The BBC has appointed its first ever LGBT correspondent who has said the new role is a “dream come true” and will begin work in the New Year.
Ben Hunte (pictured) 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”, the BBC has said.
Hunte’s appointment comes days after Buzzfeed UK’s LGBT editor Patrick Strudwick was awarded the prize for Specialist Journalism at Press Gazette’s British Journalism Awards.
Collecting his award, Strudwick said it was the first time that an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and transgender) specialist had been awarded in this way, adding: “And I know that because I’m the first LGBT specialist.”
Hunte played a key part in coverage of the BBC’s Gay Britannia season and presented his own series of LGBT-themed programmes on BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra called The Ben Hunte Interviews.
This year he became the presenter the BBC’s first TV programme and digital service for children in Africa titled BBC What’s New?
He said: “I’m delighted to be taking on this important new role for BBC News and I am looking forward to finding and telling stories from the LGBT community.”
In a tweet earlier following the announcement, he said the new role was a “dream come true”, adding: “So excited to get started as the BBC’s first LGBT Correspondent and tell some important stories.”
Richard Burgess, UK news editor for BBC News, said: “BBC News has a rich heritage of covering issues and debates from the LGBT community.
“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.”
Hunte graduated from the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus with a degree in Neuroscience before studying TV Journalism at City University.