World Have Your Say -

Meet the team

  • Peter van Dyk
  • 29 Dec 06, 09:45 AM

Here's all you need to know about the brave men and women who work so hard to bring you World Have Your Say each day. Except of course the freelancers who help when we're on holiday, or sick, or off doing exciting broadcasts around the world.

We'll add more people when the fancy takes us/as the empire expands/when people move on to bigger and better things (if you can imagine that!).

Ros Atkins

Ros says 'Keep your comment short!'Ros Atkins is a relatively new arrival at the BBC World Service, having made the move from the BBC's domestic news and sport radio station Five Live. There he specialised in world news and sport so he's settling in here very well.
Though he hails from Cornwall in the far south-west of England, he also lived in Nassau and Port of Spain while growing up, and began his career in Johannesburg, where he discovered the pleasures of listening to the World Service. On returning to the UK, he edited the website of London's Time Out magazine before taking the plunge at the BBC.
His knowledge of Africa and the Caribbean has been utilised with reporting trips covering Kenyan corruption, Trinidad and Tobago carnival and Ghana's progress at the World Cup. Having presented the World Today and the World Service's arts and entertainment programme The Ticket, Ros is now devoting all his energy to World Have Your Say.

Best WHYS moment:
Helping take the show to Johannesburg in South Africa. It's a city I'm fascinated by and very fond of, so to go there with World Have Your Say fulfilled a long held ambition. The fact that the shows from Soweto and Sandton were some of the best we've done, topped it all off.

Worst WHYS moment:
When three or four people all try and talk simultaneously despite my best efforts to persuade them to take turns. It's not always anyone's fault as they may be on a poor phone line and not be aware the others are talking. But whatever the reasons, when it happens it doesn't sound pretty.

Fiona Crack

Fiona arrived at Bush House, the home of World Service Radio, from the BBC News Website.
She thinks her work on the Talking Point programme and Have Your Say pages have taught her to select debates that get people fired up. Prior to that she worked for a BBC current affairs programme Panorama and at Amnesty International. Fiona loves the BBC so much that she represents the corporation at netball. Her and her team mates take matches very seriously, discussing tactics straight afterwards in the pub. She loves cooking delicious meals for mostly ungrateful friends and spends too much time and money in shoe shops.

Best WHYS moment:
Our first programme on the road in New Orleans. Carole - who begged us to come and broadcast from her Katrina-wreaked house - spoke with such passion, emotion, anger, that even I (and I rarely cry) felt very choked-up.

Worst WHYS moment:
The Soweto programme where I held the mic and an angry man shouted a four-letter expletive into it.

Rabiya Parekh

Rabiya and David plan more radio magicRabiya took a typically conventional route in to the BBC, around 25 applications and 4 gruelling (unsuccessful) interviews, before she finally secured a traineeship as a reporter in local radio.
Rabiya has spent the last three years at the BBC Asian Network, where she was part of a team that launched the very lively mid morning phone in.

Best WHYS moment:
I think it has to be the buzz of doing a programme with a live studio audience through out our week in the US..Presenting and producing that where you can see your audience was second to none.

Worst WHYS moment:
It has got to be telling the world that Moazzam Begg is "tiny". In fact I think it was something along the lines of.."Oh my God, he's so tiny". I hadn't realised the mic was on.

Mark Sandell

The captain of the WHYS ship, editor Mark SandellMark has spent 22 years in radio news as an average reporter, a pretty poor presenter before becoming a brilliant and charismatic editor. Mark formerly edited the World Today on World Service Radio and before that was in charge of news programmes on Radio 5 Live and Radio 1 for the BBC, having joined the corporation from Capital Radio in London.
Mark has a long history of interactivity trying to make his views heard at Upton Park most Saturdays where he is a West Ham season ticket holder. He divides his spare time between being a real ale judge at the Great British Beer Festival and watching re-runs of the Simpsons. Known as "Mark" to his friends, he is "Mr Sandell" to the rest of the WHYS team.

Best WHYS moment:
The outside broadcasts from Sandton and Soweto in South Africa and New Orleans in the States.

Worst WHYS moment:
All the times we have dodgy phone lines.

Peter van Dyk

Peter checks important emails at Woodrow Wilson HS in WashingtonIf you want a nit picked then look no further - no detail is too small to be argued over. And don't worry about his curmudgeonly nature - it's just the result of three decades supporting Watford Football Club. His start in journalism came in late-90s Moscow, but when in 2001 the dot-com bust hit the prospects of a young web site editor he joined the BBC. Radio may not be rocket science, but on the days that it feels like it is, Peter likes to point to his Masters degree in Space Science hanging in an embossed frame on the wall.

