View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

Martin Bashir returns to BBC News as religious affairs correspondent

By Freddy Mayhew

High-profile journalist Martin Bashir is returning to BBC News after 12 years away.

Bashir takes up the role of religious affairs correspondent, replacing Caroline Wyatt who stepped down this summer after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

The posting was advertised online as a grade 10 role, which according to an internal BBC report published by the Telegraph attracts an average salary of £60,000.

Bashir made his name conducting high-profile interviews, including with Princess Diana and Michael Jackson, as well as documentaries such as an investigation into abuse within the Church of Scientology and exposing the “BALCO” performance-enhancing drugs scandal.

Bashir worked as a BBC News correspondent from 1987 to 1992 before moving on to Panorama for five years.

He presented BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme until 2004 before switching to ITV’s Tonight.

Later he moved to the USA to host ABC’s Nightline programme. In 2010 he joined NBC News as an anchor for MSNBC and a correspondent on NBC’s Dateline programme.

Content from our partners
How PA Media is helping newspapers make the digital transition
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution

He resigned from MSNBC in 2013 after he accused Sarah Palin of making light of slavery and called her America’s “resident dunce”.

Jonathan Munro, head of BBC Newsgathering, said: “Martin’s track record in enterprising journalism is well known and respected in the industry and amongst our audiences.

“As a student of theology, Martin will bring immense knowledge of the brief to his new role, and an enthusiasm to cover the broadest range of faith-based stories.”

Bashir said: “The opportunity to cover the broad spectrum of religious affairs is challenging and compelling and I cannot wait to get started.”

The Guardian describe Bashir in 2003 as a “devoutly Christian introvert”.

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network