BBC News at Six presenter George Alagiah dies

'BBC News at Six' presenter George Alagiah has died at the age of 67 from cancer.

George Alagiah

BBC newsreader George Alagiah has died.

The 'BBC News at Six' presenter passed away on Monday morning (24.07.23) at the age of 67 from cancer.

Alagiah had been diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2014 and he underwent 17 rounds of chemotherapy to treat the disease. In October 2015 he announced that his treatment was over and returned to BBC One on November 10.

In 2017, the cancer returned and in 2020 the journalist revealed that it had spread to his lungs, liver and lymph nodes.

As his illness worsened, in October 2021, Alagiah made the decision to step down from his presenting duties.

His agent Mary Greenham confirmed his death in a statement, in which she sent her heartfelt condolences to his wife Frances Robathan and their two children, Adam and Matthew.

The statement read: "I am so terribly sorry to inform you that George Alagiah died peacefully today, surrounded by his family and loved ones.

“George fought until the bitter end but sadly that battle ended earlier today.

“George was deeply loved by everybody who knew him, whether it was a friend, a colleague or a member of the public. He simply was a wonderful human being.

“My thoughts are with Fran, the boys and his wider family."

Following the news of Alagiah's passing, BBC director general Tim Davie said: "Across the BBC, we are all incredibly sad to hear the news about George. We are thinking of his family at this time.

“George was one of the best and bravest journalists of his generation who reported fearlessly from across the world as well as presenting the news flawlessly.

"He was more than just an outstanding journalist, audiences could sense his kindness, empathy and wonderful humanity. He was loved by all and we will miss him enormously.”

The Sri Lanka-born journalist joined the BBC in 1989 and was a respected foreign correspondent, specialising in Africa, before moving to presenting.

As well as covering the civil wars in Somalia and Liberia and the genocide in Rwanda 20 years ago, Alagiah interviewed several important political figures during his journalism career, including history-making South African President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe.

He was made an OBE in the 2008 New Year Honours.

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