Blue Peter presenters now – cocaine scandal, painful tragedy & John Leslie trial

Every child in Britain has wanted to get their hands of a Blue Peter badge at some point.

The much-loved kids show was only created to fill a six-week gap in schedule, but has stood the test of time and become the longest running children’s show in the world.

Since 1958, Blue Peter has been taking kids on a voyage of discovery, hence the famous ship logo, with celeb interviews, arts and crafts, challenges and competitions.

TV artist Tony Hart was the man behind the logo, receiving £100 for his work – about £1,500 today – but he would be a millionaire if he received royalties.

Another major part of Blue Peter is the adorable pets – with dogs, cats, tortoises and even parrots becoming studio regulars.

During a staggering six decades on our screens, there have been a total of 40 Blue Peter presenters, who became heroes to multiple generations of kids growing up.

Some of the past and present Blue Peter presenters during a reunion

A lot of the presenters have had incredible careers and are even more famous now than they were before.

Some have faded into obscurity and gone on to live quieter lives, while others have been rocked by scandal and devastating tragedy.

While just this week, former host John Leslie was found not guilty of groping a woman’s breasts at a Christmas party.

Here is a look at what they did once they left the show and what they’re up to now:

Christopher Trace – 1958 to 1967

Blue Peter presenters Christopher Trace and Valerie Singleton with the programme's dog, Honey
Blue Peter presenters Christopher Trace and Valerie Singleton with the programme’s dog, Honey

There would be no Blue Peter without Christopher Trace.

As one of the two original presenters, Peter kicked off the show when the show first aired in October 1958.

Before joining the team, he had a number of jobs including a farm labourer and was in the Army.

He started his television career as Charlton Heston’s understudy in Ben Hur.

Peter went on incredible trips to Norway, Nuremberg, Singapore and Borneo, ran the Blue Peter model railway and help trained Petra the puppy.

After nearly nine years, he quit to be a production manager and writer for a film company.

He returned to presenting on BBC Radio 2’s Are You Sitting Comfortably.

Sadly, Peter died in 1992 aged 59 from cancer of the oesophagus.

Leila Williams -1958 to 1962

Leila was one of the original Blue Peter hosts


Leila joined Blue Peter when she was just 21-years-old, a year after she won Miss Great Britain, and made the show’s first ever creation.

But she left after a few years, reportedly because she didn’t get on with the show’s new producer.

Unfortunately, no clips of Leila presenting Blue Peter exist in the BBC archives.

The budding actress had small roles in the films The Shakedown (1959), Marriage of Convenience (1960), Watch Your Stern (1960) and The Beauty Jungle (1964).

Leila went on to run pubs with her husband, including the Royal Oak in Surbiton, before retiring to live in Spain.

She still holds a good relationship with the cast members at the show, sending the show a birthday card every year and returning for reunions.

Anita West – 1962

Anita was the show’s shortest serving presenter other than stand-ins Sandra Michaels, Ann Taylor and Tony Hart.

During the short stint her six-year relationship with jazz musician Ray Ellington was under immense strain, and she left after only 16 episodes.

She was worried her personal life would interfere with her career and left to spend more time with her family.

Anita later appeared in TV series The Saint, and films such as Impact, Shadow of Fear and Ring of Spies.

Valerie Singleton – 1962 to 1972

Valerie Singleton, presenter of BBC children's educational programme 'Blue Peter,' with five dingo pups
Valerie with five dingo pups


Valerie joined the team in 1962, bringing to it her previous experience as an actress and a voice-over artist.

The presenter was part of the famous Lulu the elephant incident, politely stepping away while Lulu made a mess all over the floor of the studio.

She also took a lion for a walk round the studio and snuggled up on the sofa with five dingo pups.

A decade later she left to present news and current affairs on Nationwide, which she did for the following four years, before returning to Blue Peter in 1981 as a roving reporter.

After leaving the show for a second time she appeared on The Money Programme and Radio 4’s PM 4.

Valerie was awarded an OBE for her services to children’s television in 1994.

John Noakes – 1965 to 1978

John Noakes with Blue Peter dog Shep


John is Blue Peter’s longest serving presenter, having stayed on the show for over 12 years.

One of his most memorable moments was climbing up Nelson’s column to give it a clean.

He formed an amazing bond with Shep the dog and became known for always shouting: “Get down, Shep!”

Four years after leaving he and his wife went travelling – but the trip was cut short by a hurricane.

After another failed attempt two years later, they ended up staying in Majorca.

John lived with Alzheimer’s for a number of years before he tragically died in 2017 aged 83.

Peter Purves – 1967 to 1978

Peter Purves during a Christmas appeal


What started as a six-month break from acting soon turned into a decade presenting Blue Peter.

He also looked after the first ever Blue Peter dog, Petra, and announced her death was one of the hardest things he had ever had to do.

In one incredible dare devil act, he drove a car through the side of a furniture van.

Peter continued presenting after the show for Crufts, Stopwatch and We’re Going Places, as well as starring in Doctor Who.

The presenter returned to the show in 2000 to open a time capsule he had buried in 1971.

Lesley Judd – 1972 to 1979

Lesley Judd with Jason the cat
Lesley Judd with Jason the cat


Lesley joined the show after teaching hosts Valerie, John and Peter a dance routine one episode.

The presenter later admitted she auditioned without knowing what the job was, otherwise she didn’t think she would have done it.

Her most memorable moments include falling off a race horse and being hoisted up and down a lighthouse.

She left the show in 1979 to care for her husband who had multiple sclerosis.

Years later she started her own show In The Limelight With Lesley and presented BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour for six years.

Simon Groom – 1978 to 1986

Blue Peter's most popular puppies born to the programme's Golden Retriever Goldie, presented at six weeks old by Simon Groom
Blue Peter’s most popular puppies born to the programme’s Golden Retriever Goldie, presented at six weeks old by Simon Groom

Before joining Blue Peter Simon was an English teacher.

On his very first day on the set, Simon was accompanied by Goldie, a seven week old golden retriever puppy.

They were both an instant hit with viewers who watched eagerly for reports of the dog’s progress and the birth of her puppies.

On the show he took part in a Tower Bridge ‘death slide’ and met the Tiger that came to tea with Tippi Hedren.

Although he left in 1986, he continued to act as the show’s countryside correspondent.

He then went on to host BBC Radio Sheffield show Groom’s Gold and also heads his own television production company with film maker Ken Russell.

Simon now runs a sheep farm in Derbyshire with his wife Gilly.

Christopher Wenner – 1978 to 1980

Christopher Wenner, Lesley Judd, 'Goldie' the dog, Tina Heath and Simon Groom, the team from the childrens TV series 'Blue Peter'
Christopher Wenner, Lesley Judd, ‘Goldie’ the dog, Tina Heath and Simon Groom


Christopher was a real life action hero with some impressive talents, including tennis, riding, swimming, rugby, long-distance and cross-country running, water skiing, sailing, and sub aqua.

He also played chess, writes poetry, has learnt to sing, plays the guitar, trumpet, and piano.

Christopher famously abseiled down the East Tower at BBC Television Centre.

He continued his career in journalism taking a job as a war correspondent, and went missing for 18 days in Beirut, reports the BBC.

Two years later, whilst covering a mass protest of over 150,000 Kosovo Albanians for ITN, he was beaten by civilians.

Christopher then went on to run his own production company alongside occasional journalist stints.

Tina Heath – 1979 to 1980

Simon Groom and Tina Heath


Prior to her time on Blue Peter, Tina appeared on a number of TV children’s shows.

She fell pregnant whilst filming for Blue Peter and filmed segments for new mums on sonograms and how to bathe a baby.

Tina even had a live scan while pregnant with baby Jemma.

Viewers sent her lots of congratulations cards and letters, 43 pairs of bootees, 29 matinee jackets, 7 romper suits, 36 bibs, 10 shawls, and a rug.

She left in June 1980 when she gave birth, but later went on to voice passages from the bible for audiobooks.

