Emily Maitlis takes top Newsnight job

Emily Maitlis will become the new lead presenter for Newsnight as the beeb continue to prove a point by placing women in any major role available.

“This is a tremendous presenter line up that sends out a clear signal about the programme’s growing ambition. All three presenters bring substantial political clout and a wealth of expertise across a broad range of subjects. Emily’s promotion to lead presenter is testament to the journalistic excellence, passion and tenacious interview style that saw her recognised as Network Presenter of the Year at the recent RTS Television Journalism Awards.” – Esmé Wren, Editor, Newsnight

Kirsty Wark, a main presenter on Newsnight for 25 years, will be undertaking an enhanced role on the programme the corporation note, after she was snubbed for the top job while Emma Barnett, presenter of the BBC Radio 5 Live daily morning show, is joining the BBC Two programme’s team. She will continue to present her radio programme.

The beeb, following critical comments that it’s programmes were presented mainly by middle-aged men have gone on a female allocation spree in recent times to try and address their male-dominated broadcasting ‘issue’.

Emily was born in Canada and raised in Sheffield. She began her career in news in the Far East, in the lead up to the Hong Kong Handover – and reported from Cambodia, China and the Philippines, before joining Sky News in the UK as a business correspondent. Emily came to the BBC in 2001, initially as the main presenter of the revamped BBC London News, before joining Newsnight.

Kirsty is from Kilmarnock and was educated in Ayr. She joined the BBC as a graduate researcher in 1976 for BBC Radio Scotland, going on to become a producer in radio current affairs. After a spell on Radio 4’s World At One, Kirsty moved to television in 1983 – working as a producer on Reporting Scotland and later producing and presenting the current affairs weekly Seven Days. From 1986 to 1990 she presented Breakfast Time before moving to front the nightly arts programme, The Late Show, and the popular BBC heritage series One Foot In The Past – a role she continued into 2000.

In October 1993 Kirsty became one of the main Newsnight presenters, a role she has held ever since. She also fronted the weekly arts show Newsnight Review, later The Review Show. She has made a number of documentaries including Blurred Lines and The Insider’s Guide to the Menopause. She has interviewed everyone from Margaret Thatcher to Madonna.

Emma Barnett is from Manchester. She began her career at Media Week in 2007 before moving to the Daily Telegraph in 2009 as Technology & Digital Media Correspondent, becoming the paper’s first Digital Media Editor in 2010 and then Women’s Editor in 2012. After three years presenting on LBC and making documentaries for BBC Radio 4, Emma joined BBC Radio 5 Live in 2016 to front The Emma Barnett Show, which she still presents today.

“Kirsty, also an award-winning journalist and presenter, will continue to bring her great authority and forensic skills to an increased number of shows, and to drive the programme’s commitment to the arts and culture. And we’re also thrilled to welcome Emma – whose formidable skill as an interviewer and no nonsense approach further strengthens the programme’s agenda-setting impact.” – – Esmé Wren, Editor, Newsnight

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