Krishnan Guru-Murthy’s year in TV: ‘Three quarters of what’s on Channel 4 News makes me angry’ | Television & radio

Krishnan Guru-Murthy, 52, has worked on a variety of news programmes, from Newsround to Newsnight. He is currently the lead presenter of Channel 4 News, having taken over from Jon Snow in 2021, and also presents the documentary series Unreported World for the channel.

What was the best thing you did on screen last year?
The thing that stands out was going to America to cover the buildup to the George Floyd trial, and the protests that were going on. There was a sense that the pandemic had stifled progress on dealing with racism, and there was this buildup of emotion that spilt out on to the streets in the days before the verdict, with some people releasing pent-up feelings they had had for their whole lives. It was a striking period of time.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a presenter?
I had a place at medical school. My father was a doctor and I spent my childhood thinking I was going to be one, too. But looking back, I think if I had gone into medicine, I would’ve ended up quitting and maybe becoming a lawyer.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy: ‘Throughout my news career I’ve been mistaken for George Alagiah and Martin Bashir.’ Photograph: Sophia Evans/The Observer

Which TV show made you want to be on TV
I never intended to get into my line of work, but I did grow up watching the likes of Robin Day on Question Time and Brian Walden on Weekend World, and thinking that it was amazing to be able to do in-depth political interviews and hold people to account.

Have you ever been mistaken for anybody else?
I’ve spent my lifetime being mistaken for other people, because a lot of people struggle to compute the idea that there’s more than one brown-faced person on the telly. Throughout my news career I’ve been mistaken for George Alagiah or Martin Bashir.

Sign up to our Inside Saturday newsletter for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the magazine’s biggest features, as well as a curated list of our weekly highlights

What show had you gripped during the last year?
Succession. It’s high drama, it’s comedic, it’s absurd, it’s dark – there’s so much in it. And there are constant reminders of its links to reality – you can’t ever get away from the fact that you’re thinking about the Murdochs.

When was the last time the TV made you cry?
The honest answer is probably when Mrs Mangel left Neighbours, which was about 30 years ago.

What makes you angry?
Three-quarters of what’s on my programme every day makes me angry.

Who is the most famous person in your phone contacts?
I’ve got a lot of politicians. I can tell you the one that impresses my kids the most, though: YouTuber KSI. We did a long interview for Channel 4 News last year – he’s a really interesting, thoughtful guy.

Are you Team Shiv or Team Tom?
Team Shiv. They’re all terrible, but I guess there’s more to admire in Shiv.

Channel 4 News airs weeknights at 7pm. For more information about the Virgin Media Bafta TV Awards, visit bafta.org