Riz’s career began at the BBC with local radio – taking him to stations across England initially as a freelance reporter. His big break came when he was accepted onto the prestigious BBC News Trainee Scheme – a two-year course grooming 12 journalists per year on a fast-track into mainstream BBC network jobs. The programme has produced some of Britain’s best-known broadcast journalists. Upon its end in April 1989, Riz was recruited as a television correspondent based in Oxford, for the newly-launched Newsroom SouthEast regional news show, occasionally anchoring the popular show.
A year away from the BBC at the independent channel, Central TV, from 1989 to 1990, saw Riz return to the BBC as a founding anchor for the development and launch of BBC World Service Television News in November 1991 – later renamed BBC World. Riz co-anchored the very first show with the well-known British news presenter, Pamela Armstrong.
Riz stayed with BBC World until he was headhunted by CNN in 1993.