Liverpool-born and educated at Oxford University, Krishnan’s broadcasting career began in 1988, when he presented discussion programme Open to Question (BBC Two, 1988 – 1989); he was also a reporter on youth current affairs programme Reportage (BBC Two, 1988 – 1989). Whilst at university, he presented BBC Two’s Asian current affairs programmes Network East (1989) and East (1990). He then switched to children’s television, presenting and reporting for Newsround (BBC One, 1991 – 1994) and Newsround Extra; whilst with the programme, he covered various major news events, including the war in Sarajevo, the Indian earthquake in 1993 and the Russian elections. During his time reporting abroad for Newsround he also filed reports for Breakfast News (BBC One) and guest co-presented Going Live! on 9th and 16th January 1993
In July 1994, Krishnan joined BBC Two’s Newsnight team as a producer and reporter (1994 – 1997); he also anchored news programmes on BBC World (1994 – 1997). In 1997, he was one of the launch presenters on the BBC’s new rolling news channel, BBC News 24 (1997 – 1998), where he occupied the 12pm – 4pm slot. His time at the BBC also included co-presenting The National Lottery Live (1994) and participation in major news events such as the 1997 General Election programme and the coverage of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, also in 1997.
In 1998, aged 28, Krishnan crossed to Channel 4 to present Channel 4 News, alternating with Jon Snow. He’s currently the second-longest-serving presenter of the programme, after Jon Snow. He was the main anchor on Channel 4 News at Noon (2003 – 2009). He has reported and presented from around the world, covering many disasters, conflicts and political movements, such as the Arab Spring in Egypt. He received nominations for the News Presenter of the Year award in the Royal Television Society Journalism Awards in 2010 and 2014 and in 2015/2016 for Interview of the Year for an interview with the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, in which the politician lost his temper under questioning about his past statements on Hamas and Hezbollah.
Krishnan has been involved in many Channel 4 programmes, including presenting The Operation: Surgery Live (which featured live heart, brain and abdominal surgery), The Event: How Racist Are You?, The Autopsy and The Exorcism. He presented The TV Show, a discussion programme about television and appeared in a comic documentary about the band Gorillaz, entitled Gorillaz: Charts of Darkness. He also made cameo appearances in several productions, including regular appearances in Bremner, Bird and Fortune.
In 2001, Krishnan hosted the Channel 4 quiz show Number One and two series of Going Cold Turkey, featuring drug addicts experiencing withdrawal live on television.
On radio, he presented a weekly radio programme on LBC (2003 – 2005) and hosted UK Leaders Live, in which he interviewed the three main party leaders in the 2005 UK General Election. He has also appeared on various BBC Radio 4 shows, presenting the series Hindu Lives (2005) and guesting on the comedy news show The News Quiz. He used to write a weekly column in the Metro newspaper and the Asian newspaper Eastern Eye.
In the month before the 2010 General Election, Krishnan moderated the first debate featuring the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his counterparts, in a special programme called Ask the Chancellors. He also hosted How to Save £100 Billion – Live the night before the new government’s Emergency Budget. In February 2010, Krishnan interviewed the former Labour MP Jim Devine at length about his expenses, in which the politician admitted “moving money around”. The interview became key evidence in court when Devine was prosecuted for fraud and sentenced to sixteen months in jail. In 2011, Channel 4 announced that Krishnan would become an ‘ambassador’ for its foreign affairs programme Unreported World, which saw him on location in some documentaries and introducing others from the news studio. His first film was from South Africa – Trouble in the Townships. He has since made documentaries in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, America and Cambodia.
In January 2013, Guru-Murthy interviewed Quentin Tarantino, who was promoting his new film, Django Unchained. When he asked Tarantino to consider whether there was a link between film violence and real-life atrocities in America, especially in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Tarantino stated that his opinion on the matter was well-documented and then responded “I refuse your question. I’m not your slave and you’re not my master. You can’t make me dance to your tune. I’m not a monkey.” Later in the interview, when Guru-Murthy tried to steer the conversation back towards the subject, Tarantino continued “It’s none of your damn business what I think about that! And I’m shutting your butt down.”
In October 2014, Krishnan interviewed the writer, actor and director Richard Ayoade. During the interview, in which Ayoade became increasingly evasive and contrary, his co-presenter Jon Snow was reduced to fits of laughter off-screen, with Guru-Murthy later calling it “the perfect joke interview.” In April 2015, he interviewed Robert Downey Jr., who was promoting Avengers: Age of Ultron and asked increasingly probing questions about Downey Jr’s personal life. Halfway through the interview, Krishnan said “I think we have two, three more minutes” but was interrupted by Downey who said “Your foot’s starting to jump a little bit – you better get to your next question.” He asked Downey if his relationship with his father, drug use and alcoholism had anything to do with his career. Downey then walked out of the interview saying “it’s getting a little Diane Sawyer in here.” After the interview was watched several million times on YouTube, Guru-Murthy, in an account published in The Guardian newspaper, described how the question areas had been discussed in advance with Downey’s PR man.
Krishnan has appeared as himself in a number of movies and TV dramas including Shaun of the Dead and Dead Set. He has also been Channel 4’s commentator on events such as the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Paralympics, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi and the reburial of Richard III in Leicester in 2015. His sister, Geeta Guru-Murthy, is a news presenter and journalist with BBC News.
Video Clips on the Internet
Here we present a selection of video clips featuring Krishnan which we found on social media sites or have made available from our own archive. The clips are presented here for additional reference. Inclusion of a video does not constitute an endorsement of the hosting site/channel/user. If you find any broken links below or are aware of an additional clip(s) which you believe may be a useful addition to this profile, please get in touch with us via our Contact page.
PICTURED: Krishnan Guru-Murthy. SUPPLIED BY: Paul R. Jackson. COPYRIGHT: Unknown.