Mishal Husain becomes R4 Today programme’s first ethnic minority presenter

She joins flagship Radio 4 news show as the second woman in the current team

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Newsreader Mishal Husain is to join Radio 4’s Today programme as the second female presenter and the first from an ethnic minority background.

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Husain, who fronts BBC1’s Weekend News, joins Sarah Montague as the second woman in the current roster of presenters. The other current presenters are Evan Davis, James Naughtie, John Humphrys and Justin Webb.

Hussain has been brought on to cover for Naughtie who takes an enhanced role in addition to his Today presenting role to cover the independence referendum in Scotland.

He will host Good Morning Scotland two days a week and work across Radio 4 news programmes. The corporation said he will return to fronting Today full time ahead of the 2015 general election.

“I have long been an admirer of Today and am delighted to have the opportunity to join the team,” said Husain.

“The programme has unparalleled influence across BBC News and on our national conversation and I am looking forward to being part of it”.

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BBC director general, Tony Hall, said: “It is such great news that Mishal will be joining the Today programme. She is a first-rate journalist who will be an excellent addition to what is already a very strong team. I am also particularly pleased that her appointment means there will be another female voice on the programme, which I believe is extremely important.”