Press release -
Broadcaster Moira Stuart honoured by Northumbria University
Celebrated broadcaster and journalist, Moira Stuart CBE, has received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from Northumbria University, Newcastle.
With a career in radio and television spanning five decades, Moira made radio history in 1978 as BBC Radio 4’s first black announcer and newsreader. Then in 1981, she became the first black woman to read the national news on British television. She has continued to shift barriers to achieve personal success, while opening doors and paving the way for others.
Moira started at the BBC in the 1970s as a production assistant in BBC Radio's Talks and Documentaries department, before becoming a BBC Radio 4 announcer, newsreader and programme presenter. She went on to present almost every type of BBC News bulletin during a period of 40 years.
She has been awarded many accolades in recognition of her success, including a CBE for services to media in the 2021 New Year Honour’s list, having previously received an OBE for services to broadcasting in 2001.
She has also received the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contributions to Broadcasting at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, and has Honorary Doctorates from the University of Edinburgh and Canterbury Christ Church University.
When she was awarded her CBE last year, Moira reflected: “Over the years, since my first Radio 4 news bulletin in 1978 through to my last BBC News summary in 2018, I've been committed to public service broadcasting, which gave me the chance to shift barriers, open doors, and change so many stagnant stereotypes.”
She also went on to say that it “hadn’t been easy”.
Moira’s achievements have made her a role model for others and she continues to inspire our students and graduates to challenge the status quo.
Speaking about her honorary degree from Northumbria, which was presented during summer graduation ceremonies held at the University’s Newcastle City Campus, Moira said: “I'm so moved by this honour. And I'm deeply indebted to your (the University’s) grace and generosity.”
And her public service has continued through roles on various boards and judging panels, including Amnesty International, The Royal Television Society, BAFTA, the Human Genetics Advisory Commission, the Orange Prize for Literature, the BUPA Communications Panel, the Queen's Anniversary Prize, and the Grierson Trust. Moira is currently a presenter on Classic FM where she hosts both the Classic FM Hall of Fame Concert and the Moira Meets programmes.