Emily Maitlis

Photograph by Alex lake/The Observer.

Continuing our series about people with Sheffield connections. Yet another product of King Edward VII School, Emily Maitlis, British-Canadian journalist, documentary maker and main presenter of BBC’s Newsnight alongside Kirsty Wark.

She was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1970, but brought up in Sheffield after her father became a Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Sheffield. “Home in Sheffield was a place full of books where you talked about things, but where you were always shushed when the headlines came on.”

Her first Saturday job was at Ross & Foster hairdressers where she was paid £6 a week. The salon offered her a full time job, but her parents insisted she stay at school and went to read English at Queen’s College, Cambridge.

She worked for NBC Asia in Hong Kong before moving to Sky News as Business Correspondent and then to the BBC in 2001. She appeared regularly on BBC News and hosted the 2012 US Election Coverage alongside David Dimbleby.

Since presenting Newsnight she won Interview of the Year and Scoop of the Year at the 2020 RTS Television Awards for her interview with the Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and his ill-fated friendship with American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

In 2012 she was given an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Sheffield. “What made it even more special is the fact that it was my home-town – my parents were thrilled.”

Maitlis published a book ‘Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News’ in 2019, describing how television news is produced.