An Indian news network has appointed the country’s first transgender news anchor.

Padmini Prakash, 31 – who has previously worked as a dance instructor and acted in a soap – was hired as a news anchor for Lotus News, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

She proved so popular with viewers that she was promoted to a more prominent role, and now heads the channel’s 7PM bulliten.

Ms Prakash told the Times of Indiia: “I was very worried because I also had to focus on my diction and maintain a steady narrative pace to ensure that there was clarity and viewers could understand me,”

“We are very supportive of Padmini. After initial trials, we were convinced that she had the potential to be an excellent news anchor,” Lotus News Channel Chairman G.K.S. Selvakumar told the Times of India.

Lotus News Channel Chairman GKS Selvakumar added: “We are very supportive of Padmini. After initial trials, we were convinced that she had the potential to be an excellent news anchor.”

India’s Supreme Court issued a landmark verdict in April, creating a new gender category that allows transgender people to identify themselves as such on official documents, and recognising them for the first time.

However, the country’s conservative government – which swept to power following an election in June this year – has now raised several objections to the ruling, which could stall its implementation.