Best WHYS moment:
Being in Preservation Hall for the New Orleans broadcast. After hearing the residents speak so eloquently and passionately about their struggles since Hurricane Katrina I wanted to shake the hand of each and every one of them.

Worst WHYS moment:
Reading out emails on the first ever World Have Your Say - when the topic was Iran and President Ahmadinejad. Now I can pronounce it just fine...

Leonardo Rocha

When I was seven or so, I changed my mind. I decided I wasn't going to be a writer anymore. I would be a journalist. Writers make no money, I didn't want to be poor. Well, I'm not exactly rich now, but happy that I'm a journalist. I went to university in my hometown, Rio (where else), worked mostly in the faraway capital, Brasilia, as a political journalist, did an MA in Cardiff in 88/89, a memorable year.

Then I decided to drop everything and come to the UK in 94. I've been with the BBC since, in the Brazilian Service for several years, then Bush House newsroom, five years and lots of night shifts in the World Today. I joined the World Have Your Say in May, when our colleague Alan Johnston was still in captivity in Gaza. And like everyone else was delighted to hear we played a little part in make his awful hostage days a little brighter with our "daily Alan slots".

Best moment: working on the WHYS the day Alan was released and having him on for the whole hour

Worst moment: forgetting to buy a present for David Mazower the day he left

Ben Tobias

Ben arrived at the World Service fresh from university with a degree in Russian Studies. After a few months fighting for casual shifts at the BBC's Russian Service he was given a permanent job there, working mainly on the human interest programme 'News With a Human Face' (he assures us the not-so-snappy title sounds better in Russian!). He also helped to launch the Russian Service's new interactive programme 'Over To You', which was launched last year from the Southern Russian town of Samara in the minus thirty degree cold.

He is with the WHYS team until March 2008, when he will go back to the Russian Service. His efforts to get some Russian stories on WHYS are usually in vain, but he assures us he won't give up. So if you're surprised to hear us discussing the latest in Russian politics any time soon, you know who to blame!

Sadly Departed

Anu Anand

Anu's was the first voice we all heard on WHYS back on October 31 2005 and for most of our first two years she was a regular host of the show. So it was with heavy hearts that we heard that Anu had decided to leave the BBC and head for Delhi. She was at the heart of the show and it doesn't seem right that we don't hear her on air anymore. Come back soon Anu.

Richard Bowen

The man from Birmingham steered the show through some tough terrain including Amsterdam in torrential rain and Issa's house in Kampala with no electricity or water. He was a listener favourite when reading your messages on air, with emails still arriving asking where he's gone. You'll find him producing at BBC World television, but not for ever we hope.

David Mazower

Another member of the launch team, the man they called 'The Moisturizer' left us light on male grooming when he moved on to Newshour in September. Famed for an enthusiasm classical music, dense Middle East stories and printing out articles and putting them on a large unread pile, he does

Anna Stewart

She came for six months, stayed for a year, we'd hoped she could stay longer still but she's headed back to BBC Radio Five Live from where she'd come. Anna's now a producer on the Eamonn Holmes show.

Vicki Harrison

Vicki's moments on WHYS were fleeting. She arrived went on our big Africa trip in May 07 and promptly got a promotion and moved to The World Today. But she didn't stop there, she then landed a top job in the Amnesty International press office and that's where you'll find her now.

Paul Coletti

Never a fully signed up member of the WHYS team, Paul was so regularly booked as a freelancer it just felt that way. He was known briefly as Rocky Blogboa, before we realised we could take the Sly comparisons so far. The World Today then made an honest man of him and offered a contract, so he's there at the moment working as a producer. His efforts online continue to be very helpful though. Our Facebook group - he set it up.

Kevin Anderson

He was the man from Illinois who showed WHYS the way on blogging. Sadly for us, the Guardian wanted a piece of the Anderson pie and Kevin's now head of blogs there.

Steve Richards

Steve was another one of the "originals". He saw the show through its first three months, presenting every Tuesday and Friday. You can still read him in The Independent and, if you're in the UK, watch him on GMTV every Sunday.

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Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 05:55 PM on 28 Dec 2006,
  • Syed Hasan Turab wrote:

WHYS have a bright future why not bbc gave little bit more indepence to WHYS, as this programme is on fast track of Globalised media.
Need some Chinese & African faces in staff too.
Why not BBC run it like " Alliance de Frananca" style, to remove language barriers with better understanding.
You are doing well WHYS.

