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BBC News’ first LGBT Correspondent Ben Hunte to leave role after two years

The BBC's first-ever dedicated reporter for LGBTQ issues is moving to a new role.

By Will Stroude

Ben Hunte is set to leave his role at the BBC News’ first-ever dedicated LGBT Correspondent.

The journalist and former Attitude cover star, 29, announced on Thursday (11 March) that he’s set to leave the role after two years as he takes up a new “short-term” position as BBC News’ West Africa Correspondent.

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A post shared by Ben Hunte (@beninldn)

“Some job news… This week, I’ll be leaving the UK to be @bbcnews West Africa Correspondent for a little while!” wrote Hunte on Instagram.

“I’m so excited and I can’t wait for this next adventure to begin.”

Hunte’s appointment to the then newly-created role of BBC News’ LGBT Correspondent generated national headlines back in 2018, with Hunte quickly becoming one of the UK’s most recognisable LGBTQ broadcasters after he began reporting duties in early 2019.

Ben Hunte appeared on the cover of the Attitude May 2019 issue (Photography: Francisco Gomez de Villaboa)

Since then, viewers have seen the London-born journalist report on LGBTQ-interest stories from across the UK, including special reports on sexual abuse, transphobic hate crime and homophobia experienced by young people n lockdown.

Hunte’s time as LGBT Correspondent has not been without difficulties: In August 2019, just months after starting the job, Ben revealed that he had been targeted with both racist and homophobic abuse after sharing a picture of himself with his partner at Brighton Pride.

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A post shared by Ben Hunte (@beninldn)

“Received hundreds of homophobic & racist messages across my Insta & Twitter this week”, the reporter wrote at the time.

“Now my personal number has been leaked & and been abused too. It’s 2019… Things should be better!”

Speaking to Attitude about his role as he appeared on the cover of our May 2019 issue, Ben explained that he hoped to not only serve LGBTQ audiences but educate those less familiar with the issues affecting the community.

“People are now so woke that they are almost offended when people ask them questions”, he said at the time.

(Photography: Francisco Gomez de Villaboa)

“I think this is especially the case in the LGBTQ community because we spend so much time now being so proud of ourselves, and rightly so. But there is an opportunity for learning.”

He added:  “When you speak to some of these people, maybe LGBTQ media isn’t on their agenda, LGBTQ voices aren’t on their agenda, not because they are excluding them, but they are just not where they commonly consume the news.

“I want to try to educate some of these people.”

The BBC has confirmed to Attitude that BBC News political reporter Jessica Parker will cover the role of LGBT Correspondent for Ben Hunte during his “short-term” posting as West Africa Correspondent.