Riz Khan is an international journalist, author, and public speaker recognized across the globe for having had flagship TV shows on CNN International and Al Jazeera English – of which he was a Founding Director. Prior to that Riz had training at, and an extensive career with, the BBC as a correspondent and founding presenter of BBC World (he co-presented the launch show of BBC World Service TV News in November 1991).
Beyond fronting news and current affairs programming – as well as reporting of major, live global events while at CNN International – he launched the first, global, live interactive talk show, Q&A with Riz Khan, an award-winning, daily program giving viewers around the world the chance to directly question a wide range of high-profile newsmakers and celebrities. His guest list included a genuinely global who’s-who of leading figures, from then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama, and Nelson Mandela… to people in music, literature, and the arts such as, Peter Gabriel, Annie Lennox, Yousou N’Dour, Paulo Coelho, Anne Rice, and Margaret Atwood, among many others.
Through the span of his career, Riz has conducted more than 10,000 interviews.
Riz also gained widespread international acclaim for the first live international coverage of the massive, annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj, in April 1998, opening the door for other channels around the world to be granted access.
Riz left Al Jazeera English in 2011, following a successful five years of hosting the live, daily, talk show, Riz Khan, as well as a ground-breaking weekly profile series, Riz Khan’s One on One, a candid look at the lives of key figures in the world of politics, sports, business, arts, and entertainment.
In 2005, he authored his first book, Alwaleed: Businessman Billionaire Prince, published by Harper Collins, documenting the life story and business accomplishments of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al-Saud, the Saudi billionaire who was, at the time, the fourth richest man in the world on the Forbes list, and the biggest foreign investor in the USA. In 2011, Riz also authored the preface to the 2010 Committee to Protect Journalists, annual report in which he examined the working conditions of journalists in more than 100 countries.
His first novel, We Interrupt Our Programming… was published on-line in 2012, taking a candidly comical look at the world of international news.
Born in 1962 in the British colony of Aden, in Yemen, Riz and his family moved to London when he was four during the conflict which saw the end of Britain’s rule there. His hobbies include drumming, drawing and painting, martial arts and cooking. He speaks Hindi and Urdu, and has a working knowledge of other South Asian languages, as well as conversational French and Swedish.