Inside Story: Now back to you, Tetsuya

News anchors are the faces of national television like no other - as the interest in Katie Couric's elevation at CBS makes clear. So who are the global stars of the autocue?

1. CHINA: LI ZIMENG, 28

Programme: News Relay,

China Central Television (CCTV)

Audience: 160 million

Li Zimeng caused a sensation when she and Kang Hui made their debut on China's state-run broadcaster CCTV in June on the channel's half-hour evening news broadcast. Young, attractive and wearing sharp suits, Li and Kang - he is 35 - had a conversational and cheerful style in sharp contrast to the more serious expressions of CCTV's rotating group of six other newscasters. Li and Kang were the first new faces in more than 10 years and they came unannounced, but have made a big splash - the Beijing Youth Daily said that Li was "the most modern, the most fashionable, and the most beautiful" anchor on CCTV. They represent a changing approach to how the Chinese government offers up propaganda - the details may be tightly controlled, but the message can be delivered in an attractive way. First broadcast in 1978 and having had little changed in terms of format since then, News Relay covers the most important daily news of the state and events involving state leaders, in order of the officials' rank in the party hierarchy. It can be a useful way for analysts to see who is in and who is out of favour within the Communist Party.

Clifford Coonan

2. IRELAND: SHARON NI BHEOLAIN, '30s'

Programme: RTE News: Six One on RTE One

Audience: 510,000

RTE One is the primary channel of the Irish state broadcasting authority, and the audience for Six One, as it is commonly known, is well ahead of that for other stations in an increasingly competitive broadcasting scene where Sky and others are active. Ms Ni Bheolain - co-anchor with Bryan Dobson - previously worked as a news reporter and presenter on other RTE programmes. A fluent Irish speaker, she presented a 20-part series which taught viewers Irish, Turas Teanga. Now in her thirties, she has worked for several Irish-language publications. A graduate of Trinity College in Dublin, she took over the Six One post just six weeks ago after occasional spells on the programme. One of a new wave of more glamorous Irish TV presenters, she is known as an animal welfare campaigner who is particularly passionate about dogs. Dobson has been one of RTE's main news anchors for the past 15 years. Aged 46, he was born in Dublin and was the station's business correspondent. He previously worked with BBC Northern Ireland in Belfast.

David McKittrick

3. ITALY: EMILIO FEDE, 75

Programme: TG4 ("Telegiornale 4"), Rete 4

Audience: 1m

Emilio Fede is notorious as the most partisan newsreader in the history of Italian television, littering his regular half-hour programme with imprecations against communists and with dewy-eyed praise for his ultimate boss, Silvio Berlusconi, whose Mediaset company owns Rete 4. In the run-up to April's general election Rete 4 received several large fines for its biased news reporting, but Mr Fede, whose audience is predominantly female and middle-aged to elderly, was undeterred. He often has a studio audience for the programme, and makes no bones about his political inclinations. "I love Berlusconi, he is like a brother," he says. Once when Berlusconi paid the studio a visit, he noticed the miserable surroundings; "Next day," Fede says, "eight gardeners arrived and created this wonderful little oasis for me. This is typical of Berlusconi. He is so generous. He isn't supercilious and miserable like some of his adversaries." Fede is appreciated by his fans not only for his political leanings but for his friendly, vivid body language, the way he personalises the news, and his permanent, often mischievous smile. Reports that Berlusconi has kept him a space in his private mausoleum are, he insists, "a joke".

Peter Popham

4. UNITED STATES: KATIE COURIC, 49

Programme: CBS Evening News, CBS

Audience size: average 7.2 m; 13m for Couric's debut two weeks ago

Couric is the genial, much-fetishised morning host brought in to give a new lease of life toCBS Evening News, the flagship programme which has slumped to last place among network news shows - which are a format in steep decline because of competition from cable and the internet. Although she worked briefly as a Pentagon correspondent and covered the Gulf War, Couric is hardly a byword for hard news - her greatest claim to fame is to have undergone an on-camera colonoscopy to publicise cancer prevention. (Her husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer in 1998.) For the past six months, CBS has been trailing her move from NBC's Today show, which she co-hosted for 15 years. In her first week, she has mixed up the usual format to give the news a more lifestyle-oriented feel. One critic has described her, accurately, as "America's cutie-pie" - which might explain why the CBS camera crews love her legs and her smile as much as what comes out of her mouth.

Andrew Gumbel

5. INDIA: RAJDEEP SARDESAI, 41

Programme: CNN-IBN, India Tonight

Audience: 10m

Rajdeep Sardesai got so big he started his own channel. As well as anchoring the nightly news, he takes over the anchor's chair for major stories - and is pretty much the biggest name in Indian television news. He made his name with his reports on the 2002 Gujarat massacres for the private NDTV 24-hour news channel, and as anchor of its premier political programme, The Big Fight - then quit the channel to start up a rival. He got the backing of CNN for a new joint venture, CNN-IBN. He is popular for his take-no-prisoners style, but his on-screen histrionics aren't to everybody's taste. After Varanasi was bombed this year, he kept announcing, "The important thing is not to panic," although India showed no sign of doing so.

Justin Huggler

6. SOUTH AFRICA: LERATO MBELE, 29

Programme: News at 10, SABC3 (South African Broadcasting Corporation 3). Audience: 300,000-plus.