  • 2.
  • At 11:49 PM on 28 Dec 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

Hail to the brave men and women who work so hard to bring us World Have Your Say each and every day (Mondays through Fridays, holidays excluded.) How reassuring to know that they intrepidly face the perils of the water cooler, the unknown terrors of the photocopy machines, and the frightful dangers of the file cabinets so unflinchingly, so faithfully, so tirelessly. They who toil away risking life and limb pounding the keys of their PCs never thinking of themselves or their loved ones but sacrificing everything on our behalf. We who reply to the blogs salute you one and all.

For me, one of the biggest discoveries on the net was WHYS and its sister HYS. Both forums are an occasion to air views on different topics. Listeners to BBC have become really active participants by sending their comments, taking part in the programme or helping WHYS set the agenda.

I had the opportunity to take part in WHYS program at least five times and on Sunday edition of HYS. It is a good thing to be part of the archive of BBC through its live comments or e-mails.

It's no wonder if WHYS and HYS have quickly got popular as they have the mark of BBC. Just this name is enough to give weight to any media project.
I still remember in the 80s BBC Worldservice cancelled an interactive program that was broadcast weekly because the average number of letters it got didn't exceed 30.
Now thanks to the internet BBC gets thousands of e-mails daily. Almost all corners of the world have their say about the topics raised.

WHYS has become an addiction for me. Each day I try to decide which topic(s) to select for contribution. I hope the team find my comments to the point.

WHYS is now more than a forum. It is a club open to everyone. It has established its distinct features. Many thanks to the team for their daily hard work which progressively starts with setting the agenda, getting comments and it culminates into live broadcast. I am sure the team has a sigh of relief each time the programme ends. But the following day it starts with the hard work of how to make it again for another day.

Team keep going. You have made the blog and the live programme special for those who want to make their voice heard or simply to share their view with others in different corners of the world.

WHYS has a great future and is my family in the BBC. It has been a pleasure to participate in your live chats.
Right now, Miami Florida is preparing for two issues of great importance: Hussein's impending death, Bush gloating over Hussein's impending death, and Castro dying. Many people are spending their New Year at Home [myself included].
I consider what Bush has done was accelerate the destruction that will befall on us when Hussein is executed.

Y'all seem like family. It'll cool one day to actually meet you in person.

  • 6.
  • At 09:50 PM on 29 Dec 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

About the Sadly (Dearly) Departed (sob, sob)...they just changed jobs Peter, it's not as though they died. Get over it. They probably got nice pay raises too.

Dear BBC WHYS: I wanted to add another thing, I was at a restaurant and people were placing bets on what day Saddam Hussein will be put to death. Others who were witnessing such a thing were saying things like: "This is the beginning of the end". Other people started leaving the restaurant with the intention of selling their shares and cutting their links with the New York Stock Exchange. In a post office in neighboring Coral Gables Florida, there were three lines: One for those who need a passport [there is already a law requiring US Citizens to carry passports], One Line for those who were turning in their applications for US Citizenship, The Last Line were for those who were selling their Stocks. I did not mean to be too long but I trust the BBC especially BBC WHYS more than I do the mediums here. Best Wishes from Miami. Roberto

  • 8.
  • At 09:01 PM on 01 Jan 2007,
  • madhu wrote:

i once got a call from your world have your say team member- ajay or something. polite,professional and wanting a comment on iraq jobs since my son worked there. nice man and very his photo on your site

  • 9.
  • At 03:43 PM on 31 Jan 2007,
  • Lizzie from Cleveland wrote:

Thank goodness for your program! Luckily, I have a lunch hour that I spend with you Monday through Friday. I have been loving the topics, the phone calls from around the world, the interesting points made, the debates and of course, that sexy host Ros!!!

I missed when you came to Cleveland. Hope you all come back soon!

Keep up the good work and keep feeding our heads!

Cleveland, Ohio

  • 10.
  • At 08:27 PM on 09 Feb 2007,
  • Frank Krishner wrote:

I listen to the BBC asian service via satellite radio [Worldspace] and I enjoy the programme whenever i catch it.

  • 11.
  • At 02:00 AM on 03 Mar 2007,
  • Kathy of Brisbane, Australia wrote:

Yeah, really enjoy it.

Hey, PAUL COLETTI - are you a Brissey boy from OZ????? Gee, if you are - how brave of you to swap our warm surf for the icey waters of the UK. Still, once a surfer always a surfer. I'm a surfer chick from way back & still body surfing strong. Also use the boogie boards. Bloo** nothing like it - so invigorating. Hubby is into the surfboards.

