Ben de Pear is new editor of Channel 4 News

Channel 4's head of foreign news Ben de Pear has been named as the new editor of Channel 4 News.

He succeeds Jim Gray who stepped down two weeks after 14 years at the broadcaster.

De Pear joined Channel 4 News as a senior foreign producer in 2005 and has been head of foreign news for seven years.

He produced Channel 4 News' BAFTA-winning coverage from the 2011 Japan earthquake and also led the programme's investigation into the end of Sri Lanka's civil war which prompted the award-winning Sri Lanka's Killing Fields documentary.

Chief executive of ITN John Hardie said: 'Ben is an incredible journalistic talent. But just as importantly, he understands the Channel 4 News spirit – its passion, its personality. It is hard to describe, but it is in his DNA.

'The opportunity to lead Channel 4 News was one that attracted some incredible talent from across the industry. We were impressed by the enthusiasm and vision we saw throughout the process, but in the end, Ben de Pear brought something unique."

Channel 4 head of news and current affairs Dorothy Byrne said: 'This is a very special job and we wanted someone who could deliver on the expectation our viewers and users have for in-depth news and analysis delivered with personality and passion that you can't get anywhere else. Ben has proved himself as a distinguished journalist, an instinctive commissioner and an inspiring leader for the best foreign team in the business. He will bring all of that to this job of a lifetime."

De Pear previously worked at Sky News – initially as a foreign producer and latterly as the channel's Africa Editor based in Johannesburg. During his time at Sky, he produced Sky News' RTS-winning coverage of the Kosovo conflict in 1999, and the fall of Baghdad in 2003.

He said: 'Channel 4 News is the programme I've always wanted to work for, so I feel truly honoured to be given the opportunity to lead this remarkable team. I want us to continue to do what we do best, and even take it up a level – to take risks, to challenge authority and to hold the powerful to account.'

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