George Alagiah was a BBC newsreader who brought authority and knowledge to his work from his experience reporting on major events around the world. He was also a thoughtful and engaging writer, and a fierce campaigner for improving cancer screening.
Alagiah was born in Sri Lanka in 1955, and moved to Ghana with his family when he was six years old. He later moved to England, where he attended school and university. After starting his career in regional print journalism, he joined the BBC in 1989.
Alagiah reported on some of the most important events of the past few decades, including the Rwandan genocide, the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the democratisation of South Africa, the 9/11 attacks on the US, and the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. He was also a presenter on BBC One’s 1pm, 10pm, and 6pm news bulletins, and was the main presenter of the BBC’s teatime news from 2003 until his death.
George Alagiah: A remarkable broadcaster who touched the lives of millions
In addition to his work as a newsreader, Alagiah was also a writer. He published two memoirs, A Home From Home: Immigrant Boy to English Man (2006) and A Passage to Africa (2001). He also wrote a thriller, The Burning Land (2015).
Alagiah was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2014. He underwent treatment and continued to work, but his illness eventually took his life. He died on 19 July 2022, aged 67.
Alagiah was a respected and popular figure, both in the BBC and in the wider world. He was a gifted journalist and writer, and a passionate campaigner for important causes. He will be remembered as a talented and dedicated broadcaster, and a man of great integrity.
Here are some of the things that made Alagiah a unique and special broadcaster:
- His experience as a foreign correspondent gave him a deep understanding of the world and its people.
- His ability to connect with people on a personal level made him a popular and trusted presenter.
- His courage in sharing his personal story of cancer helped to raise awareness of the disease and its importance of early screening.
- His intellectual and cultural depth made him a well-rounded and engaging broadcaster.
Alagiah will be remembered as a true legend of British broadcasting. He was a gifted journalist, a passionate campaigner, and a man of great integrity. He will be missed by all who knew him.
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