ITV gives Rageh Omaar health update as TV presenter breaks silence after falling ill on air

ITV’s international affairs editor became unwell during Friday evening’s ‘News at Ten’ broadcast

Nicole Vassell
Saturday 27 April 2024 16:14 BST
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ITV News presenter ‘receiving medical care’ after becoming ‘unwell’ live on-air

ITV News presenter Rageh Omaar has spoken out for the first time after falling ill during the Friday night broadcast of News at Ten.

Omaar, 56, was presenting the ITV1 news programme on Friday (26 April) when he appeared to have difficulty reading the autocue.

Following the broadcast, ITV confirmed that the newscaster was receiving medical care.

On Saturday afternoon (27 April), a spokesperson for the network shared an update expressing that Omaar is now recovering at home following hospital treatment.

“We appreciate viewers of last night’s News At Ten were concerned about Rageh Omaar’s wellbeing,” the statement begins.

“Following medical treatment at hospital, he is now recovering at home with his family.

“We are wishing Rageh a speedy recovery and look forward to him being back on screen when he feels ready.”

ITV News presenter Rageh Omaar (Ian West/PA)
ITV News presenter Rageh Omaar (Ian West/PA) (PA Wire)

In a statement also shared by ITV News, Omaar thanked all who supported him during the difficult ordeal.

“I would like to thank everyone for their kindness and good wishes, especially all the medical staff, all my wonderful colleagues at ITV News, and our viewers who expressed concern,” the newscaster said.

“At the time, I was determined to finish presenting the programme. I am grateful for all the support I’ve been given.”

The nature of Omaar’s illness during the broadcast remains unknown.

ITV pulled the show from its scheduled re-runs on ITV+1, with a message instead telling viewers that ITV was “temporarily unable to bring you our +1 service”.

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“We will resume shortly,” it read.

Rageh Omaar on ITV News
Rageh Omaar on ITV News (ITV / screengrab)

Soon after the broadcast, ITV News acknowledged viewers’ worries with a statement.

“We are aware that viewers are concerned about Rageh Omaar’s wellbeing,” a spokesperson said.

“Rageh became unwell while presenting News at Ten on Friday and is now receiving medical care. He thanks everyone for their well wishes.”

Many social media users have shared their support for Omaar, with several admonishing others for resharing footage of the live broadcast.

“People need to stop sharing the videos of Rageh Omaar and learn some basic decency and respect,” reads one comment on X/Twitter.

Omaar has worked on ITV News since 2013, beginning his tenure as a special correspondent and presenter. He has also served as deputy newscaster of News at Ten since 2015.

Prior to his roles at ITV, the Somali-born newsreader was a world affairs correspondent at the BBC, and a news presenter at Al Jazeera.

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