Ex-BBC reporter who became a household name during the Iraq invasion leaves al-Jazeera to become ITV special correspondent
Rageh Omaar, the former BBC war reporter who was dubbed the “Scud stud” during the Iraq war, is to become a special correspondent with ITV News.
Omaar joins ITV this week from Qatar-based news channel al-Jazeera, which he joined in 2006.
The Somalia-born reporter became a household name during the invasion of Iraq, reporting from a hotel rooftop in Baghdad.
It is not the first time ITV News has tried to hire Omaar, having tried but failed to woo him in 2004.
Omaar said: “Joining ITV News represents a return to news reporting for me, which is where my passion for journalism began.”
He said he was “incredibly excited to be joining such a fantastic and thriving news organisation with a wonderful history”.
ITV said he would be responsible for covering a “broad range of news stories and producing special in-depth reports from all around the UK and when required, on stories abroad”.
Omaar, who won a Bafta for the BBC’s coverage of the invasion of Afghanistan, worked on investigative and documentary programmes for al-Jazeera, including a series about 21st-century slavery.
Michael Jermey, ITV’s director of news and current affairs, said Omaar was “one of the very best television news correspondents of his generation”.
As well as working across the BBC he has also previously reported for Channel 4′s Dispatches, Sky News and ITV, and has written two books, Revolution Day: the Real Story of the Battle for Iraq, and Only Half of Me: Being a Muslim in Britain.
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Source: The Guardian