Heading to the coast tomorrow (Sunday) - it's stinking hot here today. Probably just stop at Southport Spit for the day as I don't feel like a longer drive. Allowed the dog there too. That will do me.

A couple of cyclones lurking up north. Ask your rellies in Brissey about how HOT it is here and has been for ages (drought & water restrictions are the topic of the day)and say a "Gidday from me" (not that I know them Ha!). See ya later!!!! Have a good one.

I'm writing from Portland, Oregon to say I'm so happy your show has joined the OPB line-up. I love it. What a revelation to hear opinions from all over the world on such fresh topics. Ros is an awesome moderator, and I was thrilled that you guys came to Portland so soon after we started hearing you on our station. Welcome, welcome, welcome!

  • 13.
  • At 09:39 PM on 14 May 2007,
  • felix jituboh wrote:

I've been an avid listener and addict of the bbc for all of my adult life. And WHYS is simply the icing on the bbc cake. It is indeed an awesome programme. Kudos to the bright and brave minds at the bbc who,ve created this useful, effective and rather infectious theatre for live global conversation. Ros is a great moderator. I salute him along with the equally talented men and women who contribute in making the programme the monumental success that it is. God bless You.

Although am a new listener i can say that it is a worthy gift from BBC for its listeners.i would like the team to focus more on wartorn countries;people who are sufering.

  • 15.
  • At 04:28 PM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • jared ombui wrote:

WHYS is made up great people with great mind.

Thank you for giving time for public to comment in topics they feel of importance to them.

WHYS lives.

  • 16.
  • At 10:38 PM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • Marcus wrote:

Ive been listening from Los Angeles, Caliornia since January 2007, every day while at work. I love the show, and would like to be able to take part in the conversation via the blog, but it seems to be sorely out of date... WHYS airs during work hours for most Americans, and many of us would not want to be caught on the phone during such times, but could easily and conveniently comment on the blog if it existed/functioned. Well thanks for the great show, keep up the good work.

  • 17.
  • At 05:56 PM on 11 Jun 2007,

I am a regular listener of your proramme "world have your say" and I must confess it's a programme I really enjoy listening to. before now I was not computer lierate but know that I am, I'm gonna try to always participate in your programmes. I want to use this medium to say that you guys are really doing a grate job keep it up.

  • 18.
  • At 05:30 AM on 04 Jul 2007,
  • Tom Green wrote:

I would just like to say it is a pleasure to listen to Dee Sebastian reading the news. The BBC broadcast is carried on 90.1 f.m., the local NPR station, here in Dallas-Ft Worth, Texas.

  • 19.
  • At 06:47 AM on 04 Jul 2007,
  • Ayush wrote:

dear world have your say team
the world seems big but u people are the link that bounds us all. thank you for constantly updating us about whats happening i have been addicted to your program ,its been a daily tradition for me to listen to whys as i feel quiet near and aware about whats happening around the world. thank you for indulging everyone in the discussion its indeed a window to the world and for the host i want to say they are the best
keep it up
with regards

  • 20.
  • At 12:25 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Barry8 wrote:

There are at least two sides to every subject. Quite often there are more.
Absorbing different viewpoints is not a bad way to learn about life in the fast lane - in the slow one too.
It should allow the rest of us to acquire a more balanced view. though it may not always allow us the change the pattern of things. Be nice to think we might sometimes.

  • 21.
  • At 02:52 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

Hey Ros, why don't you broadcast one day from Rosslyn, Virginia? I believe you spell your name with only one "s", but Rosslyn is only located across the Potomac from Washington, DC, and even though WETA stopped carrying the BBC, I'm sure you have satellite capabilities. Why not come here, talk about everything that is horrible and great about America, and play pool at the same time? If that bores you too much, we're located a 10 minute walk to Georgetown in the District of Columbia.

I had to laugh last night when Ros said after the bottled water segment, and while reading a news report on the Red Mosque seige in Pakistan, that troops had found 79 bottles in the mosque instead of 79 BODIES!@%$

Took me ages to get back to sleep!

  • 23.
  • At 01:09 PM on 25 Jul 2007,
  • Abdi wrote:

This is an excellent initiatives.I remember reading this page of Meet the team forum Fifteen to twenty times before Ros's ,David's,Richard's,Vicky's ariival to Nairobi.I was afriad to be meeting anyone from Britain but at the end of the day I was wrong for being afriad.

  • 24.
  • At 06:20 PM on 09 Aug 2007,
  • Lubna wrote:

How would Iraqis remember Russia's stands concerning Iraq?! Well,as for me, I'll always remember that the Russian government had supported Saddam-the evil dictator-till the last breath only because the Russians were trying to benefit economically from Saddam and make sure that they'd continue to get huge amounts of Iraqi oil!

