TREVOR Phillips is to take over from Sophy Ridge as the new host of Sky News’ flagship Sunday morning politics show, the broadcaster has announced.

The 69-year-old returns to present the show permanently after covering for Ridge during her 2021 maternity leave.

At the time he was the first person of colour to host a flagship UK politics show in the UK.

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Phillips will now take on the Sunday morning slot from Ridge, who is presenting her final show after six years of Sophy Ridge On Sunday, before she moves to front a new Sky News primetime weeknight show The Politics Hub.

He said: “It’s a great privilege to follow Sophy and to be taking this seat at such at an exciting time for politics.

“With major elections in sight, both at home and abroad, I look forward to working alongside the brilliant Sky team as we report on the key issues and interrogate the people who have to make the big decisions.”

With a general election looming, Phillips intends to use his “forensic interview technique to challenge politicians”, offering the audience insight and perspective on the parties, their policies and the direction of travel of public support, Sky said.

Phillips will host the political talk show when it returns in September after summer recess.

Ridge previously tweeted about leaving her Sunday programme: “I can’t quite believe it but this week is the final ever Sophy Ridge on Sunday.

“The last six years have been an absolute privilege. Thank you to everyone who has watched and made it part of your Sunday routine. It’s something I have never taken for granted.”

Sky News executive chairman David Rhodes said: “We’re delighted Trevor Phillips will be leading the political conversation each Sunday morning.

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“Trevor’s experience, intellect, and professionalism are just what’s required in the critical cycle ahead.

“With Beth Rigby, Sam Coates, Sophy Ridge, and our whole Political Hub team, audiences will find the most engaging coverage of politics anywhere.”

The news anchor and former politician was the former head of current affairs at ITV station LWT and has 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, having previously been the head of the Commission for Racial Equality from 2003.

In the 2021 New Year honours list, he was recognised for his services to equality and human rights.