BBC newsreader George Alagiah dies aged 67

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By VT

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George Alagiah has passed away at the age of 67, according to a statement from his agent, Mary Greenham.

The BBC newsreader, who had been the face of BBC One’s News At Six since 2007, died surrounded by his family and loved ones.

In the statement, Greenham described Alagiah as a "wonderful human being" who was deeply loved by those who knew him, BBC News reports. She conveyed her thoughts to his wife Fran, their sons, and the rest of his family.

Alagiah, who was born in Sri Lanka, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in April 2014. The cancer had metastasized to his liver and lymph nodes. He underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and multiple surgeries, including one to remove most of his liver.

In October 2015, Alagiah announced that his treatment had ended and returned to BBC News At Six the following month. However, the cancer recurred several times over the years.

Despite further treatment in December 2017 and another hiatus in October 2021, Alagiah returned to work in April 2022. That same year, he participated in a campaign for Macmillan Cancer Support, where he shared his experience of living with advanced bowel cancer.

In his words from the campaign, Alagiah spoke candidly about the challenge of coping with his diagnosis. He reflected on the difficulty of reconciling his successful career and loving family with the stark reality of a terminal illness.

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Credit: Jeff Overs / Getty

His courage and resilience throughout his cancer journey made a deep impact on those around him and the public at large.

Reflecting on the tragic news, BBC director general Tim Davie said: "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."

Before anchoring the BBC One's News At Six, Alagiah had an illustrious career as a foreign correspondent. His reporting from various conflict zones and areas of intense crisis earned him a reputation as one of the top journalists in his field.

He reported from a number of countries, including Rwanda and Iraq, frequently covering stories that brought international attention to human rights issues and crises. Alagiah's groundbreaking journalism during the early 1990s earned him several awards, including ones for his coverage of the famine and war in Somalia.

In 1994, Alagiah's reporting on Saddam Hussein's genocidal campaign against the Kurds of northern Iraq led to a BAFTA nomination. His courageous journalism didn't stop there; he was recognized as Amnesty International's Journalist of the Year in the same year for his coverage of the civil war in Burundi.

Alagiah holds the distinction of being the first BBC journalist to report on the genocide in Rwanda, bringing global attention to a horrific event that resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives.

This is a breaking news story. More to follow...

Featured image credit: Simone Padovani/Awakening / Getty

BBC newsreader George Alagiah dies aged 67

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

George Alagiah has passed away at the age of 67, according to a statement from his agent, Mary Greenham.

The BBC newsreader, who had been the face of BBC One’s News At Six since 2007, died surrounded by his family and loved ones.

In the statement, Greenham described Alagiah as a "wonderful human being" who was deeply loved by those who knew him, BBC News reports. She conveyed her thoughts to his wife Fran, their sons, and the rest of his family.

Alagiah, who was born in Sri Lanka, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in April 2014. The cancer had metastasized to his liver and lymph nodes. He underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and multiple surgeries, including one to remove most of his liver.

In October 2015, Alagiah announced that his treatment had ended and returned to BBC News At Six the following month. However, the cancer recurred several times over the years.

Despite further treatment in December 2017 and another hiatus in October 2021, Alagiah returned to work in April 2022. That same year, he participated in a campaign for Macmillan Cancer Support, where he shared his experience of living with advanced bowel cancer.

In his words from the campaign, Alagiah spoke candidly about the challenge of coping with his diagnosis. He reflected on the difficulty of reconciling his successful career and loving family with the stark reality of a terminal illness.

size-full wp-image-1263222038
Credit: Jeff Overs / Getty

His courage and resilience throughout his cancer journey made a deep impact on those around him and the public at large.

Reflecting on the tragic news, BBC director general Tim Davie said: "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."

Before anchoring the BBC One's News At Six, Alagiah had an illustrious career as a foreign correspondent. His reporting from various conflict zones and areas of intense crisis earned him a reputation as one of the top journalists in his field.

He reported from a number of countries, including Rwanda and Iraq, frequently covering stories that brought international attention to human rights issues and crises. Alagiah's groundbreaking journalism during the early 1990s earned him several awards, including ones for his coverage of the famine and war in Somalia.

In 1994, Alagiah's reporting on Saddam Hussein's genocidal campaign against the Kurds of northern Iraq led to a BAFTA nomination. His courageous journalism didn't stop there; he was recognized as Amnesty International's Journalist of the Year in the same year for his coverage of the civil war in Burundi.

Alagiah holds the distinction of being the first BBC journalist to report on the genocide in Rwanda, bringing global attention to a horrific event that resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives.

This is a breaking news story. More to follow...

Featured image credit: Simone Padovani/Awakening / Getty