Chris Gunness was born in Trinidad, then a British colony, to an Indian father and an English mother.
His great great great great grandfather was an indentured labourer, or slave, sent by the British in India to work on the plantations in Trinidad. In 1979 Chris won a music scholarship to New College, Oxford, where he studied philosophy and then joined the BBC as a graduate trainee. He produced programmes for five years at the BBC World Service and in 1988 was sent to Burma amid signs that a student led uprising loomed. After a week in Rangoon, he continued to cover the “88 events” from Dhaka in Bangladesh for three months.
In 1989 he was appointed the BBC’s United Nations Correspondent at UNHQ in New York and on returning to London in 1992 Chris worked as a reporter on all the major BBC current affairs programmes including Newsnight and the Today Programme. He also presented news programmes on BBC Radio and BBC World TV as well as documentaries and the
BBC Prom concerts. He left the BBC in 2005 following the death of his partner and joined the UN in the Middle East as Director of Communications, conducting public advocacy for Palestine refugees for over a decade, through three conflicts in Gaza, as well as wars in Lebanon and Syria. In 2017 Chris married and now lives in London where he podcasts for Classical Music Magazine and presents programmes at the BBC.