List of Blue Peter presenters

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A young woman wearing a blue denim jacket and grey skirt.
Helen Skelton became a Blue Peter presenter in 2008 and left the role in September 2013.

Blue Peter is a British children's television programme created by John Hunter Blair. The first programme was broadcast on 16 October 1958,[1] and the series still airs as of 2017.[2] It is the longest-running children's television programme in the world,[3][4] and also one of the longest-running television programmes in the world.[5] Blue Peter currently airs weekly on Thursdays in the United Kingdom on CBBC, a digital television channel. Blue Peter is produced in a magazine format, often transmitting live, and features a combination of studio presentation, interviews and outside broadcasting items.[1] There have been thirty-seven official presenters of Blue Peter.[6]

History[edit]

The first presenters of Blue Peter were Christopher Trace and Leila Williams. Trace presented for nearly nine years, and Williams for just over three years (although no footage of her has been retained by the BBC).[7] In the early days, as the show ran continuously on a weekly basis, other presenters occasionally stepped in to give the regular team a break. Artist Tony Hart and actress Ann Taylor both presented the show either in place of either Trace or Williams, or sometimes in place of both, with Taylor replacing Williams for six weeks in 1959 and presenting the show at least once alone, as did Hart.[8] When Williams was fired from the show in 1962 following a series of spats with a newly appointed producer, Trace continued to present the show alone or with one-off presenters until a replacement was found. The role went to Anita West, who presented sixteen editions over a four-month period in 1962—the shortest tenure of any full-time presenter—before abruptly resigning due to her imminent divorce, a reason she hid from the producers.[8] Her tenure was so short that no footage from her time on Blue Peter exists in the BBC Archives,[9] although footage of her audition remains, along with that of Valerie Singleton and other auditionees.[8] It was not until 1998 that West was officially recognised as a former presenter.[10] John Noakes is the longest-serving presenter, having presented the show for over twelve years, and Konnie Huq is the longest-serving female presenter, with a tenure of over ten years, beating Valerie Singleton by three months. However, although Singleton left the series full-time in 1972 to present the spin-off series Blue Peter Special Assignment, she continued to be an occasional presenter until 1975.[8] Singleton's last 'official' appearance on the show came on 20 October 1975[11] although she was also credited with appearing on the 1975 'review of the year' programme, broadcast on 29 December 1975[12] Sandra Michaels presented the show twice in April 1964 in the absence of Singleton and impressed producer Edward Barnes enough that he considered replacing Singleton, but Michaels turned him down and he opted to carry on with Singleton, something he admits in hindsight he was glad he did.[8] The youngest presenter of Blue Peter was Yvette Fielding, who was eighteen when she began presenting,[13] and the oldest was John Noakes, who was forty-four when he left.[14] Only one presenter, Peter Duncan, had two stints of presenting, his first being from 1980 to 1984, and his second being from 1985 to 1986.[15]

The only presenter to have been fired from Blue Peter mid-contract is Richard Bacon, who was dismissed from the show in 1998 after it emerged that he had taken cocaine.[16] A number of other presenters have garnered negative publicity for aspects of their private lives, which has been described in some sections of the British media as the "curse of Blue Peter".[17] Nevertheless, many of the show's former presenters have continued to work in the media. Indeed, Bacon's career survived his dismissal; he has since presented The Big Breakfast and Top of the Pops among numerous other radio and television shows, some of which were for the BBC.[16]

Transition to multiple presenters[edit]

After its move to Salford in September 2011, Blue Peter had a format with two permanent presenters, Helen Skelton and Barney Harwood, supplemented by guest presenters for particular topics, such as Naomi Wilkinson for wildlife.

On 4 March 2013, the BBC announced they were searching for a new presenter to start in the summer of 2013. They announced that CBBC stars Dick and Dom would be hosting a new TV show to find the next presenter.[18] The show began on 24 June as Blue Peter - You Decide!. The judges were Myleene Klass, Eamonn Holmes and Ceallach Spellman.[19] The winner was chosen after five weeks of competition, via a public vote. On 25 July 2013, it was announced that 22-year-old Lindsey Russell had won the public vote to become Blue Peter's 36th presenter.[20]

On 8 August 2013, Skelton announced on air that she was leaving the show in September after five years to be replaced by Radzi Chinyanganya.[21]

The new 2013 Presenter line up have done lots of challenges including duck herding, rally car racing, getting gunged for Children in Need, having a Next Step 'dance off', Formula 1 racing and many more. Most recently Lindsey took part in a Mountain Marathon - her first big Blue Peter challenge.

