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Page 3 Profile: Mishal Husain, BBC newsreader

I recognise her. Hasn’t she been on the news?

You’re right. She’s a BBC television newsreader, but you won’t see her on your screens for much longer. She’s moving to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in the autumn.

Who’s leaving?

She’s joining the team while James Naughtie spends time in Scotland to focus on the independence referendum.

What’s so special about her?

She will be the flagship show’s first host from an ethnic minority background. And she has had a very successful TV career, too. She gained popularity while presenting coverage of the London 2012 Olympics last summer.

A much needed female voice?

Indeed. Last week the campaigning group Sound Women published a survey revealing that just 20 per cent of radio shows hosted by a solo presenter involve women. Until now, Sarah Montague has been the only woman among the five regular programme hosts on Today.

Are the Beeb a bit embarrassed at the blokes hogging the airwaves?

Maybe. Lord Hall, the new director general of the BBC, admitted that “improving the gender balance in our programming has been a priority for me”. He said: “She is a first-rate journalist and she will be an excellent addition to what is a very powerful and strong team.”

What’s her background?

She studied law at Cambridge University, followed by a Master’s in international and comparative law at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

But that’s nothing to do with TV.

She got her big break in 1996 as a producer and presenter at Bloomberg TV. She joined the BBC two years later and became a producer for News 24. Since then she has presented a range of programmes, including BBC Breakfast.

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