ITV News presenter Rageh Omaar ‘receiving medical care’ after becoming unwell during broadcast

The ITV News presenter Rageh Omaar is “receiving medical care” after becoming unwell live on air.

Omaar, who is the network’s international affairs editor, was leading Friday evening’s (26 April) News at Ten programme when he appeared to have difficulty reading the bulletins on the autocue.

In a statement released after the programme aired, ITV News acknowledged viewers’ worries and provided an update on the situation.

“We are aware that viewers are concerned about Rageh Omaar’s wellbeing,” an ITV News spokesperson said.

“Rageh became unwell while presenting News at Ten on Friday and is now receiving medical care. He thanks everyone for their well wishes.”

The nature of Omaar’s illness during the broadcast is currently unknown.

On Saturday afternoon (27 April), Omaar shared his gratitude for the kindness of his colleagues and the concern of viewers in a statement. “I would like to thank everyone for their kindness and good wishes, especially all the medical staff, all my wonderful colleagues at ITV News, and our viewers who expressed concern.

“At the time, I was determined to finish presenting the programme. I am grateful for all the support I’ve been given.”

Rageh Omaar on ITV News (ITV / screengrab)
Rageh Omaar on ITV News (ITV / screengrab)

Across social media, the hashtag #itvnews began to trend in the UK, as viewers shared messages of support and worry for the newsreader.

ITV pulled the show from its scheduled re-runs on ITV+1, with a message instead telling viewers that ITV was “temporarily unable to bring you our +1 service”.

“We will resume shortly,” it read.

Many on X, formerly Twitter, have admonished others for sharing the footage or Omaar’s broadcast, during which he stumbled over reading some words.

“People need to stop sharing the videos of Rageh Omaar and learn some basic decency and respect,” reads one comment.

Rageh Omaar (Getty Images)
Rageh Omaar (Getty Images)

Elsewhere, another viewer expressed support for Omaar while complimenting his presenting skills: “It’s good to read that Rageh Omaar is getting medical treatment. Always the consummate professional, it was worrying to see him so clearly poorly on air last night. Get well soon, lovely man.”

Omaar has worked on ITV News since 2013, beginning his tenure as a special correspondent and presenter. He has also served as deputy newscaster of News at Ten since 2015.

Prior to his roles at ITV, the Somali-born newsreader was a world affairs correspondent at the BBC, and a news presenter at Al Jazeera.