A Place In the Sun newbie Lee Juggurnauth became TV host to represent minorities

A Place In the Sun's newest presenter Lee Juggurnauth makes his debut on the show this weekend, becoming the eighth host to join the team.

Lee originally worked in the music industry alongside the likes of Billy Ocean and Take That, starting off as a runner before becoming an artist manager.

His love for interiors flourished on the side, when he started carving out a successful business as a property developer in different pockets of the globe.

After first auditioning to join the cast of A Place In The Sun two years ago, Lee was snapped up by Channel 4 bosses last year to guide guests through the property buying process abroad.

Ahead of his first appearance, the TV personality caught up with Daily Star to discuss the role, opening up about his decision to work in the entertainment industry.

Lee's parents are originally from Mauritius, where he spent a large part of his childhood, having grown up in Windsor.

Throughout his childhood, Lee wished he saw more representation on his TV screen – something he was determined to help change in his own professional life.

Speaking about landing his role on A Place In The Sun, he said: "Representation for me matters a lot. I'm a man of colour and when I was growing up I didn't see anyone that looked like me on TV.

"I always knew it was something that I wanted to inspire and encourage people."

Lee also wants to set an example for younger generations in his own family, as he said: "For me, that's really the catalyst of why I wanted to do this whole thing.

"Because I've got nephews, I've got godchildren, I know how much of a struggle it was for me as a younger kid to not be represented, so if I can just help one or two people out there on their journey, then it's kind of like a job done."

The broadcaster went on: "For me, it's an uphill struggle when you're a person of colour in any kind of environment at the moment and especially on TV.

"I think we all know that there needs to be more diverse people and representation [on TV]."

Lee praised Channel 4's work in inclusivity on the small screen, adding: "I was really proud to be a part of that Channel 4 family because Channel 4 is one of those channels that really celebrates diversity and people that are different."

After making it to the final stages of auditions for A Place In The Sun two and a half years ago, Lee was "massively disappointed" when he missed out on the role, only for another offer to come through in 2020.

Musing over the moment he got offered the job, he said: "There's that saying that something that's meant for you won't pass you."

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Lee revealed the producer for A Place In The Sun reached out to him last summer, inviting him to take part in the series after seeing a huge surge in ratings during the lockdown.

Describing his reaction, he said: "Obviously I didn't need to speak twice. I was extremely honoured and thrilled!"

In his first episode, which airs on Sunday, Lee travels to Gandia in Spain to help guests Dabi and Devi find the property of their dreams in the sunshine.

The town's proximity to Valencia City makes it ideal for the couple – but can Lee manage to rustle up a property that ticks all their boxes?

A Place In The Sun airs on Sundays at 7pm on Channel 4.

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