episode – aired, Husain appeared as word pronouncer, replacing Nina Hossain. She continued in this role throughout the second series of Hard Spell. Husain appeared in a round of the BBC's Celebrity Mastermind in 2010, coming third out of four. Her specialised subject was the Narnia books of C. S. Lewis. She is also one of the judges for the Amnesty International Media Awards.[1][11] She featured on a show entitled Gandhi that was broadcast by the BBC in March 2012. She also featured as the morning anchor presenter on BBC One during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Husain married Meekal Hashmi in July 2003. The couple have three sons,[7][13] the eldest born 2004, and twin boys born on 19 June 2006.

Amid widespread condemnation of the killing of ISIL hostages in 2014, Husain voiced support for the use of social media to denounce its extremism. In an interview with the Radio Times, she urged Muslim scholars to use social media to condemn its attempt to use horrific videos to draw support in the West, from the leading British Islamic organisations.

Husain, who is the first Muslim presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, said, "I think the Not In My Name campaign is a very positive development because outrage is shared by all right-thinking people. I would really like to see much more of the counterpoint from a theological perspective, with scholars taking to social media to refute the awful arguments we see put forward in those videos."[14][15]

The #NotInMyName social media campaign has featured British Muslims posing with signs featuring the hashtag to denounce extremists.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Biographies - Mishal Husain. BBC Press Office, April 2009.
  2. ^ a b Victoria Ward, "Today programme appoints Mishal Husain to replace James Naughtie", telegraph.co.uk, 16 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b Alexia Skinitis, "Significant others: Mishal Husain", The Times, 17 October 2009.
  4. ^ Yaqoob, Tahira (5 November 2010). "BBC's Mishal Husain: from UAE to US to China". The National (Abu Dhabi). Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  5. ^ David Jarvis, "'Your tribe need to behave like proper English children': What BBC's Mishal Husain was told by shopper in supermarket", 'Newsconner, 8 May 2011.
  6. ^ John Plunkett, "Mishal Husain: 'driven' presenter powers way on to BBC Radio 4's Today", The Guardian, 16 July 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Khairi, Umber (5 January 2004). "Top of the World". Newsline (Islamic Republic of Pakistan). Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "A return to the Emirates: Mishal Husain's journey back to the UAE was a family holiday with a difference", The Independent, 8 May 2010.
  9. ^ "BBC announces Olympic presenters". BBC News. 
  10. ^ Elisabeth Mahoney. "Mishal Husain's debut on the Today programme – radio review". The Guardian. 
  11. ^ Mishal Husain, KBJ Management. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  12. ^ "BBC announces Glasgow 2014 presenting team", Sport On The Box, 7 November 2013.
  13. ^ Julia Llewellyn Smith, "'Hello, good morning, and here's my news'", Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2006.
  14. ^ Gabriella Swerling, "Muslim presenter urges scholars to condemn Isis", The Times, 21 October 2014.
  15. ^ Steve Doughty, "Fight jihadis on Facebook and Twitter, says BBC's top Muslim presenter Mishal Husain", Daily Mail, 21 October 2014.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Sarah Montague
Weekend presenter of BBC Breakfast
2002–04
Succeeded by
Susanna Reid
Preceded by
Fiona Bruce and Peter Sissons
Sunday presenter of BBC Weekend News
2005–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
James Naughtie
Today presenter
2013–present
with John Humphrys, James Naughtie, Sarah Montague, Evan Davis and Justin Webb
Incumbent