Sarah Greene – 1980 – 1983

Peter Duncan, Sarah Greene and Simon Groom with a baby chimp on Blue Peter in 1982
Peter Duncan, Sarah Greene and Simon Groom with a baby chimp on Blue Peter in 1982


Sarah landed her Blue Peter job when she was 22 and stayed in the role for three years.

During her stint the production team focused on Sarah’s acting ability and love of dressing up.

Her best moments were diving to the wreck of the Mary Rose and helicopter abseiling.

She went on to present morning shows Saturday Superstore with Mike Read and Going Live! with Phillip Schofield, before featuring in Casualty, Brookside and French & Saunders.

In 2008, she competed in Dancing on Ice and now occasionally co-hosts on This Morning with Phillip Schofield.

Peter Duncan – 1980 to 1984 and 1985 to 1986

Peter Duncan, right, in the Blue Peter Garden with Simon Groom and Sarah Greene
Peter Duncan, right, in the Blue Peter Garden with Simon Groom and Sarah Greene

Shortly after joining, Peter it was revealed that Peter had appeared naked in the film The Lifetaker.

But the film was labelled a ‘psychological thriller’ and was not pornographic at all, while the BBC denied that he was ever a porn star.

The same year he left Blue Peter, he joined TV series Duncan Dares – before returning to Blue Peter for a second time in 1986.

He loved taking part in the action films, becoming the first Blue Peter host to run the London Marathon and completing the Royal Marines’ Endurance Course.

Peter also went up to clean the face of Big Ben without any safety equipment.

After leaving for good, he returned to acting, and was nominated for an Olivier award for his role in the musical The Card.

He then made three travel documentaries surrounding his family’s escapades as they travelled the world between 1999 and 2005.

In 2004 he went on to serve as a chief scout for five years and continued to write and direct a number of pantomimes.

He was awarded with the highest Blue Peter badge, Gold, in 2007 in his role as Chief Scout of the UK.

He then established The Natural Adventure Company in 2015 which specialises in walking holidays and guided tours.

Janet Ellis – 1983 to 1987

British TV Presenter Janet Ellis New presenter of the Children's TV programme 'Blue Peter'
Janet Ellis on Blue Peter


Janet was scouted to be the next Blue Peter presenter after the casting team saw her on kids show Jigsaw in the years after she trained as an actress.

She showed great courage during her free fall jumps with the RAF and returned to training after injuring her pelvis.

Janet left the show in 1987 to have her second child.

Since then she has starred in shows like Waking the Dead, Hotel Babylon, The Weakest Link, Come Dine With Me and Antiques Road Show.

She also published two novels – The Butcher’s Hook in 2016 and How It Was in 2019.

Michael Sundin – 1984 to 1985

Michael hosting the show

Michael was part of the British Men’s National Trampoline squad before he took an interest in acting, joining Blue Peter in 1984.

He was scouted by the team when then presenter Janet Ellis interviewed him whilst he was filming for the film Return to Oz.

Michael took part in skiing and trampolining with the RAF

His contract was not renewed, so he returned to acting.

Tragically, Michael died only a few years later aged 28 from liver cancer – becoming the first former Blue Peter host to pass away.

Mark Curry – 1986 to 1989

Mark Curry, Yvette Fielding and Caron Keating with Bonnie
Mark Curry, Yvette Fielding and Caron Keating with Bonnie


Mark loved to burst into song and dress up – with his best moment coming as he faced vertigo when climbing up a British Telecom telegraph.

After leaving the show in 1989, Mark landed a number of other presenting gigs including Catchphrase and Change That.

He also appeared on Children in Need and commentated Wimbledon.

In 2016, Mark took on the role of the Wizard in West End musical Wicked.

Caron Keating – 1986 to 1990

John Leslie becomes the new man in the lives of Blue Peter presenters Yvette Fielding (centre) and Karan Keating
Caron Keating (left) with Yvette Fielding and John Leslie

Caron spent four years on Blue Peter before taking time off to raise her two sons.

