Having to work on New Year’s Eve is the worst – but CNN host Don Lemon was definitely making the best of it.
The CNN host anchored the network’s annual NYE countdown show alongside co-host Brooke Baldwin – and the pair kept up their reputation for getting fully involved in the festivities.
On last year’s show he had vented on-air about his love life, saying: “I always live my life to the very fullest but I need a bit more balance in my life. I may be open to a relationship this year, I wasn’t before.”
Cut to NYE 2017, and the pair were back again, reporting from a bar in New Orleans.
And after the pair did several shots on camera, Lemon got a bit emotional about his personal life again.
He said: “You know it’s been one year since we’ve been sitting here?
Baldwin said: “It was like a confessional a year ago! You were like, I’m ready for a relationship, 2016 was the worst.”
Lemon said: “Well, it happened! He was here, last year, in the bar. It’s your one year anniversary of meeting him, and hanging out.”
His co-host added: “It is! We love him. And he’s right over there.”
Blowing his partner Tim Malone a kiss, Lemon says: “Hey baby… there he is!”
His boyfriend was quickly beckoned over, and at four minutes past midnight the pair shared a kiss on camera.
Lemon said: “I love you baby, happy new year!”
Brooke and Don then proceeded to sing the chorus from Chapel of Love.
And a good time was had by all.
Lemon came out back in 2011 when he published a book Transparent.
The book was dedicated to Tyler Clementi, a student who took his own life after a humiliating homophobic prank from his college flatmate.
At the time, Lemon told PinkNews: “If I hadn’t been asked to write a book I think I would have come out publicly anyway, sooner or later.
“I was already out in my personal life and in my professional life too with those I had a personal connection with. I just hadn’t said or written the words publicly.
He said: “I don’t want there to be any more Tyler Clementis. When I was first approached to write a book I kept saying no because I thought I didn’t have anything to contribute.
“When I finally sat down to write I realised I did have a story: a book that would have helped me as a kid or as an adult. I decided to dedicate the book to Tyler and to others like him.”
Lemon disputed accusations that coming out meant his coverage would be less impartial.
Lemon said: “I don’t think you’re necessarily not neutral if you’re gay; it doesn’t somehow take away my brain or my two decades in professional journalism.
“I don’t think it matters in any sense if you’re straight or gay, just as it doesn’t matter that I have a mortgage and cover the mortgage crisis or that I have investments and cover Wall St.”
He is not the network’s only openly gay news anchor.
Anderson Cooper, the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°, came out back in 2012.
He said at the time: “I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle.
“It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something—something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.
“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”