Former politician and broadcaster Trevor Phillips will stand in for Sophy Ridge as host of her Sunday politics show on Sky News while she is on maternity leave.
Ridge’s final show before her leave begins will be on Sunday, with Phillips taking over the hot seat from the following Sunday May 23.
Phillips, a former head of current affairs at ITV station LWT, won Royal Television Society awards for his journalism in 1988 and 1993.
His four-part programme in 1998, marking 50 years since the arrival in Britain of the MV Empire Windrush, won the documentary series prize in 1998.
In 2020, he was shortlisted in the British Journalism Awards for comment writer of the year.
Phillips was also the founding chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and was elected chairman of the London Assembly.
He said of his appointment: “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.”
In March 2020, Phillips was suspended from Labour following allegations of Islamophobia.
He defended his statements, saying it was “nonsense” to define being anti-Islam as racist as Muslims do not identify as a race.
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.”