On a continent where most broadcasting stations are state-owned and run like information departments of ruling political parties, good professional news anchors are rare. But Ms Mbele, a trained economist, can be counted among those very few. Against all odds at the state-owned SABC, which like many other African state broadcasters generally parrots the official line, Ms Mbele is a breath of fresh air. Her News at 10 programme is an in-depth analysis of the day's major news events. The show seeks to advance stories earlier published on the main 7pm bulletin by bringing relevant people for analysis of issues. Captains of industry, politicians, activists and a variety of people brought into the studio for Ms Mbele's show all have one thing in common: they leave the studio sweating. That's down to her engaging yet assertive questioning, an approach that has earned her the accolade of "the nation's influential informer". A holder of a Master's degree in Development Studies from the University of London and a Political Science degree from the University of Cape Town, Ms Mbele has a grasp of current affairs that distinguishes her from the ordinary news reader.

Basildon Peta

8. JAPAN: TETSUYA CHIKUSHI, 71

Programme: News 23, TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System)

Audience: 10m

Chikushi was headhunted at the tail-end of his career in newspaper and magazine publishing to anchor News 23 in 1989. An opinionated, old-school liberal of the type they no longer make in Japan, Chikushi was clearly seen as an antidote to the sharp-tongued competition from Hiroshi Kume of TV Asahi's News Station, who revolutionised news programming in Japan by abandoning its bland, polite presentational style. (News Station was replaced in 2004 after Kume retired). Although News 23 initially struggled against its brash rival, the show has since become the most popular late-night news magazine in Japan and Chikushi recently passed the milestone of 4,000 broadcasts. Chikushi, who models himself on US greats Ed Murrow and Walter Cronkite, has interviewed everyone from former US President Bill Clinton and Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji to actress Jodie Foster. Now well past retirement age, Chikushi says he often thinks of stepping down but in a country drifting steadily to the right, he clearly feels that there is nobody to replace him. He is a champion of left-wing causes and the author of several books.

David McNeill

7. AUSTRALIA: LEE LIN CHIN, "late 50s" ("Old enough to drink," is all she'll say)

Programme: SBS World News, SBS (Special Broadcasting Service)

Audience: 400,000

Lee Lin Chin, who reads the weekend news on SBS, which is a national broadcasting service for ethnic-minority Australians, was born in Indonesia and grew up in Singapore, where she began her broadcasting career in 1968. As well as her news-reading job, Lee Lin - who is famous for her flamboyant hairstyles and eclectic outfits - also presents a weekly fashion programme on SBS, called Fashionista. A self-confessed fashion victim, she says: "To evoke the timeless view of all things, the Yin and Yang, you can't have the horse without the carriage." She is equally passionate about literature, and was spotted in the front row at Australian Fashion Week a couple of years ago, engrossed in a book. Lee Lin migrated to Australia in 1980 and worked at SBS, translating Chinese-language films. She then moved to the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), and worked in regional radio in New South Wales and in Darwin. She rejoined SBS in 1988 and has been part of the World News team since then. Lee Lin speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and Fukien, and is typical of contemporary Australia, where one in four people was born overseas.

Kathy Marks

9. RUSSIA: EKATERINA ANDREEVA, 44

Programme: Vremya ("Time"),

Channel One

Audience: 30m

Said to be one of President Vladimir Putin's favourite news anchors, Ms Andreeva is the glamorous mouthpiece of Kremlin Inc. Her flagship news programme - Vremya (Time) - runs at 9pm every weekday evening on state-controlled Channel One and presents the world news through Kremlin eyes. It is one of the most influential TV news programmes in Russia and Andreeva's crisp Muscovite pronunciation and wholesome model looks have been familiar to tens of millions of Russians for the past decade. On air since 1995, she has fronted every significant Russian news story in recent memory: the Moscow theatre siege, the Beslan school siege, the rise of Putin, the trial of oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and a string of velvet revolutions across the former Soviet Union. She has won numerous industry awards and prides herself on being able to remain composed on air when breaking the bleakest of news. A history graduate of Moscow's prestigious state university, she is married with one daughter. She is well known for her love of fast cars (she drives a Jaguar) and her long sessions in the gym. More than just a newsreader, she has become THE face of news in Russia and a celebrity and a sex symbol in her own right.

Andrew Osborn

10. FRANCE: PATRICK POIVRE D'ARVOR, 58 Programme: Journal de 20hrs, TF1

Audience: 8m

French TV news has been dominated for almost 20 years by the seductive lips and faded good looks of Patrick Poivre d'Arvor. On several occasions during those two decades, M Poivre d'Arvor has made the news rather than presented it. Two of the incidents - faking an interview with Fidel Castro in 1991, and accepting presents in kind from a politically-motivated business figure in 1995 - would have severed the cable of a news anchor in any other democratic country. In France, PPDA, as he is known, has built his show into the most watched of its kind in Europe. There are, in fact, not one PPDAs but two. The nightly satirical show, Les Guignols, on Canal Plus, is presented by a PPDA puppet, who is tougher on his political interviewees than the human version. This summer, PPDA was replaced temporarily by Harry Roselmack, the first black prime-time newscaster on a major French channel. Harry got rave reviews - much to PPDA's private jealousy, it was reported. Patrick d'Arvor has nothing to fear. He is an institution in a country which cherishes its institutions.

John Lichfield

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Sport
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Head of Marketing - London

£60000 - £85000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Interim Head of Marketing / Marketin...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Digital Project Manager

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Digital Project Manager is needed to join an exciti...

Paid Search Analyst / PPC Analyst

£24 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Paid Search Analyst / PPC...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam