Veteran broadcaster and writer Trevor Phillips will take on hosting Sky News’ weekly politics show Sophy Ridge on Sunday, while Sophy goes on maternity leave at the end of the month.
Phillips’ appointment will continue the show’s track record of holding politicians to account and setting the political agenda, as well as bringing a fresh perspective to the Sunday morning political beat. Sophy Ridge on Sunday has become must-see TV which often generates headlines for the rest of the political press pack to chase up with viewing figures up 6% year on year. Phillips will be the first black host of a flagship UK politics show.
Phillips, a former head of current affairs at ITV station LWT, won Royal Television Society journalism awards in 1988 and 1993, before landing the RTS documentary series award for Windrush in 1998. In 2020, he was shortlisted in the British Journalism Awards for Comment Writer of the Year.
The founding chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Phillips previously chaired the Commission for Racial Equality, and was the elected chair of the London Assembly.
Head of Sky News John Ryley said: “Sky News is delighted to have Trevor join our team and bring his significant journalistic experience and fresh perspective to the news organisation on Sunday mornings.
“The programme is an important weekend appointment for our viewers and we are keen to develop the way we assess the changing political landscape, hold those in authority to account and give clarity in times of uncertainty.
“We wish Sophy all the best in the coming months while she is on maternity leave and look forward to her return.”
Phillips added: “Sky News’s reputation for original journalism, accuracy and impartiality are well established and I am enormously excited to be joining the team. My philosophy on reporting news and interviewing politicians aligns very close to what I have seen from watching the show since it launched in 2017.
“It’s a privilege to be invited to keep the seat warm for such an outstanding talent as Sophy. What I hope I can bring to the incisive and intelligent analysis of her team is two decades of experience in public office and in business. Sky News' standards and professionalism are of the highest quality and I will do all I can to maintain them while in the Sunday morning chair.”
Ridge’s last show before her maternity begins will be Sunday 16 May, with Phillips taking on the role from the following Sunday 23 May.
Sky News is available to all free of charge via Sky TV channel 501, Freeview 132, and the live international streaming service on Sky News mobile and website as well as 24-hour breaking news coverage and analysis across our social channels.
Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Across six countries, we connect our 23.4 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news and arts including our own award-winning original content.
Our technology, including the market leading Sky Q, connects people to everything they love – with entertainment from Sky TV, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer, and apps like Spotify, YouTube, BBC Sounds, Highbrow, Peloton, Fiit, and more, in one place, easy. Our streaming service NOW brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service. Through our new B2B broadband provider, Sky Connect, we offer superfast broadband with business-grade 4G back-up to small businesses in the UK.
Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, Gangs of London and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, Sky Arts is the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel making the arts accessible for everyone and Sky Sports, our leading sports broadcasting service, brings customers some of the biggest and best global sporting events from the Premier League to Formula 1 and everything in-between. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, which will open in 2022, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years.
We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030 and we’re proud to be a Principal Partner and Media Partner of COP26. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity and we’ve set ambitious 2025 targets to continue to increase diversity and representation. We’re also committed to investing £30million across our markets over three years to improve our approach to diversity and inclusion, and to tackle racial injustice.