Tazeen Ahmad

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Tazeen Ahmad
Tazeen Ahmad 2017.jpg
Ahmad in 2017
Born(1971-10-16)16 October 1971
Karachi, Pakistan
Died (aged 48)
Notable credit(s)

Farah Tazeen Ahmad (16 October 1971 – 6 November 2019)[1] was a reporter for both American television news and British TV.[2] She was a foreign correspondent for NBC News and an investigative reporter for Channel 4's current affairs show Dispatches. She also wrote a book concerning her 'undercover' investigation (The Checkout Girl, 2009) and for newspapers.

Early life and education[edit]

Ahmad was born in Karachi, Pakistan to two academics, Shaher (née Bano) and Waheed Ahmad.[3] Her parents' career took the family to Port Harcourt, Nigeria in 1974 and then Edgware, north London in 1981.[3] She attended Little Stanmore middle school, Middlesex, and St Margaret's School, Bushey, in Hertfordshire.[3] Outside her English home, Ahmad experienced what she described as "chronic racism."[3] By the time she was 14, her parents had separated and she spent three years in Islamabad with her father, which restored her pride in her background, before returning to Britain in 1988.[3] She completed her A Levels at Weald College, Harrow Weald, followed by a media and communications degree at the Barking campus of the University of East London.[3]


After graduating, Ahmad joined BBC Radio and then worked as a freelance for ITN.[3] Ahmad was a broadcaster, journalist and writer who presented and reported for programmes on radio and television in news and current affairs in television and radio, working for the American NBC network,[1] Channel 4 and the BBC 5 Live and on Radio 4 as well as the World Service.

She also reported during BBC One's Election night coverage,[4] a presenter of 60 Seconds[5] and The 7 O'Clock News on BBC Three.[6]

The documentaries Ahmad made for Channel 4's Dispatches programme included investigations into sex gangs in the UK, exposés on the world of fashion, credit cards and the cosmetics industry, as well as British schools.[7][8] The 2013 programme The Hunt for Britain's Sex Gangs for Dispatches,[9] about sex gangs active in Telford won a Royal Television Society award and the Asian Media Award for Best Investigation,[1] and was nominated for a BAFTA. The Hunt for Britain's Sex Gangs was a follow up to a 2011 documentary which was also for Dispatches, about sex gangs in Northern England and the North Midlands, titled Britain's Sex Gangs.[10] After a Dispatches programme in 2011 titled Lessons in Hate and Violence, which showed undercover footage of violence against children in a Keighley mosque, a teacher was imprisoned.[3][11] She also reported for the BBC's Inside Out.[12]

Ahmad's book, The Checkout Girl, was published in August 2009 by The Friday Project/Harper Collins. Over six months, she worked 'undercover' as a checkout assistant in English supermarkets.[3][13]

Ahmad was the founder and director of EQ Matters, an emotional intelligence consultancy.[14] She died from cancer on 6 November 2019, aged 48.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Tazeen Ahmad, award-winning ex-BBC and NBC reporter, dies at 48". Aljazeera. 8 November 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Tributes paid to award winning journalist and broadcaster Tazeen Ahmad". Asian Image. 7 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Flintoff, John-Paul (24 November 2019). "Tazeen Ahmad obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  4. ^ Feeling financial pinch, Queen sheds pounds Archived 23 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine NBC News, 17 July 2010
  5. ^ Wells, Matt (4 August 2001). "Out with the old, in with the new, jazzier BBC 10 O'Clock News". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Burrell, Ian (3 January 2004). "BBC3 gets serious with promise of hard news show". The Independent.
  7. ^ Cooke, Rachel (27 August 2010). "Dispatches: When Cousins Marry". New Statesman.
  8. ^ Chater, David (23 July 2007). "Tonight's TV. Dispatches: Undercover Mother". The Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011.
  9. ^ "True Vision | The Hunt for Britain's Sex Gangs (2013)". truevisiontv.com. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  10. ^ "True Vision | Britain's Sex Gangs (2011)". truevisiontv.com. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  11. ^ Jenkins, Russell. "Muslim teacher jailed for hitting children at mosque". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  12. ^ Inside Out London BBC One, 15 February 2010
  13. ^ Life as a secret checkout worker BBC News, 10 August 2009
  14. ^ "Tazeen Ahmad: Award-winning journalist and presenter dies at 48". BBC News. 8 November 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.

External links[edit]