George Alagiah is to be the sole presenter of BBC One’s Six O’Clock News. George, one of the BBC’s best known and most respected journalists, will start flying solo in November.
Announcing the change, Peter Horrocks, BBC Head of Television News, said: “The Six O’Clock News will now be built around George’s warmth and great experience. He has enormous versatility – being as comfortable reporting from scenes of flood devastation as from Downing Street.
“The bulletin has a special remit to report fully stories from around the UK and we will be devising plans with George to fulfil this objective, at a time when our competitors are reducing their commitment to the regions of the UK.”
He added: “The move is also a more effective use of resources while still maintaining the core values of the bulletin.”
George Alagiah said: “I feel honoured to be asked to present the Six O’Clock News on my own. It is a busy time of the day for millions of families around Britain and we will continue to work hard to make the news as accessible as possible without ever compromising on the quality of our journalism.”
The move follows the departure of George’s co-presenter Natasha Kaplinsky to Five News last week.The Six O’Clock News has been on air since 1984 and is watched by an average of 4.2m viewers a night.
George started presenting the bulletin in January 2003. This summer he was on the ground reporting on the floods in Gloucestershire and South Yorkshire. He also presents World News Today on BBC World, the BBC’s international news television channel.
Prior to joining the Six O’Clock News he was one of the BBC’s leading foreign correspondents, notably as a specialist on Africa and the developing world. He has reported on civil wars in Somalia and Liberia, the genocide in Rwanda and the tsunami in South Asia.
George first joined the BBC in 1989 after seven years in print journalism with South Magazine. He has contributed to several British newspapers and his first book, A Passage To Africa, was published in September 2001.His essay Shaking The Foundations was published by the BBC in its book on the aftermath of September 11. His most recent book A Home From Home has been at the forefront of a national debate about what it means to be British.