Rageh Omaar was 'determined to finish presenting programme' after becoming unwell live on air

By John Mercury April 28, 2024

ITV News broadcaster Rageh Omaar has said he was “determined to finish presenting the programme” after returning home following hospital treatment.

Viewers expressed concern about the 56-year-old presenter after he appeared to fall “unwell” live on air during News At Ten on Friday night.

In a statement shared by ITV News, Mr Omaar said: “I would like to thank everyone for their kindness and good wishes, especially all the medical staff, all my wonderful colleagues at ITV News, and our viewers who expressed concern.

“At the time, I was determined to finish presenting the programme. I am grateful for all the support I’ve been given.”

An ITV News spokesperson said he was recovering at home with his family following medical treatment at a hospital.

The scheduled re-run of the news broadcast on ITV+1 was pulled. In its place, a message appeared telling viewers the channel was “temporarily unable to bring you our +1 service”.

Mr Omaar received many messages of support on social media.

Former environment minister Zac Goldsmith said in a post on X: “Rageh Omaar is one of this country’s most iconic broadcasters. He’s also a great, kind and deeply thoughtful man.

“Sending him and his family much love and so hoping this is just a minor blip.”

Channel 5 news anchor Dan Walker posted: “I hope [he] is ok and is being looked after.”

In 2003 Rageh Omaar reported from Baghdad for the BBC
Image:
In 2003 Rageh Omaar reported from Baghdad for the BBC

Mr Omaar’s colleague Marverine Cole, a newsreader for ITV’s Good Morning Britain, said she wished Omaar “all the very best” in a message on X.

“Doing this job isn’t easy at the best of times with people watching every stumble and mistake,” posted Sky News anchor Matt Barbet.

“If it’s because you’re suddenly unwell then that’s so unfortunate. I hope Rageh gets well soon and is back on ITV news too,” he said.

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Channel 4 journalist Ayshah Tull hailed Mr Omaar as an “amazingly kind and wonderful journalist” as she wished him “a speedy recovery”.

Mr Omaar covers major news stories as ITV’s international affairs editor, while also presenting the channel’s current affairs programme On Assignment.

He was previously a senior foreign correspondent for the BBC, rising to prominence during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

That year, he was named ‘man of the year’ in an online poll of Radio Times readers, beating former England captain David Beckham to the title.

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