Amongst her more daring reports, she could be seen jumping under freezing waterfalls, diving with sharks, and abseiling down cliffs and skyscrapers

A few years later she returned to her TV career, stepping in for Richard and Judy on This Morning.

In 1997 Caron was diagnosed with breast cancer but continued working in TV adverts and presented on Work It Out.

She passed away aged 41.

Yvette Fielding – 1987 to 1992

Yvette Fielding in Blue Peter, their youngest presenter
Yvette Fielding in Blue Peter


At just 18-and-a-half, Yvette was the show’s youngest presenter and first female host to train a dog – Bonnie.

She spent five years with the team at Blue Peter before setting up a production company with her husband.

They produced Most Haunted, which sparked her interest and she went on to present a number of other paranormal shows.

In 2015, she headed to Oz for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and was over the moon to become the third star to be evicted from the jungle.

In 2016, she opened her own tea shop, called Proper Tea in Manchester beside the cathedral.

Yvette went into business with Gary McLarnan, who is the man behind the success of the Teacup in the Northern Quarter, says the Manchester Evening News.

John Leslie – 1989 to 1994

John Leslie gave a thumbs up outside court after he was found not guilty

Blue Peter’s first Scottish presenter, John Leslie was the second host to run the London marathon.

In an explosive final challenge, he abseiled down the Television Centre, then completed a velcro and wheelbarrow obstacle course, followed by trampolining and conducted an orchestra in the studio.

John went on to a successful career after staying at Blue Peter for five years, presenting This Morning on ITV.

He took over from the then-presenters Richard and Judy, but left over a rape allegation – which he has always denied.

He went on to be the presenter of Wheel of Fortune, taking over from Bradley Walsh.

Ulrika Jonnson claimed in her 2002 autobiography Honest she had been raped by a well-known TV personality when she was a 19-year-old secretary.

She refused to name her attacker, but TV host Matthew Wright mistakenly blurted out John’s name as the alleged predator on The Wright Stuff.

John was never charged and Wright apologised to him and said it was an error.

In 2003, he was cleared of two charges of assaulting a woman in 1997.

In June 2017, he was accused of putting his hand down the back of a woman’s trousers while they were both dancing. He denied the allegations and was cleared of sexual assualt.

John said the allegation caused him to consider taking his own life and in 2018 said he was going to file a complaint against Police Scotland after being cleared.

In October this year, John was found not guilty of sexual assault at London’s Southwark Crown Court.

A charity fundraiser claimed he groped her breasts at a celebrity Christmas party at a bar in London’s West End. Leslie denied the charge.

The jury took just 23 minutes to reach its not guilty verdict.

Diane-Louise Jordan -1990 to 1996

Former Blue Peter presenters June 1995 (L-R) Tim Vincent Stuart Miles Katy Hill and Diane-Louise Jordan
Former Blue Peter presenters June 1995 (L-R) Tim Vincent Stuart Miles Katy Hill and Diane-Louise Jordan

Diane turned down a place on Coronation Street to present Blue Peter, becoming the show’s first black presenter.

The host gave a moving report in Auschwitz and took a freezing dip in Norway.

She went on to host Songs of Praise in 2007.

Diane published a book on How To Succeed as a Single Parent in 2003.

In 2019, she participated in Channel 4’s Sink or Swim for Stand Up to Cancer, but with just five miles left to swim of the Channel the celebs were forced out of the water because of bad weather conditions.

Anthea Turner – 1992 to 1994

Anthea modelling the iconic Tracy Island

Anthea had a lot of presenting experience when she landed her Blue Peter gig.

After her stint on the show she moved on to present Good Morning Britain from 1994 to 1996, then the National Lottery and Wish You Were Here.

Anthea holds an important spot in Blue Peter history as queen of the crafts and the presenter to make the iconic Thunderbirds Tracy Island.

Anthea married Peter Powell before she joined Blue Peter in 1990 but divorced eight years later.

In the same year of their divorce, Anthea moved in with Grant Bovey – who left his wife Della.

The pair then married in August 2000 but divorced in 2015 after she found out he had cheated on her.

