Comic Ella Al-Shamahi becomes a World Service presenter | New host of The Conversation, about impressive women

Comic Ella Al-Shamahi becomes a World Service presenter

New host of The Conversation, about impressive women

Comedian, explorer, palaeoanthropologist and evolutionary biologist Ella Al-Shamahi has become co-host of the BBC World Service programme The Conversation.

She and investigative journalist Datshiane Navanayagam now front the weekly series, which is dedicated to impressive women around the world.

Al-Shamahi’s  first episode aired yesterday and featured Aliyyah Koloc and Annie Seel, who are both taking part in the gruelling off-road Dakar endurance rally.

She said: ‘Every week on this show the listeners get to meet two exceptional women, often strangers, but who share an expertise – from malaria specialists, to race car drivers and everything in between – and we get to listen in on them having a conversation.

‘To be asked to host and facilitate these conversations is incredible and to be around so many amazing women - what a dream. For over 20 years I’ve been fascinated with this interview style and now, to be doing The Conversation with the one and only BBC World Service - pinch me.’

The Conversation has been running for ten years and was presented by Kim Chakanetsa until she stood down at the start of the years. Since then it has featured a number of guest presenters.

Gwenan Roberts, commissioning editor for the BBC World Service said: ‘The Conversation has grown a trusted reputation for bringing listeners the voices of inspiring women doing extraordinary things in different parts of the world. 

‘The series continues with this fantastic presenting duo, we are so pleased to have Ella and Datshiane on board.’

Al-Shamahi will also soon be seen hosting Human, a five-part series from BBC Studios and PBS in America, which tells the story of how modern humans came into being.  The show will air next year.

The Conversation airs every Monday and is available on BBC World Service and on podcast platforms including BBC Sounds. 

Paddy McGuinness is to host a Sunday show on Radio 2 from 11am-1pm from June as Michael Ball, who currently has that slot, moves hosting the 9am-11am Love Songs show, previously presented by Steve Wright. The comic – who has been filling in for Rylan on  Saturday afternoons on the station – says the new regular slot ‘is a dream come true’. 

Published: 2 Apr 2024

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.