Presenters[edit]

A colour photograph of a woman with blonde hair and blue eyes wearing a red dress shirt, writing in a book, and smiling at the viewer
Anthea Turner was the 20th Blue Peter presenter, from 1992–1994
A colour photograph of a young man with a curtains hairstyle
Tim Vincent, the 21st presenter, from 1993–1997
A woman with black hair wearing a sparkly, light-blue shirt and blue jeans standing in front of a shiny, blue-bricked wall and looking at the viewer
Konnie Huq, the 26th presenter, is the longest serving female presenter, from 1997–2008

 double-dagger  : Current Blue Peter presenter

No. Presenter Tenure began Tenure ended Length[22] Ref(s)
1 Trace, ChristopherChristopher Trace 16 October 1958 24 July 1967 8 years, 281 days [23]
2 Williams, LeilaLeila Williams 16 October 1958 8 January 1962 3 years, 84 days [7][a]
* Taylor, AnnAnn Taylor 17 September 1959 11 December 1959 85 days [b]
* Hart, TonyTony Hart 13 November 1959 20 November 1959 7 days [c]
3 West, AnitaAnita West 7 May 1962 3 September 1962 119 days [9]
4 Singleton, ValerieValerie Singleton 3 September 1962 3 July 1972 9 years, 304 days [24]
* Michaels, SandraSandra Michaels 20 April 1964 27 April 1964 7 days [d]
5 Noakes, JohnJohn Noakes 30 December 1965 26 June 1978 12 years, 178 days [14]
6 Purves, PeterPeter Purves 16 November 1967 23 March 1978 10 years, 127 days [25]
7 Judd, LesleyLesley Judd 5 May 1972 12 April 1979 6 years, 342 days [26]
8 Groom, SimonSimon Groom 15 May 1978 23 June 1986 8 years, 39 days [27]
9 Wenner, ChristopherChristopher Wenner 14 September 1978 23 June 1980 1 year, 283 days [28]
10 Heath, TinaTina Heath 5 April 1979 23 June 1980 1 year, 79 days [29]
11 Greene, SarahSarah Greene 19 May 1980 27 June 1983 3 years, 39 days [30][e]
12 Duncan, PeterPeter Duncan 11 September 1980 18 June 1984 3 years, 281 days [15]
13 Ellis, JanetJanet Ellis 28 April 1983 29 June 1987 4 years, 62 days [31]
14 Sundin, MichaelMichael Sundin 13 September 1984 24 June 1985 284 days [32]
* Duncan, PeterPeter Duncan 9 September 1985 27 November 1986 1 year, 79 days [15]
15 Curry, MarkMark Curry 23 June 1986 26 June 1989 3 years, 3 days [33]
16 Keating, CaronCaron Keating 13 November 1986 22 January 1990 3 years, 70 days [34]
17 Fielding, YvetteYvette Fielding 29 June 1987 29 June 1992 5 years, 0 days [13][f]
18 Leslie, JohnJohn Leslie 20 April 1989 20 January 1994 4 years, 275 days [35]
19 Jordan, Diane-LouiseDiane-Louise Jordan 25 January 1990 26 February 1996 6 years, 32 days [36]
20 Turner, AntheaAnthea Turner 14 September 1992 27 June 1994 1 year, 286 days [37]
21 Vincent, TimTim Vincent 16 December 1993 24 January 1997 3 years, 39 days [38]
22 Miles, StuartStuart Miles 27 June 1994 21 June 1999 4 years, 359 days [39]
23 Hill, KatyKaty Hill 23 June 1995 19 June 2000 4 years, 362 days [40]
24 D'Annunzio, RomanaRomana D'Annunzio 1 March 1996 20 February 1998 1 year, 356 days [41]
25 Bacon, RichardRichard Bacon 21 February 1997 19 October 1998 1 year, 240 days [42]
26 Huq, KonnieKonnie Huq 1 December 1997 23 January 2008 10 years, 53 days [43][44]
27 Thomas, SimonSimon Thomas 8 January 1999 25 April 2005 6 years, 107 days [45]
28 Baker, MattMatt Baker 25 June 1999 26 June 2006 7 years, 1 day [46]
29 Barker, LizLiz Barker 23 June 2000 10 April 2006 5 years, 291 days [47][48]
30 Salmon, ZöeZöe Salmon 23 December 2004 25 June 2008 3 years, 185 days [49][50]
31 Jones, GethinGethin Jones 27 April 2005 25 June 2008 3 years, 59 days [51][52]
32 Akinwolere, AndyAndy Akinwolere 28 June 2006 28 June 2011 5 years, 0 days [53]
33 Skelton, HelenHelen Skelton 23 September 2008 26 September 2013 5 years, 3 days [54]
34 Defries, JoelJoel Defries 23 September 2008 14 December 2010 2 years, 82 days [55]
35 Harwood, BarneyBarney Harwooddagger 17 January 2011 Present 6 years, 95 days [56]
36 Russell, LindseyLindsey Russelldouble-dagger 5 September 2013 Present 3 years, 229 days [18]
37 Chinyanganya, RadziRadzi Chinyanganyadouble-dagger 17 October 2013 Present 3 years, 187 days [57]

