Ben Hunte has been announced as the first ever LGBTQ correspondent for BBC News.
He will report on “stories, issues and debates surrounding sexuality and gender” and provide “insight and analysis on matters affecting the LGBT community in the UK”.
In a statement, Ben – who currently hosts What’s New, the BBC’s first TV programme and digital service for children in Africa – said: “I’m delighted… and I am looking forward to finding and telling stories from the LGBT community.”
Later, on his Instagram page, Ben told his followers, “New job coming soon! Dream come true. I’m so excited to be the BBC’s first LGBT Correspondent and I can’t wait to tell some important stories,” followed by a rainbow flag emoji.
During the BBC’s Gay Britannia season, Ben presented his own series of LGBTQ-themed programmes for BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra, titled The Ben Hunte Interviews.
On the series, he interviewed a range of celebrities such as Paul O’Grady, Stephen K. Amos, Peter Tatchell, Ruth Hunt, Linda Riley and Calum McSwiggan.
UK news editor for BBC News, Richard Burgess, had nothing but praise for the BBC, Ben’s appointment as correspondent and the strides they’re making for LGBTQ inclusion.
“BBC News has a rich heritage of covering issues and debates from the LGBT community,” he explained.
“This year we announced our first gender and identity correspondent, Megha Mohan, and I’m thrilled that Ben will be taking up this dedicated role which aims to strengthen our offering of LGBT stories and original journalism across the BBC.”