John Leslie (TV presenter)
John Leslie Stott
22 February 1965
|Other names||John Leslie Scott|
|Occupation||Television presenter, property developer|
|Years active||1989–2003; 2012–present|
|Known for||Blue Peter|
Wheel of Fortune
John Leslie (born John Leslie Stott; 22 February 1965) is a Scottish former television and radio presenter. Debuting on the Music Box channel in 1987, he later presented BBC One's Blue Peter, and ITV's This Morning and the gameshow Wheel of Fortune. He was also the studio host for the first series of the UK version of Survivor.
John Leslie Stott was born in Edinburgh, the brother of Grant Stott. He attended Liberton High School and James Gillespie's High School. He spent his early years in the church choir, studied music on leaving school, and worked as a DJ in Copenhagen. His first television work was on Yorkshire Television, when he hosted Music Box's all-night music show, Formula One, in 1989. Prior to his television career he worked as a DJ in nightclubs in Edinburgh and Newcastle, becoming resident DJ at the Blu Bambu club.
Leslie is also known for his affinity for football. He played in goal for the Scottish team in the Celebrity World Cup Soccer Six tournament, which took place on 14 May 2006 at St Andrew's, the home of Birmingham City. He is a supporter of Hibernian.
On 20 April 1989, Leslie became Blue Peter's first Scottish presenter, and also the tallest at 1.93 m (6' 4"). He was the second Blue Peter presenter to take part in the London Marathon, following Peter Duncan. He finished in four hours, thirty-six minutes.
On his last show he was set John's Final Challenge which involved abseiling down BBC Television Centre, completing a velcro and wheelbarrow obstacle course, then trampolining and conducting an orchestra in the studio. Leslie presented Blue Peter with Caron Keating, Yvette Fielding, Diane-Louise Jordan, Anthea Turner and Tim Vincent.
Wheel of Fortune
From series 11 in 1999 Leslie, alongside Fern Britton, was a regular presenter of the Friday edition. When Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan departed the show in 2001, they were replaced by Coleen Nolan and Twiggy, with Britton and Leslie remaining on Fridays. However, Nolan and Twiggy proved less popular with viewers, so Britton and Leslie took on the full job of presenting the show, bringing the ratings back up to around one million. In 2002, after allegations of sexual offences were made in the press against Leslie, he was dismissed from the programme and replaced by Phillip Schofield from Mondays to Thursdays and by Eamonn Holmes on Fridays (with Ruth Langsford).
Music and radio
In December 2003, Leslie appeared in the music video for the Christmas single "Proper Crimbo", released by Bo' Selecta! creator Leigh Francis, alongside Matthew Wright in a spoof of their presumed rivalry.
In November 2012, John Leslie began to present Friday's Drivetime show on 98.8 Castle FM, hoping to revive his career as a radio DJ. In March 2013, Leslie was among the Castle FM presenters who walked out in a disagreement with their management, only to be locked out when they tried to return. By the end of the year, the radio station had become automated, with no presenters.
In October 2002, Ulrika Jonsson had written in her autobiography, Honest, that "an acquaintance" had raped her when she was 19. Amid media speculation, television presenter Matthew Wright mistakenly named Leslie as the alleged predator on The Wright Stuff. Jonsson has never said whether the correct person was named, and Leslie was never charged for offences against Jonsson. Wright has since apologised to Leslie and said he named him in error. Despite this, the story was widely covered in the tabloids.
Other women made accusations of indecent assault against Leslie, and he was arrested in December 2002 on one count of rape and two concerning indecent assault, being then released on bail after being interviewed by the police. He was charged in June 2003 with assaulting a woman twice between 25 and 28 May 1997. The prosecution dropped the charges against Leslie at Southwark Crown Court on 31 July 2003 after new information from the alleged victim. On the court steps after the end of the hearing, Leslie said that he had "been to hell and back" and that he had "maintained [his] innocence throughout".
In July 2018, Leslie was cleared of assaulting a woman at a nightclub in June 2017 after a two-day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Leslie announced that he was going to make a complaint against Police Scotland.
In June 2019, Leslie was charged with sexually assaulting a then 30-year-old woman in Westminster during December 2008. That August, Leslie pleaded not guilty at Southwark Crown Court and he was released on bail. He was cleared of this charge by a jury on 19 October 2020. Judge Deborah Taylor subsequently told him: "You, for the second time, leave this court without a stain on your character and I hope it will be the last time you have to attend."
- Formula One (1989)
- Blue Peter (1989–94)
- Future Cooks (1993)
- Scavengers (1994–95)
- This Morning (1999–2002)
- Style Challenge (1996–98)
- Survivor (2001)
- Was It Good for You? (1999)
- Wheel of Fortune (1998–2001)
- Mega Machines (narrator) (1995)
- Lindsay, Jessica (12 July 2019). "John Leslie age, net worth, girlfriends and TV shows". Metro. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
- "John Leslie charged with sexual offence". BBC News. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
- McGrath, Nick (4 October 2015). "John Leslie: 'I went from £350,000 a year to nothing overnight'". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
- "John Leslie and Grant Stott in radio rivalry" – Edinburgh Evening News, 7 January 2015
- Storr, Will (23 February 2006). "John Leslie: 'My behaviour was at times inappropriate'". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 13 June 2022. Retrieved 16 February 2006.
- Beckham Backs Hibs Star Retrieved 26 June 2008
- "Blue Peter – John Leslie profile". BBC. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 25 March 2001. ITV.
- "Twiggy and Coleen Nolan join This Morning". broadcastnow.co.uk.
- "Twiggy to front This Morning". Digital Spy. 16 August 2001.
- Jessica Hodgson (2 October 2001). "ITV axes Twiggy". The Guardian.
- Leonard, Tom (31 October 2002). "John Leslie is sacked by ITV". The Daily Telegraph.
- "John Leslie among Castle FM radio hosts locked out" – The Scotsman, 25 March 2013
- "John Leslie Gets Regular Show With Bauer" – RadioToday.co.uk
- Davies, Caroline (19 October 2020). "From TV star to tabloid target: how allegations took toll on John Leslie". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
- "John Leslie named as mystery man in Ulrika rape claim". The Herald. Glasgow. 24 October 2002. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- "Leslie parents hit out at Ulrika Jonsson". Yorkshire Post. 3 August 2003. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- Jeffries, Stuart (27 August 2011). "Ulrika Jonsson: 'I'm a walking dichotomy'". Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- O’Leary, David; Pooran, Neil (23 November 2012). "John Leslie hails Edinburgh ahead of first ever show as radio DJ". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- Seenan, Gerard (6 December 2002). "TV presenter John Leslie arrested on rape and indecent assault claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- "Sex charges for British TV host". CNN. 18 June 2003. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- "Leslie sex charges dropped". BBC News. 31 July 2003. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- "John Leslie to make complaint against Police Scotland". STV. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
- "John Leslie Charged With Sexual Assault of Woman in Nightclub". HuffPost. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
- "Former Blue Peter presenter John Leslie charged with sexual assault". The Guardian. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
- "Ex-Blue Peter host John Leslie denies sexual assault". BBC News. 22 August 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
- "John Leslie appears in court accused of sexual assault". The Guardian Newspaper. 22 August 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
- "John Leslie cleared of sexually assaulting a woman at a Christmas party". Sky News. 19 October 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020.