Prominent British Muslim journalist Mehdi Hasan is to leave the UK to host a new programme on Al Jazeera English in Washington.
Hasan has risen to prominence in the last few years for his strident left-wing and pro Muslim opinions at the New Statesman and then at the Huffington Post.
He already has his own show on Al Jazeera English but will now be joining the controversial Qatari channel full-time for a weekly show, which will kick off in 2015.
In a statement the Qatari broadcaster said that Hasan will go behind the headlines to examine important stories through in-depth, hard-hitting interviews with big-name guests and lively discussions involving experts from across the world.
Commenting on his move, Mehdi Hasan said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining Al Jazeera full-time and interviewing high-profile guests on one of the world’s biggest and best-known news channels. I couldn’t turn down what is the job opportunity of a lifetime – to present a flagship weekly show, out of Washington DC, on the stories and issues that really matter to people in all corners of the globe.”
Al Anstey, managing director of Al Jazeera English added: “This new series with Mehdi will use his probing and robust interview techniques to ask the questions that often get left behind by others. These highly challenging, dynamic and provocative weekly review shows will surprise and inspire viewers, as Mehdi challenges guest after guest to reveal the stories behind the story. It will be rigorously intellectual and unashamedly forensic.
“Strongly anchored by Al Jazeera’s global and human perspective, and building on the success of Head to Head, this new series will give space to a provocative, playful and inquisitive Mehdi Hasan.”
Hasan has been named one of the 100 “most influential” Britons on Twitter, and included in the annual global list of “The 500 Most Influential Muslims” in the world. He is also the author of two books – a biography of Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and an e-book on debt and the financial crisis.
Al Jazeera is considered one of the world’s most influential broadcasters and transmits in several languages. However, it has been heavily criticized in recent years for its role in fomenting armed uprisings across the Arab world and for too closely reflecting the views of its Qatari sponsors.