Chris Gunness

Journalist, campaigner and podcaster Department: Contributor Biography

Chris Gunness joined the BBC as a graduate trainee from Oxford University where he was a tenor choral scholar at New College under Edward Higginbottom. After graduating with a degree in Philosophy and Theology he sang with the Taverner Choir under Andrew Parrott, the Clerkes of Oxenford under the late David Wulstan and the New London Chamber Choir under James Wood, recording, touring internationally and performing at major venues and festivals, including the BBC Proms. Repertory varied from the Play of Daniel, Cage, Xenakis and the world premiere of John Tavener’s The Apocalypse.

His early BBC career was spent at the World Service where he specialised in Asian affairs but contributed to arts and cultural coverage, reviewing opera and presenting features on Radio Three and documentaries on Radio Four. He also presented the Proms on BBC Four TV.

In 1990 Chris was appointed the BBC’s UN correspondent and on his return from New York reported on global affairs for flagship BBC current affairs programmes such as Newsnight, the Today Programme and East Asia Today. He was a regular presenter on BBC World TV until 2006 when he went to the Middle East as a Director of Strategic Communications and Advocacy for the United Nations. Chris has been a regular commentator on international affairs in the print media and on major TV networks including the BBC, Al Jazeera and CNN.

Chris’s theatre experience includes stand-up comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe with Ian Hislop and Imogen Stubbs. In 2009 he wrote and performed a one man play about the destruction of a UN warehouse which won critical acclaim. A play about his role as a foreign correspondent reporting on a revolution during 1988 in what was then Burma had a three-week run in London in 2018.