Timeline[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Williams was absent from many episodes in 1959 and more often leading up to her final appearance.[8]
  2. ^ Taylor presented the show alongside Trace for six weeks in 1959 for an absent Williams and often replaced Williams on other occasions, even presenting the show alone at least once.[8]
  3. ^ Hart co-presented two early editions of the show, including hosting at least one 1959 in place of both Trace and Williams.[8]
  4. ^ Sandra Michaels presented two episodes on 20 and 27 April 1964 with Christopher Trace, as Valerie Singleton was on holiday.[8]
  5. ^ Greene returned to cover for Janet Ellis in 1984, after Ellis injured her pelvis during a parachute landing.[8]
  6. ^ Fielding stepped in to cover for Richard Bacon in 1998, following his dismissal.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McGown, Alistair. "Blue Peter (1958- )". British Film Institute. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  2. ^ Dowell, Ben (8 April 2008). "Gethin Jones leaves Blue Peter". guardian.co.uk. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  3. ^ "Entertainment Children crown best TV shows". BBC News. 18 October 1998. Retrieved 7 July 2008. 
  4. ^ de Lisle, Tim (28 March 2006). "How much is a Blue Peter badge worth?". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 3 July 2008. 
  5. ^ Paul Jackson (24 May 2003). "Yoghurt Pots and Sticky-Backed Plastic". Britain in a Box. BBC Radio 4. 
  6. ^ Marson, Richard (27 October 2008). "Blue Peter": Inside the Archives. Kaleidoscope Publishing. ISBN 1-900203-30-8. 
  7. ^ a b "Leila Williams". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Marson, Richard (21 September 2008). "Blue Peter" 50th Anniversary Book: The Story of Television's Longest-running Children's Programme. Hamlyn. ISBN 978-0-600-61793-8. 
  9. ^ a b "Anita West". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2008. 
  10. ^ Matthewman, Scott (26 March 2007). "Stop the "TV cheats" madness!". The Stage. This is the TV show ... who denied Anita West a place in the programme's list of past presenters until 1998 
  11. ^ http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/7439ad93015349b384bf987c5a65f8d6
  12. ^ http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/abf1b2cd9e84485189e5a328829b15b8
  13. ^ a b "Yvette Fielding". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2008. 
  14. ^ a b "John Noakes". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2008. 
  15. ^ a b c "Peter Duncan". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2008. 
  16. ^ a b James, Silver (19 November 2007). ""I should be out of work"". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 3 July 2008. 
  17. ^ Hewitt, Rick (25 October 2002). "The curse of Blue Peter". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  18. ^ a b ""BBC's Blue Peter launches show to find new presenter"". 
  19. ^ "Blue Peter You Decide". UKGameshows.com. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  20. ^ "'Blue Peter': Lindsey Russell announced as new presenter". Digital Spy. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "Helen Skelton to leave 'Blue Peter'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  22. ^ "Date calculator". TimeAndDate.com. Time and Date Aksjeselskap. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  23. ^ "Christopher Trace". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  24. ^ "Valerie Singleton". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  25. ^ "Peter Purves". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  26. ^ "Lesley Judd". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  27. ^ "Simon Groom". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  28. ^ "Christopher Wenner". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  29. ^ "Tina Heath". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  30. ^ "Sarah Greene". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  31. ^ "Janet Ellis". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  32. ^ "Michael Sundin". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  33. ^ "Mark Curry". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  34. ^ "Caron Keating". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  35. ^ "John Leslie". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  36. ^ "Diane-Louise Jordan". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  37. ^ "Anthea Turner". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  38. ^ "Tim Vincent". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  39. ^ "Stuart Miles". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  40. ^ "Katy Hill". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  41. ^ "Romana D'Annunzio". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  42. ^ "Richard Bacon". I Love Blue Peter. BBC Online. April 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  43. ^ "Konnie Huq" (Press release). BBC Press Office. December 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2008. 
  44. ^ "Host Huq bows out of Blue Peter". BBC News. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  45. ^ "Simon Thomas to leave Blue Peter". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Médias. 18 January 2005. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  46. ^ "Blue Peter says bon voyage to Matt Baker". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Médias. 6 June 2006. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  47. ^ "Blue Peter unveils new host". BBC News. 23 June 2000. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  48. ^ "Blue Peter's Barker leaves show". BBC News. 24 January 2006. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  49. ^ "Zoe returns to replace Helen". Sky.com. British Sky Broadcasting. 26 October 2004. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  50. ^ Rushton, Katherine (20 May 2008). "Salmon quits Blue Peter" (Note: Registration required). Broadcast. EMAP. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  51. ^ "Welsh TV host to join Blue Peter". BBC News. 24 January 2005. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  52. ^ "Gethin Jones quits Blue Peter". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Médias. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  53. ^ "Andy Akinwolere joins Blue Peter crew". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Médias. 28 June 2006. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  54. ^ "Blue Peter adds Skelton to team". BBC News. 28 August 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2008. 
  55. ^ "As the longest running show in children's television celebrates its 50th year, Joel Defries is unveiled as the second new Blue Peter presenter". BBC Press Office. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2008. 
  56. ^ "Barney Harwood is unveiled as the new Blue Peter presenter". BBC Press Office. 13 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  57. ^ ""Helen Skelton to leave Blue Peter"". 

External links[edit]