Konnie Huq

Konnie Huq
Konnie Huq
কনক হক

Huq in 2006
Born Kanak Asha Huq
17 July 1975 (1975-07-17) (age 36)
Hammersmith, London, England
Residence United Kingdom
Ethnicity Bangladeshi
Citizenship British
Education 2:1 in Economics
Alma mater Notting Hill & Ealing High School, Robinson College, Cambridge
Occupation Television presenter
Employer ITV, BBC
Known for Blue Peter presenter, Olympic Torch incident
Term Blue Peter presenter
Predecessor Romana D'Annunzio
Successor Helen Skelton
Religion Sunni Islam[1]
Spouse Charlie Brooker (2010-present)

Kanak Asha "Konnie" Huq (play /ˈhʌk/; Bengali: কনক হক; born 17 July 1975) is a British television presenter, who is best known for being the longest-serving female presenter of Blue Peter, having presented it from 1 December 1997 until 23 January 2008. She presented the 2010 series of The Xtra Factor on ITV2.


Early life

Huq was born in Hammersmith, London, to Sunni Muslim[2] Bangladeshi parents who had immigrated to England in the 1960s.[3][4][5] She 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 obtaining 9 GCSEs (of which 8 were grade A and 1 grade B) and A-levels in physics, maths and chemistry. She also appeared on the TV gameshow Blockbusters in 1992. At Robinson College, Cambridge she obtained a 2:1 in Economics.[3]

Broadcasting career

Early career

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 appeared as a contestant on Blockbusters in the same year. She also appeared as an extra playing a schoolgirl in the BBC One 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!, while also working as an editorial assistant at 'Total Sport' magazine.

Blue Peter

Huq is best known for presenting the BBC children's television programme Blue Peter, which she joined on 1 December 1997.[6][7] 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.[6] In the programme's 2004 "Summer Expedition" to India, Huq became an extra in a Bollywood film, and practised dancing alongside its stars.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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."[8] She was later reported as saying that this event contributed to her decision to leave the programme.[9][10]

On 31 May 2007, Huq announced that she would be leaving Blue Peter in early 2008.[8] 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.[11]

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.[citation needed]

The Xtra Factor

Huq presented the 2010 series of The Xtra Factor on ITV2 replacing Holly Willoughby who was unable to fulfil the role due to her ongoing commitments at This Morning.[12] However it was reported that she had departed from The Xtra Factor due to other commitments though rumours that she was sacked by Simon Cowell after he was reported to be unimpressed with her performance and presenting style.[13][14]

Other television work

Between 2002 and 2004, Huq co-presented the CBBC Channel's UK Top 40.

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 Huq 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 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.

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.

She presented 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 appeared as a panellist on popular Channel 5 show The Wright Stuff the week beginning 24 August 2009 discussing topical issues.


On 15 September 2006, Huq became one of the presenters of The Tube with Tony Wilson, Alex James and Emily Rose[disambiguation needed ] on Channel 4 Radio[15] working with production company UKoneFM. The first edition was broadcast on 3 November 2006.[16]

Huq made her debut as a news presenter on the BBC Asian Network in September 2007,[17] in a series of documentaries on a radio current affairs programme called the Asian Network Report.[4]

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, Ian Harold Brown, 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."[18] Huq was not hurt in the incident. Police wrestled the protester to the ground and arrested him.[19] 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".[20]

Charity interests

In 2005, Huq took part in BBC One 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,[21] for whom she recorded the video "If I had HIV, would you kiss me?"[22] as part of a campaign against stigmatization of people living with HIV.

In 2008 Konnie travelled to Afghanistan with the charity Afghanaid to film a BBC Lifelines appeal which was aired on 21 September on BBC1.[23] In the film she talked with women in the remote province of Badakhshan, 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 14 year old girl who had persuaded her parents not to force her into marriage.[24]

Konnie Huq is an ambassador for Gold Challenge, part of the official mass participation legacy programme for the London 2012 Games. Gold Challenge is a fund-raising challenge where participants take on five or more Olympic and Paralympic sports in order to raise money for a charity of their choice. Konnie will be taking on her own Gold Challenge and encouraging others to do so as well.

Personal life

Huq supported the Labour Party at the 2010 General Election.[25]

On 26 July 2010 Huq married Charlie Brooker at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas after a nine-month relationship.[26][27]


Year Title Role
1992 Blockbusters Contestant
2point4 Children Extra
1993 Eat Your Words Main presenter alongside Simon Parkin
1997 Milkshake! Main presenter alongside Lucy Alexander
19972008 Blue Peter Main presenter alongside various co-presenters
20022004 UK Top 40 Main presenter alongside Adrian Dickson
2005 Comic Relief Does Fame Academy Contestant (out third)
2006 The Tube Main presenter alongside Tony Wilson, Alex James and Emily Rose[disambiguation needed ]
2007 The Sarah Jane Adventures Cameo appearance
M.I.High Minor character
8 out of 10 Cats Panellist
New York Fashion Week Main presenter for GMTV coverage
London Talking Main presenter alongside Vanessa Feltz and Nick Ferrari
Robin Hood A servant called Konnie
2008 Al Murray's Happy Hour Celebrity guest
Your News Main presenter alongside Laura Jones, Manish Bhasin and Adam Parsons
The Weakest Link Contestant on Blue Peter special
UK School Games Main presenter alongside Nigel Clarke
When Beauty Goes Wrong Main presenter
Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe Presenter of the mock documentary in Episode 4 'Konnie's Great British Wee'
Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old? Contestant
20082009 Zoo Days Presenter of the Colchester edition of the show
2009 Noel's HQ Reporter
Guinness World Records Smashed Main presenter alongside Steve Jones
Hannah-Oke Main presenter alongside Duncan James
The Wright Stuff Panellist for the Week
The Daily Politics Guest reporter
I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here! NOW! Panellist
Jack Osbourne: Adrenaline Junkie Celebrity participant
2010 The Archive Hour: Open Sesame Guest reporter
The Xtra Factor Main presenter from Series 7
Mind Your Language Main presenter
71 Degrees North Contestant Series 1
This Week Guest reporter
Shocked Britain Main presenter
2011 Would I Lie to You? (TV series) Guest panellist
Preceded by
Holly Willoughby
Host of The Xtra Factor
Succeeded by
Olly Murs and Caroline Flack

