Ros Atkins

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For the English football goalkeeper see Ross Atkins
Ros Atkins
Cornwall, England,
United Kingdom
Occupation Journalist
Notable credit(s)
World Have Your Say
Outside Source

Ros Atkins (born Cornwall, England) is a BBC News presenter who hosts the programme Outside Source which broadcasts at 2100 GMT, Monday-Thursday on BBC World News television. Previously he hosted World Have Your Say on BBC World News and BBC World Service radio.[1]

Early life and education

Atkins grew up in Cornwall but also lived in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and Nassau, Bahamas. He also lived in Johannesburg, South Africa, after finishing his studies.[2]

Atkins was educated at Truro School,[3] a co-educational boarding independent school in Truro in Cornwall, and read History at Jesus College, Cambridge.[4][5][6]


Early career

Atkins began his career in South Africa where he researched crime prevention and human rights for the Centre for Policy Studies.[7] He also wrote for the Sunday Independent in South Africa and worked as a DJ in Johannesburg and at the Oppikoppi festival.[8][9]

On returning to the UK, Atkins became editor of[10] He also contributed to British Airways in-flight radio.[11]

Atkins continued to DJ, setting up a night called Sharp in Brixton, south London, and appearing at WOMAD and Fruitstock.[12][13][14]

BBC Radio

In 2001, Atkins joined the BBC as a news producer on the Simon Mayo programme on BBC Radio Five Live.[15] He also presented on Up All Night while at Radio Five Live.[16] Atkins then joined the BBC World Service. He presented The World Today and The Ticket before joining World Have Your Say in 2005.[17]

While Atkins was the presenter, World Have Your Say won a Sony Gold Award for Listener Participation in 2008 and a Sony Bronze Award for 'Best Speech Programme' in 2012.[18][19] The Sony Awards have been described as the Oscars of the UK radio industry.[20]

Atkins has hosted coverage of many major stories around the world for BBC News, including both of Barack Obama's election victories and his first inauguration, the swine flu outbreak in Mexico, the football World Cups in Germany and South Africa, the Charles Taylor verdict, the London Olympic Games and Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.[21][22][23]

He was also a lead presenter for the BBC World Service coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela that won a Radio Academy Gold Award in 2014.[24][25][26]

Atkins has hosted television broadcasts including editions of World Have Your Say in Cairo (2011), Boston (2012) and Berlin (2014).[27][28][29]

Atkins also hosted live audience radio programmes for BBC World Service in many places including Cleveland, Austin, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Windhoek, Delhi, Mumbai, Kampala, Nairobi, Accra, Abuja, Berlin, Brussels, Tel Aviv, Jakarta, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Cardiff, Glasgow and many more.

In 2009, Atkins wrote about how he and colleagues became 'social pariahs' after reporting on the swine flu outbreak in Mexico City.[30]


Atkins has made several documentaries. 'Living With Tourists' explored the impact tourism has had in the three places he grew up (the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and Cornwall).[31][32]'Sharing It All' examined why people are so willing to share very personal experiences online and also on programmes such as World Have Your Say. 'All That Stands in the Way' looked at the root causes of gender inequality through the lives of four teenage girls from Iceland, Jordan, the UK and Lesotho. It was a TV documentary, and a separate radio documentary. Three follow-up programmes were made – 'All That Stands in the Way: The Girl', 'All That Stands in the Way: The Parents' and 'All That Stands in the Way: The Debate', which were made when the girls and their parents were brought together in New York.

Outside Source

In 2013, the BBC announced that Atkins would present a new programme called Outside Source. It would have separate radio and TV editions on BBC World Service and BBC World News. It launched on BBC World Service radio in 2013, with a launch on BBC World News in early 2014. The BBC announced in early 2015 that the TV edition would be expanded and carried by both BBC World News and BBC News Channel at 9 pm UK time.

Outside Source is noted for what the BBC calls 'state-of-the-art touch-screen technology' which is used to access and illustrate developing news stories. Atkins has talked about sharing the BBC's editorial process with viewers as stories evolve and of making sure that 'if you switch the show on, you're guaranteed the immediacy and full range of information on a story that comes from being online'.

In March 2015, Atkins co-hosted a special edition of Outside Source with school children from London for BBC School Report.


Atkins hosted cable TV conference EuroSummit in 2014. He also moderated at Media360 in Hong Kong (a conference for media owners, buyers & agencies) in 2015. He is also a mentor with the John Schofield Trust.

Personal life

Atkins lives in South East London with his wife and two daughters.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "Truro School Former Pupils' Association – Newsletter Online – FP News – Ros Atkins (OC '93) Page 2" (PDF). Truro School, Cornwall. June 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Career inspiration". Truro & Penwith College. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Not every worthy experiment works | The Program Doctor". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Home | The Jesters Cricket Club". Home | The Jesters Cricket Club. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ [4]
  9. ^ [5]
  10. ^ [6]
  11. ^ [7]
  12. ^ [8]
  13. ^ [9]
  14. ^ [10]
  15. ^ [11]
  16. ^ [12]
  17. ^ [13]
  18. ^ [14]
  19. ^ [15]
  20. ^ [16]
  21. ^ [17]
  22. ^ [18]
  23. ^ [19]
  24. ^ [20]
  25. ^ [21]
  26. ^ [22]
  27. ^ [23]
  28. ^ [24]
  29. ^ [25]
  30. ^ [26]
  31. ^ [27]
  32. ^ [28]
Media offices
Preceded by
New Position
Main Presenter of Outside Source
2014 – present
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