The dashing cover guy for our current September Style issue is none other than BBC Business presenter Ben Thompson, and with the issue now on sale, we thought we'd give you a little behind-the-scenes taste of our cover shoot with the handsome, gay journalist.
Ben’s not one of television’s more apparent gay presenters – does this mean he finds himself having to come out more often? He doesn’t disagree. “Once you’ve done it a couple of times, it’s sort of fun, seeing how people work it out. I think people take their lead from how you deal with it. So if you make a big issue of it, I think they will, and then it becomes more of an issue. But I think if you just mention in passing that you have a partner, and it’s a he, then it’s not really an issue. People shrug, or there’s just a glimmer of recognition in their eye.”
Although he acknowledged that being a gay man working on television isn’t exactly revolutionary, he still takes pride in being a role model, in whatever capacity he can. “I get messages from viewers every now and again, and they say ‘It’s really inspiring that someone can be in your position and be gay’. I didn’t know anyone gay on television when I was growing up, and so it’s quite moving when people get in touch and say that. If one person watching it can say, ‘Well he’s gay and he’s doing alright’, then that’s great.
Not just a clever chap, Ben is also fairly easy on the eye. This year he made an impressive debut appearance on our Hot 100 list, where he landed at a very respectable 39, something he’s proud of. “It was amazing!” he laughs. “Work have not stopped winding me up about it, which is lovely.” In the reader voted poll he even managed to beat supermodel extraordinaire David Gandy. “That’s the bit they find most amusing,” he says, “though they did point out that he was down considerably this year. But it’s nice, it’s a funny thing, and it’s nice that people out there are watching what we do. It’s really great to talk to people on Twitter and Instagram when they get in touch, because those are the people who pay our wages.”
Check out our behind-the-scenes footage from Ben's Attitude cover shoot:
You can read our full interview with Ben in the September Style issue of Attitude, in shops now. You can download the digital version of the mag at Pocketmags.com/Attitude or order the print version of newsstand.co.uk/Attitude.
Business Live is broadcast in the UK on the BBC News Channel and around the world on BBC World News from 8.30am and Breakfast on BBC One, Fridays from 6.00am.