In alphabetical order
This category recognises an LGBT+ individual delivering content on screen or in the news. The top 10s will have an impact the public’s view of the LGBT+ community.
DJ and presenter Adele Roberts ended 2019 by being the first contestant to be voted off I’m a Celebrity…Get me out of Here! – but as her career was launched by a reality show appearance it’s unlikely to have done the radio presenter any harm to be back in the public eye. Roberts came to fame in 2002 when she announced that she was bisexual on series three of Big Brother. She said afterwards that it was a weight off her mind, and that she now tries to use her public status to encourage other young people who are struggling to come out. Roberts hosts the early morning breakfast show on BBC Radio 1.
In March 2019, Ben Hunte started his role as the BBC’s first LGBT correspondent, reporting on LGBT issues across all the BBC platforms. Happy to be described as “the youngest, blackest and queerest correspondent the BBC has ever had”, Hunte has reported on issues such as racism at UK pride festivals and how black male victims of sexual abuse feel they are ignored by the Government. Hunte graduated with a degree in neuroscience, then became one of Google’s youngest strategy managers before taking an MA in journalism. He joined the BBC in 2017, and was a BBC Africa presenter before taking on his new role.
Benjamin Butterworth is a journalist known for his writing in the i newspaper, Washington Post and the Guardian. He has become a regular voice on television and radio on LGBT rights. His interest in politics has somewhat defined his career, gaining prominence as a journalist through his high profile interviews. In 2017 he spoke to all five living British Prime Ministers in a feature that celebrated 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
The first black and first openly gay editor-in-chief of Vogue, Edward Enninful OBE, was the keynote speaker at the Pride in London gala dinner last year, where he spoke of how a new generation was “opening our eyes to who and how we can love”. Enninful, who was appointed as an OBE in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to diversity in the fashion industry, was a model before becoming the youngest ever fashion director for an international magazine when he took the role at i-D aged 18. He became contributing editor to Italian Vogue in 1998, fashion editor for American Vogue in 2006 and took over at British Vogue in 2017.
In 2019, presenter and comedian Joe Lycett debuted his new series on Channel 4, Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, which mixed consumer rights with humour to win back tens of thousands of pounds for viewers. He also presented The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC Two, as well as touring with his comedy show I’m About to Lose Control and I Think Joe Lycett Live. Lycett first came out as gay, then as bisexual and now identifies as pansexual. However, in an interview for ShortList he said: “As a community, pansexuality feels small-fry compared to larger issues. The real focus is on trans rights. And I think there’s a lot of work to be done.”
Matthew Todd is a writer, performer, presenter and activist – both for LGBT+ rights and for the environment as a supporter of Extinction Rebellion. A former editor of Attitude magazine, Todd’s most recent book, Pride: The Story of the LGBTQ Equality Movement, recognised the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in the US, and explored this and other key moments in the fight for equality. His first book, Straight Jacket, talked on a more personal level about the effects of prejudice on LGBT+ people and received critical acclaim. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2017 for services to the LGBT community.
Presenter of BBC Radio 1’s Drivetime show, Nick Grimshaw came out as gay in 2012, and is an ambassador for The Albert Kennedy Trust, a charity that works with homeless LGBT youth. Grimshaw has hosted a number of shows on Radio 1, including The Radio 1 Breakfast Show between 2012 and 2018. He has also been a judge of The X Factor and appeared on Channel 4’s T4 and The Album Chart Show. He was awarded the title of GQ’s Best-Dressed Man of the Year in 2014 by the British edition of GQ Magazine. 2019 was a good year for Grimshaw personally as he moved in with his partner, dancer Meshach Henry.
Steph McGovern has been BBC Breakfast’s main business presenter since 2010, and has often presented the entire show. Following the birth of her first child in November, with her long-term TV executive girlfriend, McGovern has moved to Channel 4, where she will shortly begin an early morning weekday programme called The Steph Show. Her new show airs in Spring 2020, and will mix current affairs, entertainment and lifestyle. McGovern’s TV credits include co-presenting Shop Well for Less, hosting Have I Got News for You and producing the Ten O’Clock News business bulletins. She is also an accomplished Irish dancer.
Comedian and presenter Susan Calman started her career as a corporate lawyer, but decided in 2006 to move into comedy, reaching the semi-finals of the BBC New Comedy Awards and the finals of Funny Women. Since then she has appeared in numerous radio and TV roles including being a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, appearing with Johnny Vegas in the comedy Home from Home and co-presenting Prejudice and Pride: The People’s History of LGBTQ Britain. She has written several books, including Cheer Up Love which chronicled her struggles with depression. Calman is gay and married to lawyer Lee Cormack.
Comedian Suzi Ruffell celebrated 2019 with a win in the Best Club Comic category in the Chortle Awards. She has had three sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival, a BBC show Keeping it Classy, and appearances on Mock the Week and The News Quiz. Suzi hosts a podcast called Like Minded Friends and has toured with her sell-out show Nocturnal. Ruffell told Diva magazine: “I’ve always tried to be funny. It’s how I have protected myself. When I was at school I didn’t have a lot of friends. I knew I was gay. I was really worried people were going to find out the truth about me and comedy was the deflector. If I wasn’t gay, I probably wouldn’t be a comic.”