See also


  1. ^ Saner, Emine (7 December 2007). "Konnie Huq's ten years in Blue Peter show and why she is leaving it now". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/dec/07/bbc.television1. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  2. ^ 12:55PM BST 10 Oct 2010 (2010-10-10). "Konnie Huq: my family wanted me to marry a Muslim". Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/8053988/Konnie-Huq-my-family-wanted-me-to-marry-a-Muslim.html. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  3. ^ a b Caesar, Ed "Konnie Huq is feeling the heat but still ready to carry the Olympic flame", Times Online, 6 April 2008
  4. ^ a b My Secret Life: Konnie Huq, TV Presenter, age 32 The Independent, 12 July 2008
  5. ^ Good Girl, Bad Girl - Konnie Huq[dead link] UK Lanka Times
  6. ^ a b "Konnie Huq - Clients". ROAR Global. 1997-12-01. http://www.roarglobal.com/clients/konnie-huq/biography/. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  7. ^ "Host Huq bows out of Blue Peter". BBC News. 22 January 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7203281.stm. 
  8. ^ a b Blue Peter editor leaves job BBC News, 16 May 2007
  9. ^ "I Quit Over BP Kon". Daily Mirror. 21 June 2007. http://www.mirror.co.uk/showbiz/2007/06/21/i-quit-over-bp-kon-89520-19331004/. Retrieved 21 June 2007. 
  10. ^ Television - News - 'Blue Peter' presenter left due to scam Digital Spy, 21 June 2007
  11. ^ "Blue Peter's Konnie Huq to leave". BBC News. 31 May 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6709739.stm. Retrieved 31 May 2007. 
  12. ^ Josh Darvill (7 June 2010). "Konnie Huq announced as new Xtra Factor presenter". TellyMix. http://xfactor.tellymix.co.uk/2010/pre-xf/13265-konnie-huq-announced-as-new-xtra-factor-presenter.html. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "Praise the Lord! Konnie Huq sacked from the Xtra Factor!". Unreality TV. 2010-12-13. http://www.unrealitytv.co.uk/x-factor/praise-the-lord-konnie-huq-sacked-from-the-xtra-factor/. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  14. ^ "Xtra Factor’s Konnie Huq gets the axe from ITV2 spin-off - X Factor 2011 | The X Factor 2011 by TellyMix". Xfactor.tellymix.co.uk. 2010-12-14. http://xfactor.tellymix.co.uk/2010/news/23284-xtra-factors-konnie-huq-gets-the-axe-from-itv2-spin-off.html. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  15. ^ "Presenters". The Tube. Channel 4. http://www.channel4.com/music/microsites/0-9/4radio/thetube/presenters.html. Retrieved 23 April 2007. 
  16. ^ The Tube is back on Channel 4 Radio Skiddle.com, 31 October 2006
  17. ^ Asians in Media article on new Asian Network Report Asians in Media, 1 September 2006
  18. ^ "Clashes along Olympic torch route". BBC News. 6 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7333360.stm. Retrieved 6 April 2008. 
  19. ^ Booth, Jenny (6 April 2008). "Arrests and scuffles as Olympic torch crosses London". Times Online. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3693033.ece. Retrieved 6 April 2008. 
  20. ^ "Olympic torch guards called "thugs"". The International Herald Tribune. 15 April 2008. http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/08/asia/guards.php. Retrieved 15 April 2008. 
  21. ^ Profile[dead link] British Red Cross
  22. ^ "Video: If I had HIV, would you kiss me?". YouTube. 19 November 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke2QKx26iNc. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  23. ^ Afghanaid, a charity working in rural Afghanistan which Konnie Huq filmed an appeal for in 2008
  24. ^ Afghanaid Appeal - Lifeline - BBC YouTube
  25. ^ om een reactie te plaatsen!. "Konnie Huq on why she's voting Labour". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir7n1QJ-Q70&feature=player_embedded. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  26. ^ Sara Nathan (9 June 2010). "Konnie Huq to marry Charlie Brooker in the most unlikely showbiz wedding". London: Mail Online. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1285111/The-unlikely-showbiz-wedding-Konnie-Huq-marry-foul-mouthed-Charlie-Brooker-whirlwind-romance.html. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  27. ^ "Marriage License". County of Clark, Nevada. 2010-07-26. https://aivitals.co.clark.nv.us/WebPIInternet/DocDescMain.aspx?sk=20100726000520940&ref=186bdb26-4045-4f62-8170-66e344d156b6. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 

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