With my love
Lubna in Baghdad

  • 25.
  • At 10:01 AM on 15 Aug 2007,
  • Abdi wrote:

This is really interesting,I remember reading this forum of ' meet the team' more than 10 times before the BBC's WHYS team arrived in Nairobi in May.I read mostly on Ros.all the team should introduce themselves on this forum,Vicky,shona,michael,james and Rabiya should also include theirs.

  • 26.
  • At 05:32 PM on 17 Aug 2007,
  • Osemeke wrote:

Dear Ros,
I have a question to ask.
How do you do it?
When I hear ur voice as soon as WHYS starts, I get trapped, glued to my radio for one hour.
I really admire how you keep the ball rolling.
osemeke From Nigeria.

  • 27.
  • At 12:37 AM on 18 Aug 2007,
  • Jonathan Sireci wrote:

Much thanks to BBC, your team and your program for the consistantly balanced and professional coverage. I am a recent (American) convert to your program and must say that the breadth and depth of your analysis is refreshing, especially when compared to the corporate circus that is American "news." I can't remember the last time I heard an American broadcaster, besides Larry King or Tim Russert, moderate topical discussions rather than dictate them. I am quickly coming to the conclusion that it takes an outsider's perspective of American politics to view the dynamics involved with any degree of impartiality. The recent economic slip, for example, is being packaged as the "War on the Middle Class" by CNN but your team has gotten to the heart of the issue without tipping the scales. Thank you for your professionalism and've spoiled cable news for me, forever!

  • 28.
  • At 05:39 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Tonu Mitra wrote:

I watch BBC WORLD on TV regularly. I am enjoying the special coverage about India and Pakistan on their 60th anniversary of independence. Last week, I was watching the World Business segment and the comments of your Phillipino correspondent (sorry, can't remember his name)from Singapore. While noting the annual growth of 8 to 9% for the past few years in India, he was quick to point out that for the past 40 to 50 years, India was only experiencing the "Hindu Rate of Growth". I had a hard time figuring out if it was a display of his phillipino humour or his newly acquired Singaporian snootyness / sarcasm. In any case, I would like to ask him what is the rate of "Roman Catholic Growth" in the Phillipines? I suppose it is the same as it was 60 years ago? He should know that for a City State like Singapore managing growth is no brainer and for a very complex country like India, with one billion population, the current rate of growth is quite impressive. In closing, BBC World TV is Great! Keep up the good work.

Tonu Mitra, Edmonton, Canada

  • 29.
  • At 06:49 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

How come the Riyadh Commenter neglecting to mention that as many jews from Arab nations were expelled, yet they are conveniently forgotten and people just focus on bashing Israel.


  • 30.
  • At 06:52 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Moses wrote:

Good day Mr. Minister and thanks for coming. Mr. Minister now that we have a new President in Sierra Leone and knowing very well the ties between Sierra Leone and Britain, what is the British Government going to do to help the new Government and People of Sierra Leone?

Moses Achi Juana Jr.
From Allen Texas

  • 31.
  • At 06:59 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Nilofour wrote:

1-Why is it ok for Israel to have nuclear weapon and not ok for other countries in the region to have the same power?

2- how could you be sure that Iran has nuclear weapon? There was no nuclear weapon found in Iraq, how could you be sure you will not make the same mistake twice by attacking Iran?

  • 32.
  • At 07:09 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Patty wrote:

Your guest today spoke of the refusal of Iraq to abide by UN Security Council resolutions as a reason for attacking it. I wonder if he would be willing to discuss the UN Resolutions that Israel has refused to abide by. Thank you for your show.

Patty in Portland

  • 33.
  • At 07:11 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Ric wrote:

If you say that your first priority is "making the world safer from global terrorism and weapons of mass destruction" what then do you propose to do about the weapons of mass destruction ---i.e., the stockpiles of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons --- that are in the arsenals of the countries of the West? Would it not also make the world safer if the UK and the EU were to pressure Americans about our own weapons which are also, for lack of a better phrase, "weapons of mass destruction?" Would this not make the motivations behind your goal less suspect to those in countries that are only now developing these technologies and believe that they are being held to a different standard?

  • 34.
  • At 10:14 PM on 09 Oct 2007,
  • shedrach yohanna wrote:

ever since i've been listening to WHYS,i could not figure out the origin of ROS ATKINS til now.
i'm an ardent listener of WHYS,and a fan of ROS.he has a dulcet accent,i like his presentation.
i'm writing from northern nigeria.

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