George Alagiah diagnosed with cancer

George Alagiah

George Alagiah has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and will be away from the BBC while he undergoes treatment.

The News at Six and Ten presenter is 'optimistic for a positive outcome', according to a statement from the Corporation on Thursday.

'George asks that he and his family are given the space and privacy they require whilst he recovers,' continued the statement.

'Our thoughts are with him and his family and we send them our very best wishes during this time.'

The BBC said that 'familiar faces' will present the domestic news bulletins, as well as GMT on BBC World News, until Alagiah is well enough to return to work.

The Sri Lankan-born journalist joined the BBC in 1989. He was a respected foreign correspondent, reporting from such countries as Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sierra Leone before becoming a news presenter.

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