Ben Hunte is the first BBC News LGBT+ correspondent since last March. In the past few hours Ben has been literally under an homophobic attack on social media. He recently tweeted

“Received hundreds of homophobic & racist messages across my Insta & Twitter this week. Now my personal number has leaked & been abused too. It’s 2019… Things should be better”

Born and raised in Walthamstow and state school-educated, Hunte, 27, has a full scholarship degree in neuroscience from the University of Nottingham. He dipped a toe into broadcasting as a YouTuber, specifically talking about LGBT life, before landing a job on BBC Africa presenting the children’s programme What’s New. He’s handsome, gregarious and erudite. A BBC superior once noted that his accent is more Adele than Attenborough, but he’s fine with that. ‘It’s about representing those voices as well.’

His gay life began inauspiciously, after he was outed at school, aged 17. ‘It was a dark, dark place for me,’ he says now. ‘It’s going to be something I want to look into as part of this role because, at the time, it was not taken seriously.’ Luckily, his parents were supportive from the outset. ‘Which goes against a lot of what you hear about Caribbean parents. But that is pressure from society. As a black man, you are expected to be incredibly masculine. You’re expected to be a certain way. When being gay doesn’t align with that, there are certain issues. It’s not an issue that is internal, it’s an issue within society that needs a societal change. But hopefully my visibility can help.’