Kamal Ahmed (journalist)


Kamal Ahmed
Kamal Ahmed at the 2019 Chiswick Book Festival.jpg
Ahmed at the 2019 Chiswick Book Festival
Kamal Ahmed

(1967-11-15) 15 November 1967 (age 54)
Ealing, London, England
EducationDrayton Manor High School
Alma materUniversity of Leeds
City University Department of Journalism
OccupationJournalist, editor, administrator
TitleEconomics Editor of BBC News (2016–2018)
Business Editor of BBC News (2014–2016)
Editorial Director of BBC News (2018–2021)
Elizabeth Day
(m. 2011)
AwardsCFA Society UK's ethical and professional standards award 2013[1]

Kamal Ahmed (born 15 November 1967) is a British journalist, who was Editorial Director of BBC News.[2] He was Economics Editor at the BBC until November 2018, and Business Editor from March 2014, until Simon Jack was appointed as his successor in February 2016.[3]

Ahmed was formerly the political editor of The Observer, business editor of The Sunday Telegraph and Director of Communications at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Early life and education

Ahmed is the son of an English mother from Rotherham and a Sudanese father who was a research scientist in ophthalmology.[4] He grew up in Ealing. From 1980 to 1986, Ahmed was educated at Drayton Manor High School,[5] a state comprehensive school in Hanwell in the London Borough of Ealing in West London, followed by the University of Leeds, from which he graduated in 1990 with a degree in political studies.[6] He then trained in journalism at the City University Department of Journalism.


Ahmed worked on local newspapers in Scotland before joining Scotland on Sunday in 1993.[7] He later moved to The Guardian and became executive news editor and political editor at The Observer newspaper.[3] Ahmed was later criticised by fellow journalist Nick Davies for maintaining an inappropriately close relationship with Downing Street while serving as political editor, and for publishing numerous articles that "contained significant falsehood or distortion".[8] Ahmed described Davies' claims as untrue and "hearsay".[9] After leaving the newspaper, he then became group Director of Communications at the Equality and Human Rights Commission,[3] recruited by its then chairman Trevor Phillips.[10]

In 2009, Ahmed was appointed business editor for The Sunday Telegraph,[10][11] undertaking a course at the London Business School before replacing Mark Kleinman, who left for Sky News.[12] In 2013 he became executive business editor, with a role across the Sunday and Daily Telegraph print editions.[3][13]

On 20 December 2013, it was announced that Ahmed would replace Robert Peston as the business editor of BBC News,[3][14] and on 24 March 2014 he assumed the post.

On 3 December 2015, after Peston's departure to ITV, it was announced that Ahmed would replace him as the BBC economics editor, with his successor as business editor of BBC News would be announced early in 2016.[15]

On 30 July 2018, Ahmed was announced as BBC News's Editorial Director,[16] with Faisal Islam replacing him in his previous role.[17] In November 2020 at a virtual ceremony, Ahmed was announced as one of the United Kingdom's most influential people of African or African Caribbean heritage by being included in the 2021 edition of the annual Powerlist. [18]

In February 2021, the BBC announced that Ahmed, including seven others, had been made redundant. "I would like to thank them for their outstanding contribution to BBC News to date and we are exploring future options for them," said Fran Unsworth, Director of News, in an email to BBC staff. "Change is never easy but it is important to have this new structure in place." This now means they have no BAME representation on the News board.[2]

In May 2021, it was reported that Ahmed joined former Dow Jones CEO Will Lewis in founding the News Movement,[19] a digital news company aiming to counter misinformation. Ahmed will serve as its Editor-in-Chief.

Personal life

Ahmed has two children from his first marriage to Gemma Curtin.[20] He later married the journalist and novelist Elizabeth Day in December 2011.[21] The couple separated in February 2015 and are now divorced.[22]


  1. ^ "Annual report" (pdf). CFA UK. 30 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b "BBC makes editorial director Kamal Ahmed redundant in restructure". The Guardian. 10 February 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e "BBC appoints Telegraph's Kamal Ahmed as business editor". BBC News. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  4. ^ Ahmed, Kamal (9 November 2008). "After Obama, I can be proud of what I really am: black and white". The Observer.
  5. ^ "Alumni News - Kamal Ahmed". Drayton Manor High School, Hanwell. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Who's been here? | Politics and International Studies (POLIS)". University of Leeds. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  7. ^ "BBC Radio 5 live - On the Money". BBC. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  8. ^ Davies, Nick, Flat Earth News, 340-385.
  9. ^ Savage, Michael (11 February 2008). "Kamal Ahmed: 'Nick is a coward'. Ahmed bites back". The Independent. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  10. ^ a b Pidd, Helen (26 July 2009). "Trevor Phillips 'shocked' as ally quits watchdog". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  11. ^ Luft, Oliver (27 July 2009). "Former Observer exec Kamal Ahmed joins Sunday Telegraph". Press Gazette. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  12. ^ Bates, Victoria (21 August 2009). "New Sunday Telegraph Business Editor on Steep Learning Curve". City AM. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  13. ^ "Column - Kamal Ahmed". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 16 October 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  14. ^ Plunkett, John (20 December 2013). "BBC appoints Sunday Telegraph's Kamal Ahmed as business editor". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  15. ^ "BBC - Kamal Ahmed appointed new BBC Economics Editor - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk.
  16. ^ "BBC - BBC announces Kamal Ahmed as Editorial Director and Gavin Allen as Head of News Output - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk.
  17. ^ "Sky News Political Editor defects to BBC". Prolific North. 6 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  18. ^ Lavender, Jane (17 November 2020). "Lewis Hamilton ends incredible year top of influential Black Powerlist 2021". mirror. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Ex-Dow Jones CEO Launches Startup to Tackle Misinformation". Bloomberg. 5 May 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  20. ^ "Kamal Ahmed's book about his childhood shines a light on racism in the UK". www.standard.co.uk. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  21. ^ "MGC News" Archived 12 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Malvern St James, OGA News, Spring 2013, p.17
  22. ^ "Cambridge graduate, a successful career as an award-winning author and journalist, invitations to A-list parties... why life is good for Elizabeth Day". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk (in British English). ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 22 November 2019.

External links

  • Kamal Ahmed at IMDb
  • BBC News - Kamal Ahmed's BBC 'Business Blog'
  • BBC News - Kamal Ahmed articles
  • Twitter - Kamal Ahmed, BBC Business Editor
  • Column @ Daily Telegraph
  • Journalisted - Kamal Ahmed
Media offices
Preceded by Business Editor: BBC News
Succeeded by
Economics Editor: BBC News
Succeeded by
Position established Editorial Director: BBC News
Position abolished