Samira Ahmed is a multi award winning journalist and broadcaster and a visiting professor of Journalism at Kingston University with a special focus on culture, politics and social change. She won Audio Broadcaster of the Year at the 2020 British Press Guild Awards for her work as a presenter of Front Row on Radio 4 and her Podcast How I Found My Voice.
Samira also presents the weekly programme Newswatch on BBC One. She presented the three part series, The Art of Persia, filmed in Iran, for BBC Four and broadcast in June 2020. The Daily Telegraph said, “Ahmed has a gift for description.” The Times said “Ahmed was delighted to be there. Her enthusiasm was infectious.”
Samira’s radio documentaries include Laura Ingalls’ America, John Ruskin’s Eurythmic Girls, I Dressed Ziggy Stardust, HG Wells and the H Bomb, Riding Into Town (about her love of Westerns) and The Fundamentalist Queen (about the life of Oliver Cromwell's wife).
Samira writes regularly on culture and politics in newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, Financial Times, Radio Times, The New Statesman, The Mail on Sunday and The New Humanist. She has presented television coverage of the Proms on BBC4 and previously presented two series of the BBC1 ethics discussion programme, Sunday Morning Live. Her other BBC Radio credits include Radio 3's Free Thinking, Radio 4's Something Understood, PM, The World Tonight, Profile and Sunday. She was runner up for interview of the year at the Sandford St Martin awards 2016 for her Heart and Soul interview with Terry Waite.
Samira was previously a presenter and correspondent at Channel 4 News, where she won the Stonewall Broadcast of the Year award for her investigation into rape in South Africa and she made the Channel 4 documentary series "Islam Unveiled" about the status of Muslim women around the world.
She has been a reporter on and also presented Radio 4's Today Programme. On Newsnight, where she uncovered a major charity scandal, and was one of the first journalists to investigate the emergence of radical Islam at British universities. She also covered the OJ Simpson case as BBC's Los Angeles Correspondent.
Her natural competitive streak found an outlet when she won Celebrity Mastermind in 2010 and again in a Champion’s edition in 2019.
Samira read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University and started her career as a BBC News Trainee and was made a honorary fellow of Oxford University in 2018.
She speaks German and Hindi/Urdu.
Samira is a highly sought after conference chair, interviewer and professional moderator for cultural discussions at many major institutions including the British Film Institute, The British Museum, The Science Museum group and Royal Shakespeare Company. She’s also hosted events for the United Nations, and several UK government departments, including The Home Office, the Department for International Development and the Cabinet Office. She presented the Civil Service awards for 5 years.
Born and brought up in London, where she lives, Samira is a trustee of several charities: Action for Stammering Children which funds the Michael Palin centre for Stammering Children, the Centre for Women’s Justice, UK Feminista and is on the associate board of the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford.
She gives school talks and lectures regularly on journalism at a number of universities and hosts an annual student Question Time for 500 sixth formers at St Albans Cathedral.
Her website is www.samiraahmed.co.uk