George Alagiah remembered as ‘one of the best journalists of his generation’

BBC newsreader George Alagiah has been remembered as “one of the best and bravest journalists of his generation” and “a wonderful human being” after his dying at 67.

The award-winning journalist, who offered the BBC News at Six for the previous 20 years, was first identified with bowel most cancers in 2014.

He died on Monday surrounded by his household and family members.

An announcement from his agent Mary Greenham stated: “George fought until the bitter end but sadly that battle ended earlier today.

“George was deeply loved by everybody who knew him, whether it was a friend, a colleague or a member of the public. He simply was a wonderful human being.”

Alagiah, who was born in Sri Lanka, continued to current for the BBC when he was not receiving therapy.

He joined the company in 1989 and spent a few years as one of many it’s main overseas correspondents earlier than transferring to presenting.

He was typically a specialist in Africa and lined the civil wars in Somalia and Liberia in addition to the genocide in Rwanda 20 years in the past.

Throughout his profession he interviewed central political figures, amongst them former South African president Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and ex-Zimbabwean chief Robert Mugabe.

He was nominated for a Bafta in 1994 for his protection of Saddam Hussein’s genocidal marketing campaign in opposition to the Kurds of northern Iraq and was was named Amnesty International’s journalist of the yr in 1994 for reporting on the civil warfare in Burundi.

He first started internet hosting the 6pm information bulletin in early 2003, however stepped as much as entrance it solo 4 years later following the departure of his co-host, Natasha Kaplinsky.

BBC director-general Tim Davie stated: “Across the BBC, we are all incredibly sad to hear the news about George. We are thinking of his family at this time.

“George was one of the best and bravest journalists of his generation who reported fearlessly from across the world as well as presenting the news flawlessly.

“He was more than just an outstanding journalist, audiences could sense his kindness, empathy and wonderful humanity. He was loved by all and we will miss him enormously.”

Nick Robinson, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, paid tribute saying: “George was a brilliant journalist, a lovely man and an inspiring example to all fighting serious illness. His friends will miss him deeply.”

Broadcaster John Simpson stated: “A gentler, kinder, more insightful and braver friend and colleague it would be hard to find.

“I loved having his company in the BBC World Affairs Unit, and his progress after that was a pleasure to watch.”

Former BBC correspondent Jon Sopel added: “Tributes will rightly be paid to a fantastic journalist and brilliant broadcaster – but George was the most decent, principled, kindest, most honourable man I have ever worked with. What a loss.”

Labour chief Keir Starmer stated he was “deeply saddened” by information of Alagiah’s dying.

He stated: “A much-loved face of BBC News for decades, George will also be remembered for his brilliant, fearless journalism as foreign correspondent. He rightly won awards for his evocative, boundary pushing reporting. British journalism has lost a talent. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

After his prognosis Alagiah endured two rounds of chemotherapy and a number of other operations, together with the removing of most of his liver.

He returned to work after his therapy was over however the most cancers got here again and unfold resulting in breaks from the studio whereas he obtained therapy.

Appearing in a marketing campaign in help of Macmillan Cancer Support in 2022, talking in regards to the influence of his personal expertise of residing with stage 4 bowel most cancers, Alagiah stated: “People always ask me how I cope and it’s the hardest question…

“The challenge at first was getting my cancer diagnosis straight in my head – despite having so much going for me, a successful career and a loving family, here I was just being told I was dying.”

In a videocast for the charity Bowel Cancer UK in 2020 during which he stated he generally felt he had the “easy part”, residing with bowel most cancers whereas his family members needed to watch.

He stated: “Those of us living with cancer know that it affects our families almost as much as ourselves.

“In some ways I’ve felt through my six-plus years living with cancer that sometimes I have the easy part… My job is just to stay fit and my family has got to watch all of the other things.”

Before becoming a member of the BBC, Alagiah labored as a print journalist and went on to jot down a variety of books together with A Home From Home, which checked out what it means to be British.

Throughout his illustrious profession, he additionally offered different reveals resembling Mixed Britannia, trying on the UK’s mixed-race inhabitants.

He was made an OBE within the 2008 New Year Honours.

He is survived by his spouse of 40 years, Frances Robathan, their two sons and three grandchildren.

Leave a Comment