Alistair Appleton

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Alistair Appleton
Born (1970-02-12) 12 February 1970 (age 49)
OccupationTelevision presenter

Alistair Appleton (born 12 February 1970 in Tunbridge Wells)[1] is a British television presenter and writer.


Born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, to Peter and Sally (née Cooper) Appleton, the younger of two sons. Alistair was brought up in Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire. As a boy he sang in the church choir at St Faith's.[2] He earned ten O-levels and three A-levels at St John's College, Portsmouth.[1] In 1988 he went to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he studied for a degree in English Literature.[1]

On graduating with a 2.1, Appleton left the UK for Poland,[1] where he took to writing poetry and helped to edit a children's anthology, as well as teaching at the University of Gdansk.[1] He later taught English in eastern Germany and worked as a translator and journalist for Deutsche Welle television. Appleton broke into television with Deutsche Welle, and eventually became the frontman of the channel's youth current-affairs show Heat.[1]

In 1999, Appleton returned to the UK, where he scored roles on Sky's Hot TV (2000), Five's House Doctor (2000–03), BBC Two's Rhona (2000), the Travel Channel's Travel On (2001), BBC One's Garden Invaders (2001), Cash in the Attic (2002–05), BBC Food's Stately Suppers (2005) and had an appearance as himself on the 2006 Doctor Who episode Army of Ghosts. He has also hosted several television specials, including The Proms.[citation needed]

Appleton also did some acting, including a role in Footballers' Wives, during 2002. In 2005 he completed The Man Who Drank the Universe, a short documentary on the entheogen ayahuasca, an ancient plant brew from the Amazon.[3]

Since 2000, Appleton has pursued a serious interest in meditation and has trained mainly in the Buddhist tradition. Since 2004, he has also drawn inspiration from outside the Buddhist world, working with ayahuasca at the Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center in Brazil. He is currently studying with the contemporary Vajrayana teacher, Reggie Ray. In 2014, he completed an MA in Advanced psychotherapy at the Minster Centre in London and he now practises as a psychotherapist in Brighton.[4]

In early January 2007, Appleton appeared in BBC America promotions for the fourth series of Cash in the Attic, even though he did not appear in that series. Since 2007, he has been one of the presenters for Escape to the Country on BBC television. He has also been host of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment's late night concert series The Night Shift at London's South Bank.[citation needed]

In January 2016, he appeared on BBC One's Celebrity Mastermind, where he came joint second with 21 points, with a specialist subject of 20th-century European classical music.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Appleton is openly gay,[6] and came out at university.[6] In an article in Gay Times, however, he admits he only fully accepted his sexuality when he lived in Poland and Germany. In 2000, he converted to Buddhism,[1][7][8] and teaches meditation[1] in retreats and classes across the UK – notably, on the Holy Isle,[1] his spiritual home. He is also founding chairman of the Shoreditch Morris Dancing Society. Appleton speaks four languages: English, French, German and Brazilian Portuguese as well as a little Polish.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Autobiography". Alistair Appleton. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  2. ^ Pitcher, Words: Claire. "Alistair Appleton on escaping to the country and being a proper Hampshire Hog". Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Alistair Appleton". 30 October 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Episode 9, 2015/2016, Celebrity Mastermind – BBC One". BBC. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Coming Out". Alistair Appleton. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  7. ^ "Alistair Appleton Interview – Cash in the Attic". BBC America. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  8. ^ "Why Buddhist". Alistair Appleton. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2011.

External links[edit]