BBC newsreader George Alagiah to step back from duties as cancer spreads

Journalist says working over past few years has kept him ‘sane’

Matt Mathers
Monday 18 October 2021 18:09
Comments
George Alagiah on living with cancer and coronavirus
Leer en Español

BBC newsreader George Alagiah’s cancer has spread and he will therefore take a break from work, his agent has said.

Mr Alagiah, who presents the BBC News at Six, was first diagnosed with the disease in 2014 and then again in 2017.

He had been back presenting the news since his last diagnosis but will now take a step back to undergo treatment.

The journalist is set to have a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy over the coming months.

“He added that working on the programme ‘has kept me sane over the last few years’ and ‘I’m determined to come back’,” his agent said in a statement.

Sri Lanka-born Alagiah underwent 17 rounds of chemotherapy to treat his advanced bowel cancer in 2014.

He returned to presenting duties in 2015 after making progress against the disease and said he was a “richer person” for it.

“I realised I wouldn’t give back a single day of the previous year’s experience,” he said.

“I wasn’t afraid of dying. I just wanted to get on with treatment.”

His cancer returned in December 2017, and the presenter underwent further treatment before once again returning to work.

Last year he tested positive for coronavirus after deciding to stop appearing in the studio during the outbreak following advice from doctors and colleagues.

Mr Alagiah joined the BBC in 1989 and spent many years as one of the corporation’s leading foreign correspondents before moving to presenting, and has hosted the BBC News at Six since 2007.

He was made an OBE in 2008 for his services to journalism.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in