Konnie Huq – TV Presenter
Konnie Huq is of Bangladeshi descent, her parents moved to England from a village in Pabna, west of Bangladesh during the 1960s and she was born in Hammersmith, but grew up in Ealing, London, with her two sisters, Rupa and Nutun. She was educated at the independent Notting Hill & Ealing High School in London, and Robinson College, Cambridge, where she obtained a 2:1 in Economics.
In 2008, Huq reportedly turned down a six-figure sum to pose naked for Playboy magazine; she also refused to pose topless for Loaded magazine. This was mentioned on an episode of Al Murray's Happy Hour aired on 21 January 2008.
Konnie is engaged to the satirist and critic Charlie Brooker after a nine-month relationship.
In 1989, at the age of 14, Huq was a guest on Blue Peter with the National Youth Music Theatre, where she sang a solo. In 1992, ahead of the forthcoming general election, Huq interviewed Labour leader Neil Kinnock for the children's programme Newsround. She can also be seen as an extra as a schoolgirl in the BBC1 sitcom 2point4 Children in the Series 2 episode "I'm Going Slightly Mad". In 1997, several months before joining Blue Peter, Huq presented Five's early morning children's programme Milkshake!
At present Huq is best known for presenting the BBC children's television programme Blue Peter, which she joined on 1 December 1997. One of her most memorable early moments on Blue Peter was visiting Bangladesh, and speaking to members of her extended family whom she had not seen for many years. In the programme's 2004 "Summer Expedition" to India, Huq became an extra in a Bollywood film, and practised dancing alongside its stars. For the programme's 2004 "Welcome Home" appeal, she made an emotional visit to Angola in the hope of reuniting children with the families they had been separated from due to war. In 2008, during her last programme, she broke a Guinness World Record by managing to pin 17 Blue Peter Badges onto fellow presenter Andy Akinwolere's shirt in a minute.
During her time on Blue Peter her colleagues were Stuart Miles, Katy Hill, Romana D'Annunzio, Richard Bacon, Simon Thomas, Matt Baker, Liz Barker, Zöe Salmon, Gethin Jones and Andy Akinwolere.
In March 2007 she apologised to viewers after a competition on the programme was faked, saying "We'd like to say sorry to you because when this mistake happened, we let you down." She was later reported as saying that this event contributed to her decision to leave the programme.
On 31 May 2007, Huq announced that she would be leaving Blue Peter in early 2008. Her last live programme was broadcast on 22 January 2008, making her the third longest-serving Blue Peter presenter of all time and its longest-serving female host, having passed Valerie Singleton's record on 1 October 2007
On 23 January 2008, Huq hosted her final Blue Peter, with a clip show of her highlights through the ten years she had been on the programme.
The Xtra Factor
Huq was announced as the new presenter of The Xtra Factor on ITV2 replacing Holly Willoughby who was unable to fulfil the role due to her ongoing commitments at This Morning. Huq will start with the 2010 series.
"We're thrilled that Konnie is going to be joining Xtra Factor. Her broadcast experience alongside her enthusiasm for the show will be a great asset to ITV2," said Claire Zolkwer, ITV's commissioning editor for entertainment.
Meanwhile, Richard Holloway of Talkback Thames commented: "I'm delighted that Konnie is joining the Xtra Factor team. I'm sure she will bring her own distinctive style to the show."
The seventh series of the programme returned to screens from August 21st.
Other television work
Between 2002 and 2004, Huq co-presented the CBBC Channel's UK Top 40. More recently, she made her debut as a news presenter on the BBC Asian Network, in a series of documentaries on a new radio current affairs programme called the Asian Network Report.
In early 2004 Huq was briefly a presenter for Top of the Pops. She appeared on the CBBC series M.I.High as herself in the episode "The Big Freeze" broadcast on 22 January 2007. She presented GMTV's coverage on New York Fashion Week on the week of 10 September 2007. She has also been a guest panelist on the comedy gameshow 8 out of 10 Cats.
December 2007 saw Konnie appear on a celebrity version of Ready Steady Cook with Blue Peter co-presenter Andy Akinwolere, and playing a servant (called Konnie) on the last episode of the second series of Robin Hood. Also in 2007, Konnie began presenting the ITV1 London show London Talking, a political debate show, alongside Vanessa Feltz and Nick Ferrari.
She has also co-presented some of the weekly Your News programme for BBC News in 2008. On Monday 14 April 2008 Konnie was seen filming at Colchester Zoo for the 3rd series of Five show Zoo Days which was broadcast starting June 2008.
In 2008 Konnie travelled to Afghanistan with the charity Afghanaid to film a BBC Lifelines appeal which was aired on 21 September on BBC 1. In the film she talked with women in the remote province of Badakshan, which has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world, about childbirth and made an appeal for viewers to donate to Afghanaid's programme to train local midwives. She also spoke to children who had been part of an Afghanaid Child Rights project, including a 16 year old girl who had persuaded her parents not to force her into marriage.
She also appeared in an episode of Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe in December 2008, where she hosted a mock version of a "mission documentary". Huq appeared alongside Charles Kennedy on This Week on 18 December 2008 and also appeared in a number of episodes of M.I. High.
She also played herself in the episode "Golden Lady" of the TV series FM in March 2009.
Now a presenter of Guinness World Records Smashed with Steve Jones on Sundays 6pm on Sky1, she has attempted some records herself including moonwalking and trampolining. On 15 May 2009, Huq began to present entertainment show Hannah-Oke on the Disney Channel with Duncan James.
She next appeared as a panellist on popular Five show The Wright Stuff the week beginning 24 August to 28 August discussing the country's issues.
In 2005, she took part in BBC One's reality TV show Comic Relief Does Fame Academy, in aid of Comic Relief, and was the third contestant to be voted off, after her rendition of Kim Wilde's Kids in America. She also travelled to Uganda and met orphan children, on behalf of Comic Relief, and is currently a celebrity ambassador for the British Red Cross, for whom she recorded the video "If I had HIV, would you kiss me?" as part of a campaign against stigmatization of people living with HIV.
On 15 September 2006, Huq became one of the presenters of The Tube with Tony Wilson, Alex James and Emily Rose on Channel 4 Radio working with production company UKoneFM. The first edition was broadcast on 3 November 2006.
Olympic Torch incident
On 6 April 2008, Huq was one of 80 carriers of the Olympic torch relay through London when on Ladbroke Grove a protester tried to grab the torch from her whilst Huq was about to give the torch to the next runner. On BBC News later that day she defended carrying the torch, saying she "did the procession because I believe in the Olympic values, the ideals, I think sport on a global scale is a brilliant thing, it transcends culture, race, money," despite what she calls China's "terrible track record when it comes to human rights. Huq was not hurt in the incident. Police wrestled the protester to the ground and arrested him. She however voiced concern over the Chinese torch guards, saying "They were very robotic, very full on, and actually I noticed them having skirmishes with our own police and the Olympic authorities before our leg of the relay".
2010 The Xtra Factor Main Presenter from Series 7