On TV I present the BBC1 ethics discussion programme, Sunday Morning Live and Newswatch on BBC1 and the BBC News channel. On radio I present Night Waves on Radio 3 and make documentaries for Radio 4. These include I dressed Ziggy Stardust and Archive On Four: Riding Into Town on Britain’s love of Westerns.
My freelance work as a journalist and presenter includes BBC Radio 4 News and Current Affairs programmes PM, The World Tonight, The World This Weekend and Profile, the R4 interview strand One To One, Woman’s Hour and Radio 4′s religion and ethics programmes, Sunday and Something Understood. I was also a regular presenter of the World Service daily arts show The Strand. I have been a panellist on The News Quiz, Have I Got News for You and BBC2′s The Review Show.
I write a monthly column in The Big Issue.
I am a Visiting Professor of Journalism at Kingston University and lecture regularly on journalism at schools and universities such as the London School of Economics.
I am a trustee of the Film Club charity, the independent think tank British Future, and a patron of the Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre and the Kiran Women’s Refuge in London and an artistic associate of the Tamasha Theatre Company.
I won the 2009 Stonewall Broadcast of the Year award for my film about “corrective” rape in South Africa. The judges “singled out the report as a ‘shocking piece of television, which cast a light on discrimination suffered by lesbians, all too often overlooked in the media”. I also made the two part Channel 4 documentary series Islam Unveiled (see Featured Videos page). Interview on Woman’s Hour about it here.
My writing for the national press and their websites includes features, interviews and analysis on culture, politics and social affairs for The Independent, The Guardian and for The Spectator website. I regularly analyse newspaper coverage for ITV’s Lorraine and have also done so on Sky News.
My voice over work ranges from news and current affairs documentaries for Channel 4 – The Road to 9/11 (2005) – to revoicing an updated children’s TV classic Emma and Grandpa (2008).
I’ve been a news anchor and correspondent for the BBC (1992-1999) and Channel 4 News (2000-11) interviewing everyone from politicians,and CEOs to First World War veterans and actors. As a correspondent I have been based in Los Angeles, Belfast and Berlin. My reporting has a special focus on culture, politics, education, religion and crime.
After editing ISIS and the Union magazines at Oxford University, where I read English at St Edmund Hall and won the Philip Geddes journalism prize, I took a newspaper postgraduate diploma at City University and joined the BBC as a graduate news trainee in 1992. I have been a reporter on Radio 4′s Today and on Newsnight (1993-4), where I uncovered a major charity scandal and was one of the first journalists to explore the rise of radical Islam on British university campuses. During research for a special report on the two most likely Labour leadership prospects (Messrs Blair and Brown) Tony Blair provided a memorable hour’s conversation, driving me from Oxford to London in his beaten up old car with a leaking radiator.
As the Corporation’s Los Angeles Correspondent (1996-7) I covered the OJ Simpson case, the 96 Presidential Election, the row over recognising Black English “ebonics” as a second language, the campaign for decriminalising medical marijuana, and the launch of the first mass market electric car — the ill fated EV-1 (below).
As a network News Correspondent through the 90s I reported on everything from IRA attacks in London and Belfast, to Princess Diana’s post-divorce life and riots in the Northern towns.
I was a news anchor on BBC World News, BBC News channel and later for Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin (1998) before joining Channel 4 News in 2000.
An interview from Feb 2011 for the City University journalism school about my career so far.
With 20 years’ broadcast news experience, I am passionate about telling the complete story. My reporting is characterised by seeking out the voices, and the perspectives that too many news organisations miss or ignore. Speaking fluent Hindi/Urdu and German, as well as French, I’ve found my British Indian/Pakistani and mixed religious background a huge asset to producing the most impartial and inclusive journalism. And I can do Parisian facial gestures, too:
Stuff I like
Westerns, Sci-Fi, great children’s literature and TV, Comics: 60s Marvel, 70s DC (especially Wonder Woman),and Amar Chitra Katha comics from India, plus the 3 greatest cities I’ve lived in: (south) London, Berlin and Los Angeles. I write about them and report on them whenever I can. Especially Westerns.