Trevor McDonald

Sir Trevor McDonald, OBE (born George McDonald; 16 August 1939) is a Trinidadian-British newsreader and journalist, best known for his career as a news presenter with ITN.[3][4]

Trevor McDonald

George McDonald

(1939-08-16) 16 August 1939
OccupationNewsreader, Journalist
Notable credit(s)
TitleKnight Bachelor, OBE
  • Beryl (div. 1985)
  • Josephine (m. 1986)

McDonald was knighted in 1999 for his services to journalism.[2]


Early career

Born as a Dougla to an Afro-Caribbean mother and Indian father.[5]After working as a print and broadcast journalist in Trinidad during the 1960s, in 1969, McDonald was employed by BBC Radio as a producer, based in London but still broadcasting to the Caribbean.[2] In 1973, he began his long association with Independent Television News, first as a general reporter, later as a sports correspondent, but ultimately concentrating on international politics. In the 1980s, he spent some time with the ITN-produced Channel 4 News,[2] but returned to ITV in 1989, presenting the early-evening news.[6]

News at Ten

McDonald was promoted in 1992 as the sole presenter of News at Ten and became a well-known face on British television screens. McDonald stayed with ITN when News at Ten was axed in 1999, moving to present the new ITV Evening News. News at Ten was briefly relaunched on 22 January 2001, to which McDonald returned as a presenter. He presented the ITV News at 10.30 following News at Ten's second axing.


From 1999 to 2007, McDonald hosted ITV's flagship current affairs programme Tonight with Trevor McDonald. The show was revived in 2010 with presenter Julie Etchingham.

First retirement

McDonald presented his last ITV News bulletin on 15 December 2005. The veteran newsreader stepped down from his role as anchor after more than 30 years at ITN, but said he had no plans to retire completely from television. At the end of the final programme, he signed off with the words:

That brings to an end my association with the news at 10.30. Thank you for watching.

Over the closing titles of the last bulletin that McDonald presented, the November 1992 to March 1999 ITV News at Ten theme was played as a tribute to him.

Return to News at Ten

On 31 October 2007, ITV announced that, early in 2008, McDonald would come out of retirement to present the relaunched News at Ten together with Julie Etchingham.[7] He told a newspaper: "I couldn’t turn down the move back to that iconic time slot."[8] News at Ten began broadcasting once again on 14 January 2008.[9]

Second retirement

It was announced on 30 October 2008 that McDonald would step down from News at Ten once the 2008 US presidential election was over, to be replaced by Mark Austin.[10] His last bulletin was on 20 November 2008. It was reported at the time[11] that he would continue to present links for The Tonight Programme.


  • In 2009, McDonald travelled to the Caribbean and hosted the series The Secret Caribbean with Trevor McDonald. Three parts.[12][13]
  • In 2011, McDonald travelled around the Mediterranean and hosted the series The Secret Mediterranean with Trevor McDonald. Four parts.
  • In 2012, McDonald travelled along the route of the Mississippi River and hosted the series The Mighty Mississippi with Trevor McDonald. Three parts.
  • In 2013, McDonald visited death row inmates in Indiana and hosted the series Inside Death Row. Two parts.
  • In early 2015, McDonald travelled to New York City and hosted the 2 part series The Mafia with Trevor McDonald.[14]
  • In late 2015, McDonald presented Las Vegas with Trevor McDonald, a two-part series for ITV.
  • In September 2016, McDonald presented a two-part series called Inside Scotland Yard With Trevor McDonald for ITV.[15]
  • In February 2017, McDonald presented two-part documentary Mafia Women with Trevor McDonald for ITV.
  • In late 2017, McDonald presented a documentary called An Hour to Catch a Killer for ITV.[16]
  • In February 2018, McDonald presented Death Row 2018 with Trevor McDonald for ITV.
  • In February 2018, McDonald presented James Bulger: A Mother's Story with Trevor McDonald for ITV.
  • In September 2018, McDonald presented To Catch a Serial Killer with Trevor McDonald for ITV.
  • In February 2019, McDonald presented Fred & Rose West: The Real Story with Trevor McDonald for ITV.[17]

