26/01/2017 14:11 GMT | Updated 26/01/2017 14:14 GMT

'Blue Peter' Veteran Konnie Huq Claims Being Asian Helped Her Secure Job At BBC

'Things have changed.'

‘Blue Peter’ veteran Konnie Huq was recently voted the show’s most popular presenter, after her record-breaking stint between 1997 and 2008.

Now, she claims being Asian helped her kickstart her career back in the 1990s, when there were far fewer faces from ethnic minorities on our screens.

Yui Mok/PA Archive
Konnie Huq says now that the BBC's wish to include ethnic minorities on screen helped give her a leg up

Konnie, who was born and brought up in West London to her Bangladeshi parents, tells the Daily Star: “When I started out in television over 20 years ago, being Asian probably helped because the BBC had to be PC and get ethnic minorities in.

“Not that I don’t think I’m talented. But back then, it helped pave the way.”

Konnie says things have changed now, citing popular presenters, ‘Bake Off’ winner Nadiya Hussain and BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty.

The BBC’s Director-General Tony Hall last year launched a new strategy to “hardwire diversity and inclusion into everything the Corporation does, on- and off-air”.

The strategy, launched in April 2016, aims to have in place by 2020 “a workforce at least as diverse, if not more so, than any other in the industry, new portrayal targets that cover a much wider range of diversity than other broadcaster, and diversity something that everyone at the BBC understands, and all those who make its programmes to support”. 

Meanwhile, Konnie has continued as a presenter across different channels. In addition, now married to satirist Charlie Brooker, she co-wrote the second episode - ‘Fifteen Million Merits’ - of his hit series ‘Black Mirror’, now showing on Netflix. 

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