Professor Khalid Aziz LVO, DL, FRSA was born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1953. His broadcasting career began at the BBC as a producer at BBC Radio Leicester (1969). He soon moved into TV reporting on the BBC’s Look North (1977 – 1979) and then became its youngest presenter (1979 – 1981), at the age of 24. On 28th March 2008, he joined former presenter Sue Wilkins, along with current presenters Harry Gration and Christa Ackroyd for the programme’s 40th anniversary edition from the National Media Museum.
Whilst at the BBC, he worked on various national current affairs programmes, such as Panorama and BBC Radio 4’s Today. Khalid then switched to ITV (October 1981), joining TVS. He was the launch presenter, in January 1982, on TVS’s Coast to Coast, from its Southampton studios. In its early days, viewers were treated to regular updates on his adorable puppy, named Coaster by viewers. He was Khalid’s pet and a regular guest in the studio, though his screen appearances ended when management decided that this sort of Blue Peter-type feature wasn’t fitting for such a serious regional news programme. Khalid left the programme to produce documentaries in the mid-1980s, but still presented for TVS, fronting the business programme Enterprise South as well as Channel 4’s Dispatches. He was named TV Industrial Journalist of the Year in 1987. He was also a stand-in presenter for Mike Scott on ten editions of ITV’s daytime discussion programme, The Time…the Place… (1988).
Since 1983, Khalid has run his own public affairs/media consultancy – Aziz Corporate – and is visiting professor of business communications at The University of Southampton, School of Management, and visiting professor of journalistic ethics at The University of Winchester. He was chairman of Naomi House, children’s hospice in Winchester (1991 – 2013) and was appointed life president in 2013. Since 2012, he has been chairman of Enham Trust, which offers advocacy and supported living and working to those with disabilities.
He was appointed LVO in the 1997 Queen’s Birthday Honours for voluntary services to The Prince’s Trust, where he was honorary media adviser and chaired a number boards and committees. Since 1997 he has been deputy lieutenant of Hampshire.
Paul R. Jackson was put in touch with Khalid, courtesy of ex-BBC Leeds colleague Mike Smartt. They corresponded in June 2018.
With British-Asian Presenters Being Few in Number on UK TV in the 1970s, Did You Experience Any Negative Reaction from Viewers?
“No real issues from viewers who with typical Yorkshire warmth rather took me to their bosom. One of my co-presenters (before I went on to present the programme single-handed) was Ken Cooper, spawning a joke that did the rounds at the time: ‘When does Ken Cooper ‘ave ‘is tea? When Khalid Az ‘is!’.”
Did You Have Any Other Co-Presenters?
“There were a number of rising stars at Look North in those days, including Mike Smartt who went on to found and head up BBC online news, Jeremy Thompson, who became lead news anchor for Sky, and Tim Ewart who went to ITN and became royal correspondent.”
What Are Your Memories of the 40th Anniversary Celebrations, and Have You Kept in Touch with Former BBC Leeds/TVS Colleagues?
“The 40th anniversary celebrations were a real trip down memory lane where I caught up with many former colleagues. Christa Ackroyd wheeled into the studio a hostess trolley with the in-vogue food of the time, including cocktail sausages on sticks with cheese cubes stuck into half a grapefruit covered in cooking foil. Sadly I was out of the country for the 50th anniversary which took place in March 2018. I saw Mike Smartt only the other day at the launch of former deputy director general Mark Byford’s latest book. I got MB his first job – summer holiday relief gofer in the newsroom at Leeds – straight from university – from where he went from strength-to-strength.”
What Was It Like Being There at the Launch of a New ITV Channel – TVS?
“There was much hostility when we arrived in October 1981 to prepare for the launch of TVS on New Year’s Day. Having awarded TVS the franchise, the IBA insisted that all 2,000 ex-Southern staff except top management had to be re-employed. There were just 20 new senior staff from TVS. I managed to contract food poisoning on New Year’s Eve and felt like death presenting the first programme on New Year’s Day at 9.30am, Bring in the New. And that was after we had had to break into the studio because the security guards (who hadn’t been re-employed) had thrown all the keys into the River Itchen at midnight. Coming in as the new boy to present the flagship news programme, I wasn’t exactly flavour of the month with some very resentful ex-Southern staffers. Some viewers didn’t like it either. ‘Why couldn’t you find an Englishman to read the news’ wrote one. I read his note out on air and said if he didn’t desist from writing such letters ‘I’ll come and move in next door to you!’
Video Clips on the Internet
Here we present a selection of video clips featuring Khalid 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: Khalid Aziz (2018). SUPPLIED BY: Khalid Aziz. COPYRIGHT: Khalid Aziz.