George Alagiah, one of the BBC’s longest-serving journalists and a fixture on UK television news for more than three decades, has died. He was 67 years old.
The BBC confirmed that Alagiah, who had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014, passed away on Monday, July 24.
“At the BBC we are all incredibly saddened to hear the news about George. We are thinking of his family at the moment,” said BBC Director General Tim Davie.
“George was one of the best and bravest journalists of his generation who fearlessly reported from around the world and delivered the news flawlessly. He was more than a prominent journalist, the public could feel his kindness, empathy and wonderful humanity. He was loved by all and will be greatly missed.”
Born in Sri Lanka before moving to Ghana and then England as a child, Alagiah joined the BBC as a foreign affairs correspondent in 1989, later becoming an Africa correspondent. A multi-award winning journalist, he won acclaim for his reporting on the famine and war in Somalia in the early 1990s, and was nominated for a BAFTA in 1994 for covering Saddam Hussein’s genocidal campaign against the Kurds in northern Iraq.
He was named Amnesty International Journalist of the Year in 1994 for reporting on the civil war in Burundi and also won the Broadcasting Press Guild Award for TV Journalist of the Year.
Later, Alagiah introduced the BBC One O’clock News, nine o’clock news and BBC Four News, before becoming one of the main hosts of the BBC news at six in 2003. George also presented his own show on BBC World News for many years.
He was appointed OBE for services to journalism in 2008.
George was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2014 and re-presented the following year. He continued to present for the BBC when he was not receiving treatment.
He had two children with his wife of 40 years, Frances Robathan, and three grandchildren.