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Mehdi Hasan leaves Huffpo to front weekly news show for Al Jazeera English

By Press Gazette

Huffington Post UK political director Mehdi Hasan is joining Al Jazeera full-time to front a weekly news programme.

It will be broadcast from Washington DC and aim to go behind the headlines including interviews and discussions.

Hasan joined Huffington Post from the New Statesman in 2012.

Here is the announcement from Al Jazeera:

Journalist Mehdi Hasan is to host a new programme on global broadcaster Al Jazeera English. He joins the channel full-time for the weekly show, which will broadcast from Washington DC. Kicking off in 2015, it means he will move to the US from London.

Hasan will go behind the headlines to examine important stories through in-depth, hard-hitting interviews with big-name guests and lively discussions involving experts from across the world.

The new programme comes after the success of Head to Head. Hasan’s inquisitorial hour-long “interviews with attitude” at the Oxford Union have been amongst Al Jazeera English’s most-watched programmes. Currently in its third series of seven episodes, interviewees have included Richard Dawkins, Martin McGuinness and Jimmy Wales. Head to Head will continue as a separate series in the UK, with some episodes filmed in the US.

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Commenting on his move, Mehdi Hasan said:

"I'm incredibly excited to be joining Al Jazeera full-time and interviewing high-profile guests on one of the world's biggest and best-known news channels. I couldn't turn down what is the job opportunity of a lifetime – to present a flagship weekly show, out of Washington DC, on the stories and issues that really matter to people in all corners of the globe."

Al Anstey, managing director of Al Jazeera English said:

“This new series with Mehdi will use his probing and robust interview techniques to ask the questions that often get left behind by others. These highly challenging, dynamic and provocative weekly review shows will surprise and inspire viewers, as Mehdi challenges guest after guest to reveal the stories behind the story. It will be rigorously intellectual and unashamedly forensic.

“Strongly anchored by Al Jazeera’s global and human perspective, and building on the success of Head to Head, this new series will give space to a provocative, playful and inquisitive Mehdi Hasan.”

Mehdi Hasan is an award-winning British journalist, broadcaster, author and social commentator. He moves to Al Jazeera from the Huffington Post UK where he was political director.

He has been named one of the 100 'most influential' Britons on Twitter, and included in the annual global list of 'The 500 Most Influential Muslims' in the world ('The Muslim 500'). His debate-winning speech at the Oxford Union on Islam and peace went viral online, amassing more than two million views. Mehdi is also the author of two books – a biography of Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and an e-book on debt and the financial crisis.

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