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Ziya Tong

Ziya Tong
London, England
Alma materUniversity of British Columbia
McGill University
Occupation(s)Television Personality and Producer
Years active2004–present
EmployerBell Media
Known forCo-host of ZeD
Co-host of Wired Science
Co-host of Nova
Co-host of Daily Planet
Board member ofWorld Wide Fund for Nature Canada

Ziya Tong is an English-born Canadian television personality and producer, formerly the co-host of Discovery Channel's long-running primetime science magazine, Daily Planet.[1]

Early life and education

Ziya Tong was born in London, England, of Chinese and Macedonian descent,[2] and later lived in Hong Kong.[3] She moved from Hong Kong to Canada when she was 11.

She received her B.A. degree from the University of British Columbia in psychology and sociology.[4] At McGill University, she graduated with an M.A. in Communications.[5][6]


After university, she worked as a reporter, and as a senior producer for the news-portal Orientation Global Networks in New York.

Tong began hosting the CBC Television series ZeD in the 2004–05 season, succeeding Sharon Lewis. For this, she was nominated for a Gemini Award for Viewer's Choice for Lifestyle Host in 2005.[7]

After ZeD, Tong was hired by CTV to host the television series Island Escapes, which premiered on January 6, 2006. Critic Denise Duguay called her a "lively and game travel host".[1] In this position, she visited many exotic island locations, and highlighted the attractions of places such as New Caledonia, Bedarra Island and Fiji.

Starting in January 2007 she worked as a host and producer for two science shows, Wired Science on PBS[2] and The Leading Edge, a Canadian science series on The Knowledge Network.[8]

Tong has also written for Wired magazine[9] and blogged on the Wired Science site for PBS.[10] She also was a reporter for NOVA on PBS.[11]

After joining Discovery Channel's Daily Planet as a guest host for November and December 2008, she was named the new permanent co-host of the daily science program.[12]

For three years, Tong co-hosted Daily Planet with science journalist Jay Ingram. When Ingram retired from the program in June 2011, Tong was joined by co-host Dan Riskin and since, the show has generated record ratings as it completed its 18th season on Canadian television.[13] Tong also writes and produces Ziyology, a weekly column looking at wonder and science.

She appears regularly on Canada AM, CTV News Channel, CP24 and CTV National News.

Tong has travelled to more than 60 countries. She is fluent in English and Cantonese, she is working on her French, Mandarin and Arabic.[14]

She serves on the board of directors of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Canada.[15]

Her non-fiction book The Reality Bubble was published by Penguin Random House in May 2019.[16] The book was nominated for the 2020 RCC Charles Taylor Prize

She defended Max Eisen's memoir By Chance Alone in the 2019 edition of Canada Reads. The book won the competition.[17]

Career timeline

  • 2004–2005: ZeD host
  • 2006: "Island Escape" host
  • 2007: "Leading Edge" host, Wired Science host and producer
  • 2008-9: NOVA reporter, co-host
  • 2008–2018: Daily Planet co-host


  1. ^ a b Denise Duguay, "Island tour too rushed," Leader Post, Regina, Saskatchewan: December 16, 2005, pg. F.3.
  2. ^ a b Malcolm Parry, "Young soprano shows her bombshell style Archived March 22, 2016, at the Wayback Machine," The Vancouver Sun, December 23, 2006, pg. B.4.
  3. ^ Dana Gee, "ZeD on CBC a place for new ideas," The Province, Vancouver, B.C.: October 29, 2004, pg. B.9.
  4. ^ "About Ziya Tong" Archived July 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Daily Planet TV series website.
  5. ^ "Wired Science Team: Ziya Tong". PBS. Archived from the original on 26 November 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  6. ^ CBC Television, "Member Profile: Ziya Tong Archived January 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine," Zed Gallery, URL accessed 12 March 2007.
  7. ^ "Great, watchable north: The 20th Gemini Awards gala honours the best in Canadian TV," National Post, November 19, 2005, pg. TO.42.F.
  8. ^ "The Leading Edge" (PDF) (Press release). Knowledge Network. December 2007.
  9. ^ Tong, Ziya. "The New Weapon in the Border Guard Arsenal: the Dreaded Google Search". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2023-08-11.
  10. ^ All Shows | PBS, retrieved 2023-08-11
  11. ^ CNW Group - Discovery Channel": January 26, 2009
  12. ^ "Watch video online". Discovery. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  13. ^ "My CMS - Discovery Canada's Flagship DAILY PLANET Explodes with Biggest Ratings Week in 18 Years!". My CMS. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  14. ^ "The Last Word". 18 February 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  15. ^ Rosalind Duane (27 April 2012). "Daily Planet host Ziya Tong makes her mark on Discovery Channel science series". North Shore News. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  16. ^ Penguin Random House. "The Reality Bubble - Blind Spots, Hidden Truths, and the Dangerous Illusions that Shape Our World". Retrieved 28 Aug 2019.
  17. ^ "Holocaust survivor Max Eisen's memoir wins Canada Reads competition". CityNews, March 28, 2019.
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Ziya Tong
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