Hosts BBC Newshour

Tim Franks

Tim Franks

Tim Franks anchors BBC World Service's leading international current affairs programme Newshour, which broadcasts globally and on a range of public radio stations in the US.

Until 2010, Tim was an award-winning foreign correspondent for the BBC. For three years, he was the BBC's Middle East correspondent, based in Jerusalem. He spent five years prior to that as the BBC's Europe Correspondent, based in Brussels, and reporting across the continent. He also, during this period, spent extended time in Iraq during the war of 2003, and in its aftermath. His first foreign posting was to Washington, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Previously, he'd spent six years as a political correspondent, based in Westminster.

Since his return to London in 2010, Tim had split his time between reporting on sport for BBC News, and presenting Newshour and the BBC interview programme "Hardtalk". He became one of the main anchors of Newshour in May 2013.

Since anchoring Newshour, Tim has done a number of high profile interviews and reports from around the world. In 2013 he travelled to Dagestan to record a rare interview with Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the brothers suspected of the Boston bombing. Tim also secured the first broadcast interview with Lance Armstrong, after almost a year of broadcast silence following his confession on Oprah Winfrey. At the start of 2014, he conducted the first broadcast interview in 16 years with the reclusive Islamic cleric FethullAh Gulen, at the height of his power struggle with the Turkish Prime Minister.

Tim joined BBC World Service in 1990 after studying Chinese at Oxford University.


Razia Iqbal

Razia Iqbal

Razia is an anchor for BBC World Service's flagship current affairs show Newshour, which is broadcast globally on the network.

She joined BBC World Service in 1989 and during this period was deployed to cover news stories in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and within the UK, covering British politics and domestic affairs. Her experience has included both working as a reporter and as a producer and editor for in the newsroom.

In 2001 she began working on the BBC's UK output, and made the move from radio to television. She worked for some of the BBC's flagship news and current affairs programmes and also worked as the BBC's Arts correspondent. During this period she travelled around the world to report on the big culture and arts stories. Most recently Razia has been a Special Correspondent for the BBC's main news programmes in the UK – this role has seen her deployed within the UK and internationally to cover a huge range of stories. She has also presented an arts strand called Talking Books, in which she interviews leading authors and writers about their work.

In 2011 Razia returned to BBC World Service, to anchor Newshour. She completed a post-graduate course in Journalism.


Owen  Bennett-Jones

Owen Bennett-Jones

Owen Bennett-Jones was a BBC correspondent in Romania immediately after the country's 1989 revolution and has also been based in Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut.

Owen's coverage of the events in Pakistan has included interviews with Benazir Bhutto, Asif Zardari, A Q Khan, Nawaz Sharif and President Musharraf. Over a 15-year period he has traveled to some of the remotest and most inaccessible parts of the country and has reported on the country's corruption, the Taliban, the MQM, Benazir Bhutto's return and on the aftermath of her assassination. For his excellence as interviewer and reporter, Owen won the Sony Radio Gold Award in the News Journalist of the Year category in 2008. He was Commonwealth Journalist of the Year in 2009.

In 2012, he co-wrote a radio play about the assassination of Pakistani politician Salman Taseer. Entitled "Blasphemy and the Governor of Punjab", it was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in the UK and globally on BBC World Service. In 2012, he was a visiting Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University in the U.S. In 2014 he will be a visiting Professor in the University of Southern California.

Owen is the author of two books. In 2003 he wrote Pakistan: Eye of the Storm - a modern history of the country which went into a third edition in 2010, and in 2013, the political thriller Target Britain.

Owen was educated at the London School of Economics and Oxford University


James Coomarasamy

James is an experienced reporter and host with BBC. He has been a BBC correspondent in Moscow, Warsaw, Paris, Washington and Europe. He has been a host with BBC World News andNewshour since 2012.
James' reporting for BBC has included:

  • U.S.: 2008 presidential election, includingBBC World Service coverage of President Barack Obama's first inauguration
  • Russia: War in Chechnya, storming of Russian Parliament, Boris Yeltsin re-election
  • Poland: joining NATO and EU
  • Paris: 2002 presidential election and run-off
  • Turkey: 1999 earthquake

Newshour Special Editions:
2012 – French presidential election
2012 - Growing Russian opposition to Putin
2011 – U.S. immigration broadcast from Phoenix, Ariz.
2009 – German election and 20th anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall broadcast from Berlin


Julian Marshall

Julian Marshall

Julian Marshall is one of the main presenters of Newshour, the BBC World Service flagship news and current affairs programme. He has won four Sony Gold Awards – the UK radio's Oscar equivalent - the first of which was for best reaction to a news event: the release of Nelson Mandela.

Julian describes his Job on Newshour as the most enjoyable and stimulating he has ever done: "I have had a ringside seat at some of the most significant developments of the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries."

Julian first joined the BBC World Service in 1977 as a producer in the African Service where he worked on the English for Africa programme, Focus on Africa. Later he would travel the length and breadth of Africa reporting on events such as the Ethiopian-Somalian Ogaden War and Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summits.

Back in England, Julian reported for various BBC programmes until 1990 when he joined Newshour.

More than anything Julian values his close relationship with listeners and looks forward to any opportunity to meet them face-to-face.


James Menendez

James Menendez

James Menendez is an anchor of BBC Newshour, which broadcasts globally on BBC World Service and via public radio partners in the U.S. He joined the programme in 2012 having worked as a host, correspondent and producer internationally for the BBC.

James has anchored Newshour for the BBC from Brazil, Venezuela, Myanmar, the US, Chile, Spain and Brussels. In 2014 he was in Brazil for the World Cup, leading Newshour's coverage of the tournament and of Brazil. He also presents on BBC World News TV.

Prior to anchoring Newshour, James was the BBC's correspondent in Venezuela from 2003-2004. He has worked globally for the BBC as a correspondent, reporting from across the Middle East and also Haiti, Colombia and Europe. James has also worked for the BBC as a world affairs producer, which included deployments to a range of countries including: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kuwait.

James joined BBC World Service in 1998 after three years working in local radio in the UK. James lives in London with his wife and two young daughters. He went to Oxford University and is half Spanish.