Other work and media appearances

  • McDonald presented the TV series Undercover Customs which created reconstructions of major HM Customs and Excise investigations in the UK.[18]
  • On 21 April 2006, McDonald presented an episode of Have I Got News for You; he delivered a number of autocue jokes, some of which were extremely risqué, in his usual somber newscaster manner, the juxtaposition of which prompted team captain Paul Merton, who usually maintains a straight face on the show, to laugh heartily in disbelief on numerous occasions. It was McDonald's first appearance in any capacity on the show since 1992.[19]
  • McDonald was formerly Chancellor of London South Bank University. He also has intimate ties with King's College School in Wimbledon, a London day school, where he is now a governor.[20]
  • McDonald is the author of biographies of the cricketers Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd.[2]
  • McDonald has worked as an editor of poetry anthologies,[2] and his autobiography Fortunate Circumstances was published in 1993.[2]
  • Lenny Henry's comic character Trevor McDoughnut is a parody of McDonald.[2] McDonald once surprised Henry during a performance of "McDoughnut" on Tiswas by walking into the studio to sit with Henry. McDonald returned to Tiswas on two further occasions. First, a number of weeks after his original surprise appearance, he cropped up during a spoof edition of This Is Your Life to "reminisce" with Lenny Henry about the earlier event. The other appearance occurred during the Tiswas Reunited show (a reunion programme broadcast in June 2007) where McDonald joined Lenny on the sofa once again to look back at the old clips and comment on Henry's impersonation.[21]
  • McDonald performed live in Hyde Park in summer 1996 with the Who, as the newsreader in the group's staging of their Quadrophenia.[22]
  • In June 2007, McDonald hosted the new ITV version of This Is Your Life, Simon Cowell being the programme's "victim".[23]
  • In August 2010, McDonald conducted a live on-stage interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at Fairfield Halls in Croydon at an event entitled An Audience with Desmond Tutu.[24][25]
  • In 2014, McDonald presented a media training course entitled "Deal with the Media with Sir Trevor McDonald".[26]


McDonald holds honorary degrees from the University of Plymouth[27] and Liverpool John Moores University.[28] He was appointed Knight Batchelor in the Queen's 1999 Birthday Honours for his services to broadcasting and journalism.[29] He was awarded with a BAFTA fellowship at the 2011 British Academy Television Awards.


  1. "Gongs and bongs". The Daily Telegraph. 11 June 2001. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  2. "Newsworthy career of Sir Trevor". BBC News. 15 December 2005. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  3. "Sir Trevor McDonald – Media Top 100 2003". The Guardian. 7 July 2003. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  4. "Sir Trevor reads final bulletin". BBC News. 15 December 2005. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  5. Butcher, David (2 July 2019). "Trevor McDonald's Indian Train Adventure". Radio Times. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  6. Who's Who, London, A. & C. Black (2009).
  7. "News at Ten returns to ITV". 31 October 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
  8. "Diamonds are for Trevor", The Sun, 2 November 2007.
  9. "Martha Kearney's week", BBC News, 13 January 2008.
  10. "Sir Trevor McDonald to leave News at Ten next month", The Guardian, 30 October 2008.
  11. "Sir Trevor McDonald quits News at Ten", The Telegraph, 30 October 2008.
  12. The Secret Caribbean with Trevor McDonald, ITV.
  13. The Secret Caribbean with Trevor McDonald Archived 29 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine, ITV Press Centre, 19 June 2009.
  14. The Mafia with Trevor McDonald, ITV.
  15. Inside Scotland Yard With Trevor McDonald, ITV, 27 June 2016.
  16. "ITV announces new 'Crime & Punishment' season". Press Centre.
  17. "Fred & Rose West The Real Story with Trevor McDonald". ITV.
  18. Carlos Korotana, "UnderCover Customs (1997– )", IMDb.
  19. "Americans, tsk tsk" on YouTube
  20. "Wimbledon boys' school considers admitting girls", Your Local Guardian, 7 September 2008.
  21. "Sir Trevor McDonald on TISWAS" on YouTube.
  22. "Hyde Park, London". Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  23. "Simon Cowell is first celebrity 'victim' for revived This Is Your Life", London Evening Standard, 24 May 2007.
  24. "An audience with Desmond Tutu", The South African, 2 August 2010.
  25. "Archbishop Desmond Tutu sends Croydon a message" Archived 6 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Croydon Guardian, 26 July 2010.
  26. "Deal With the Media with Sir Trevor McDonald". Deal With The Media.
  27. "Alastair Stewart to receive Honorary Doctorate from University of Plymouth" Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Plymouth University, 7 September 2010.
  28. Honorary Fellows of Liverpool John Moores University Archived 23 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine, LJMU.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Christopher McLaren
Chancellor of London South Bank University
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