With parental roots in Pakistan, Mishal Husain, a BBC presenter was born in Northampton, UK. Currently appearing on Today, BBC World News and BBC Weekend News, Mishal was previously a presenter on HARDtalk and BBC
With parental roots in Pakistan, Mishal Husain, a BBC presenter was born in Northampton, UK. Currently appearing on Today, BBC World News and BBC Weekend News, Mishal was previously a presenter on HARDtalk and BBC Breakfast.
Mishal’s father attended Army Burn Hall College in Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Her grandfather, Syed Shahid Hamid, was an army officer, as a private Military Secretary of Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck.
Mishal was only two when her family moved to the United Arab Emirates, where her father practised as a doctor. She attended the British School in Abu Dhabi. Her family were also based in Saudi Arabia for a period. Mishal returned to the UK at the age of 12 to complete her education at Cobham Hall, an independent school in Cobham, Kent. She studied Law at New Hall, Cambridge (now Murray Edwards College, Cambridge), followed by a Master's degree in International and Comparative Law at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.
Mishal Husain gained her first experience of journalism at the age of 18, spending three months as a city reporter at the English-language newspaper The News in Islamabad. Then, while at university, she did several stints at the BBC as work experience.
Mishal’s first job was at Bloomberg Television in London from 1996, where she was a producer and sometime presenter. Two years later, she joined the BBC in 1998 as a junior producer in the newsroom and for the News 24 channel, and then in the Economics and Business Unit. Within a few months she moved in front of the camera and has since worked in a variety of roles.
Mishal presented the daily Breakfast programme, Asia Business Report (based in Singapore), and as a presenter of business news on both BBC World News and the BBC News Channel. From September 2002 she was the corporation's Washington correspondent, serving as the main news anchor through the build up to the invasion of Iraq and during the war.
She has interviewed many high-profile figures including Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy US Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Pentagon adviser Richard Perle and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.
On 8 May 2010, she published an autobiographical essay in The Independent based on a nostalgia trip to the UAE. Mishal is also a relief presenter of the BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten. She has occasionally presented Newsnight on BBC Two.
Since 2011, Mishal is hosting BBC programme Impact which airs Monday to Friday on BBC World News, but in spring and summer 2011 she was engaged on making a documentary on the Arab Spring, for airing in the autumn of 2011. She presents the Sunday evening editions of the BBC Weekend News on BBC One.
On 2 December 2011 it was announced that Mishal would be part of the BBCs Olympic Presenting team. On 7 November 2013 it was announced that Mishal would be part of the BBCs Commonwealth Games Presenting team. On 17 March 2013 she presented the last News at Ten to be broadcast from BBC Television Centre.
On 16 July 2013 the BBC's Director General Lord Hall announced that Mishal was to become a presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme in the autumn. She continues to present the Sunday evening editions of the BBC Weekend News on BBC One and on occasions on BBC World News and BBC News Channel.
Mishal presented her first edition of Today on 7 October 2013, when her co-presenter was John Humphrys.
When the first series of Star Spell, a spin-off of Hard Spell that had only appeared before as a one off episode aired, Mishal Husain appeared as word pronouncer, replacing Nina Hossain. She continued in this role throughout the second series of Hard Spell. Mishal appeared in a round of the BBC's Celebrity Mastermind in 2010, coming third out of four. Her specialised subject was the Narnia books of C. S. Lewis. She is also one of the judges for the Amnesty International Media Awards. She featured on a show entitled Gandhi that was broadcast by the BBC in March 2012. She also featured as the morning anchor presenter on BBC One during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Amid widespread condemnation of the killing of ISIL hostages in 2014, Mishal Husain voiced support for the use of social media to denounce its extremism. In an interview with the Radio Times, she urged Muslim scholars to use social media to condemn its attempt to use horrific videos to draw support in the West, from the leading British Islamic organisations.
Mishal Husain, who is the first Muslim presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme 4, said, I think the Not In My Name campaign is a very positive development because outrage is shared by all right-thinking people. I would really like to see much more of the counterpoint from a theological perspective, with scholars taking to social media to refute the awful arguments we see put forward in those videos.
The Not In My Name social media campaign has featured British Muslims posing with signs featuring the hashtag to denounce extremists.
Mishal married Meekal Hashmi in July 2003. The couple have three sons, the eldest born in 2004, and twin boys born on 19 June 2006.