Saira Khan (born 15 May 1970
Eaton, Derbyshire, England) is a
personality and was the runner-up on the first UK series of
reality TV show The
Apprentice in 2005.
Khan has since become a regular face on British TV. In 2006 she
presented on the BBC
's Temper Your Temper
, a programme
dealing with anger management, and British-Asian lifestyle show
. She has presented
several documentaries for the BBC and ITV
well as appearing as a guest on a variety of shows such as
Ready Steady Cook
currently (2008) hosts the BBC children's programme Beat the Boss
and presented an edition of
the BBC's Money
about entrepreneurial mothers. She is a
columnist for the Daily
, a regular panelist for BBC Radio 5 Live
and has appeared on a
number of other stations including BBC Radio
and the BBC Asian Network
She has also written a self-help book, P.U.S.H. For
. In 2006 she set up a new campaign called OUR SAY to
campaign for local and national referenda on issues of major public
interest. Khan also runs her own baby-products business called
miamoo, and an orienteering business called "West Is East".
Parents and her early life
parents emigrated from Azad Kashmir to England in 1965.
At home they spoke only Urdu
with her mother not speaking any English. Her
parents were eager for her to have an arranged marriage
but could not find a
match – "My parents were from an arranged marriage and wanted the
same for me. My mother would invite young men to the house and get
me to serve them tea on a tray. I didn't fancy any of them. It was
just like East Is East
to Brighton Polytechnic and
then on to the University of Nottingham
Her father died from a heart attack in 1998 while visiting
relatives in Kashmir – "I was absolutely devastated. For the first
time I felt really alone."
Marriage and personal life
While working at United Biscuits
2002 Khan met the man who later converted to Islam and became her
husband: Steve Hyde. "I knew instantly that Steve was the one,"
said Khan. "I had a mental tick-list of what I wanted in a person.
It was never about the looks although of course he is a handsome
man. He was career-minded and I never wanted to be hanging around
with a lazy slob. Keeping fit was a big part of his life, and mine,
and he liked a hot curry. He ticked all my boxes." Her mother
however was initially opposed to the union. "I never introduced
Steve as a boyfriend," said Khan. "She was furious at first but
she's come round. I was the first girl in my family to marry
outside the culture."
In 2008 Khan gave birth to a baby boy, Zacariah. She had been
diagnosed with endometritis
, but was
able to conceive her child naturally.