She’s since appeared on First Dates, Antiques Road Show, and came ninth on Dancing On Ice in 2013.

Tim Vincent – 1993 to 1997

Tim Vincent with fellow presenters Anthea Turner and Diane-Louise Jordan

Viewers were obsessed with Tim’s hair and watched him paint Blackpool Tower and fly a fighter jet.

Tim starred in BBC One’s Dangerfield after his four years at Blue Peter, before going on to present The Clothes Show and Short Change.

In the early 2000s he went back to acting and took a role in Emmerdale and feature film Sorted.

He then took a job interviewing the rich and famous on NBC’s Access Hollywood, as well as hosting Miss USA and Miss World contests.

Tim has returned to the UK after spending a few years working in the US and starred in Dancing On Ice in 2008.

Stuart Miles – 1994 to 1999

Stuart (left) alongside Konnie Huq, Katy Hill and Richard Bacon


Stuart was spotted by Blue Peter after working on Saturday Disney.

His most memorable moments were parachuting with the RAF Falcons, the River Avon death slide and learning to talk ‘chimp’.

Over the next few years he guest presented This Morning, Holiday and Soap Fever.

In 2007 he started performing regularly as his drag alter ego Stella Ratner.

Three years later he turned to radio presenting, and held a slot on Heart Breakfast with colleague Blue Peter host Katy Hill.

Katy Hill – 1995 to 2000

Blue Peter presenter Katy Hill and Otis the Aardvark
Blue Peter presenter Katy Hill and Otis the Aardvark


Much-loved Katie was an instant hit and got to fill her ambition of riding at the Horse of the Year Show.

Katy left Blue Peter after five years to join the team on Live and Kicking.

She later presented Top of The Pops, Football Fever and the Millennium Quiz Show.

Two years after marrying her husband Andrew Frampton, the pair divorced, and she started dating her Live and Kicking co-star Trey Farley – they now have two children.

Katy joined lifestyle website iVillage in 2010 as a weekly blogger before starting her own blog.

She also co-hosts Heart Breakfast for Heart Radio with Stuart Miles.

Romana D’Annunzio – 1996 to 1998

Romana D'annunzio Tim Vincent; Katy Hill And Stuart Miles, BBC TV 'Blue Peter'
Romana D’annunzio, Tim Vincent, Katy Hill and Stuart Miles

The second Scottish host, Romana loved dressing up and even went wing walking.

Romana left Blue Peter to pursue a career in acting, finding roles on the stage.

She later graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA in English and Italian.

She went on to the University of Glasgow in 2009 where she studied to be a teacher.

Richard Bacon – 1996 to 1998

Ex Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon at his Chiswick home With Blue Peter annuals
Ex Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon at his Chiswick home With Blue Peter annuals


Cheeky chappy Richard endured Officer Cadet training at Sandhurst and barefoot water skiing while on the show.

Richard was sacked from his role at Blue Peter after admitting to smoking cocaine at a night club.

After his dismissal, the then Head of BBC children’s programmes, Lorraine Heggessey, went on air to explain the situation to CBBC viewers.

At the time Richard also released a statement which read: “I fully accept and agree with the decision that has been taken. I regret what I did but it was in my personal time and I therefore hope that it does not reflect on the show. I am very grateful to Blue Peter for the opportunity it has given me and am very sorry that I have let everybody down.”

Best selection of showbiz long reads

Despite this he continued to have a successful career hosting This Morning, The Wright Stuff and Radio 5 Live.

In 2018 he fell ill on a flight from the US to the UK, and was put into a coma after failing to respond to treatment for suspected pneumonia.

He spoke about his relationship with alcohol on Radio 5’s podcast Hooked in 2019, admitting it’s hard to stop one he has one drink.

He now lives with his family in LA and is attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

Konnie Huq – 1997 to 2008

Konnie Huq is the longest serving female host

The longest-running female Blue Peter presenter, Konnie was a fan favourite over her staggering 11 years.

Konnie presented The Xtra Factor and the One Show after she left Blue Peter in 2008.

