Joel Defries

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Joel Defries
Joel Defries.jpg
Born (1985-03-14) 14 March 1985 (age 32)
Nationality British
Occupation Television and radio presenter
Known for Blue Peter presenter

Joel Nirmalan Defries (born 14 March 1985) is a British-born presenter, who worked on the BBC1 children's programme Blue Peter from 2008-10. He previously worked on the New Zealand television station, C4.


Born in Hammersmith, London,[1] Defries' New Zealand media career began at the alternative radio station Channel Z, before going on to host the music jukebox show Select Live. Defries presented a new New Zealand-based live music show called Live at Yours. He became a household name among young New Zealanders and saw a rapid rise in popularity. He also made a successful move into radio where he presented a Sunday morning show for the Edge called Joel's Take Out. He was a former presenter of Vodafone Select Live. Defries decided to return to the UK to take up other opportunities in radio and TV.[2]

On 5 September 2008, it was announced that he would replace Gethin Jones as a presenter on the children's TV show Blue Peter, and joined the other members of the team, Andy Akinwolere and Helen Skelton, on 23 September 2008.[3]

He went to Turkey with the Blue Peter team filming the 2009 Summer Expedition. The 2009/10 series of Blue Peter returned on 22 September 2009. Joel announced on 29 November 2010 that he would be leaving the show on 14 December 2010.

In 2010 Joel learnt to fly a hang glider for Blue Peter with Airways Airsports instructor Judy Leden MBE with the aim of flying with Lucy a peregrine falcon [4]

During 2009 Defries presented the 26 episodes of the CBBC programme Keep Your Enemies Close, a children's game show that tests friends by wrenching them apart and forcing them to work with their rivals instead.[5]

Personal life[edit]

He went to sixth form at Fortismere School in London and is six feet tall exactly.[6] He is Jewish, but says he is not religious and has only actually visited a synagogue twice. This was explored by the BBC during a Blue Peter episode titled "Joel's Journey" broadcast on 27 January 2009. It featured him exploring his Jewish heritage, and then looking at modern day Jewish life in the UK by spending time with a religious family. The climax of the programme was his visit to Auschwitz – where he met Freda Winemann – a Holocaust Survivor who was returning to Auschwitz for the first time.[7]

Defries is a supporter of Fulham F.C..[8]


  1. ^ GRO reference: April 1985, Vol. 12, Page 2490
  2. ^ "Joel Defries is so, like, 2007". Scoop. Retrieved 23 September 2009. 
  3. ^ Conlan, Tara (5 September 2008). "Blue Peter unveils new presenter". London: Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2009. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "BBC Press release". BBC. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  6. ^ "Blue Peter Profile". BBC. Retrieved 23 September 2009. 
  7. ^ "Joel's Journey". BBC Press Office. Retrieved 23 September 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ BBC 606 show 21/02/2010 BBC Radio 5 Live, 21 February 2010
Preceded by
Gethin Jones
Blue Peter Presenter No. 34
Succeeded by
Barney Harwood