In 2009 she won the Best Rising Star Screenplay Angel award at the Monaco International Film Festival for her short film Ahmed & Mildred.

Alongside her husband Charlie Brooker – who she met after appearing on an episode of Screenwipe on BBC One – she has written episodes of Netflix series Black Mirror.

She was crowned the nation’s favourite Blue Peter presenter in 2017.

Simon Thomas – 1999 to 2005

Matt Baker, Konnie Huq and Simon Thomas (right)


Simon took Richard Bacon’s place as Blue Peter presenter, having applied for the job three times, and stayed for six years.

During his time on the show he ran the London marathon twice, completed 40 solo sky dives and also hosted CBBC Proms in the Park.

Simon later joined Sky Sports News, fronting the 2010 South Africa World Cup finals – and has presented with the team since.

Simon married Sky Sports presenter Gemma in 2005 and later had a son called Ethan.

In 2017, wife Gemma tragically died just three days after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.

Simon announced he would be taking a break from his Sky Sports position to spend more time with his son, who was eight at the time Gemma passed.

Matt Baker – 1999 to 2006

Matt Baker used to be one of the presenters

Lovable Matt achieved a world tandem hand gliding record and passed the recruitment courses for both the Royal Marines and the Parachute Regiment.

Matt’s presenting skills earned him two BAFTA awards for best children’s presenter two years in a row and a Royal Television Society award.

He left the show in 2006 and in 2009 landed a role on Countryfile.

Matt took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2010, coming in second place.

In 2011 he joined Alex Jones to present The One Show full-time – but after nine years on the show he has stepped down.

Since he spent the two weeks prior to his departure in self-isolation, after somebody in his household developed a cough, he wasn’t able to join the team on set for his last show.

The BBC has said Matt will continue to present Countryfile.

Liz Barker – 2000 to 2006

Liz (bottom right) was on for 6 years

Liz was on the show for six years when she announced she was having her fourth child.

She introduced viewers to her little boy Dexter by bringing him onto the show.

Liz travelled all over the world, and won a bronze medal in the two-woman Bob at the British Bobsleigh championships

Her challenges on the show included an inverted spin in a jet, lawn mower racing, paragliding, walking a circus high-wire and cleaning windows at London’s Canary Wharf tower.

She said her final goodbyes in 2006, announcing on her final show that she would be hosting a new show Totally Doctor Who.

But after that she opted for a complete career changed, and swapped her TV life for decorating cakes at her family’s bakery chain.

She’s now a presenter on Cambridge 105 radio.

Zoe Salmon – 2004 to 2008

Zoe started in 2004

Zoe was in the middle of studying for her law degree when she took the plunge to present Blue Peter instead.

She was meant to replace Liz Barker when she went on maternity leave, but Liz had already returned before Zoe got her debut.

The presenter started a trend of being asked to do dangerous or embarrassing things including wing-walking on top of an antique biplane and stamp collecting.

Zoe also revealed whilst on the show that she played a small part in the film St Trinians – but was a non-speaking extra.

A year after she left the show she appeared on BBC’s Dancing on Ice, and she’s also been on Celebrity Masterchef and Pointless Celebrity.

Gethin Jones – 2005 to 2008

On Blue Peter with Konnie Huq, Zoe Salmon, Liz Barker and Gethin Jones
Gethin (far right) was always up for a challenge

Gethin tried his hand at a number of jobs before becoming a presenter, including bank clerk, telephone hotline officer and research assistant.

The Welshman played a Dalek and Cyberman in Dr Who and faced tough challenges in his ‘Have a go Geth’ series.

In 2007 he took part in Strictly Come Dancing and reached the semi-finals, but narrowly missed out on lifting the glitterball.

He left Blue Peter in 2008 and went on to work with Sky, the BBC and ITV’s Daybreak.

In 2015, he hosted the US version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars.

And a year later returned to Strictly to be their reporter for Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.

Andy Akinwolere – 2006 to 2011

Andy (second left) was a popular member of the team

Andy began working at the BBC as a runner and worked his way up to become a presenter.

He stayed for five years, doing a bungee from a helicopter and kissing a camel, before saying his goodbyes in 2011.

In 2012 he co-presented the third season of Fort Boyard: Ultimate Challenge, and was nominated for a British Academy Children’s Awards for best entertainment programme in 2014 alongside co-host Laura Hamilton.

Later that year he interviewed Usain Bolt for a BBC documentary for the BBC.

In 2013 he guest starred on The Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief, and he’s also shown off his culinary skills on Celebrity Master Chef.

He then returned to presenting after landing a role on Inside Out for the West Midlands, winning Best Factual Royal Television Society Award for his Extremism documentary.

And in 2018, he co-presented Channel 4’s coverage of the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Helen Skelton – 2008 to 2013

Helen Skelton, Andy Akinwolere & Joel DeFries

Helen replaced Zoe Salmon on Blue Peter, staying on the show years before landing a role on Countryfile.

Fearless Helen kayaked down the Amazon and completed the Namibian Ultra Marathon.

She also presented two series of Holiday Hit Squad and was part of the 2012 Christmas special of Strictly Come Dancing.

She went on to do sports presenting including FA Women’s Super League for BT Sports and the 2012 Olympic Games.

She has also taken part in a number of charity challenges.

In 2010 she kayaked the entire length of the Amazon River for Sport Relief and broke not just one but two Guinness World Records along the way.

In 2011 she walked a tightrope over Battersea Power Station for Comic Relief, and the next year became the first person to reach the South Pole by bike.

The following year took part in a number of Comic Relief challenges known as the Magnificent 7 and broke another world record.

Joel Defries – 2008 to 2010

Joel (left) with Helen and Andy

During his time on the show Joel also presented CBBC’s Keep Your Enemies Close.

He replaced Gethin Jones who was the Blue Peter presenter at the time, joining Andy Akinwolere and Helen Skelton.

Joel learnt to fly a hang glider to attempt to fly alongside a peregrine falcon.

He now works as an ASOS model.

Barney Harwood – 2011 to 2017

Helen Skelton and Barney Harwood with Barney the dog on the new set of Blue Peter
Helen Skelton and Barney Harwood with Barney the dog on the new set of Blue Peter


Barney was already a CBBC favourite when he took over from Joel Defries – going on to become one of the longest serving presenters, at six and a half years.

In the early months of 2016, Barney left the show but returned by the end of the year.

Less than a year later he left and was awarded with a Blue Peter Gold Badge.

He also appeared as a contestant on Celebrity Masterchef.

Barney went on to play in numerous pantomimes, including Snow White, Peter Pan and Wizard of Oz.

Lindsey Russell – 2013 to present

Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell with astronaut Tim Peake
Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell with astronaut Tim Peake


Lindsey got her Blue Peter job after winning the show’s competition to find the next presenter – the first time such a vote had taken place in the show’s history.

She won shortly after graduating from the University of Bristol after impressing judges Eamon Holmes and Myleene Klass.

In 2016 she attempted to cross the 21 miles between Northern Ireland and Scotland in a orb but couldn’t complete the challenge due to bad weather.

Lindsey is still hosting on the show seven years later.

Radzi Chinyanganya – 2013 to 2019

Radzi (right) went on to dance on ice

Radzi joined the team in 2013 after Helen Skelton left.

Whilst doing so he also was a reporter and presenter of CBBC’s Match of the Day Kickabout.

In 2016, he voiced Mi in Kung Fu Panda 3 and in 2020 he competed in the 12th series of Dancing on Ice.

He left in 2019 after saying “all good things must come to an end”.

At the start of 2020, he was seen participating in Dancing on Ice as Michael Barrymore’s replacement – and was eliminated in week three.

Richie Driss – 2019 to present

Raheem Sterling and Blue Peter presenter Richie Driss


Richie currently hosts the show and is known for his positive energy.

He previously presented for Joe Media and also had his own series on GRM Daily.

His first ever Blue Peter challenge was singing a solo piece alongside The Kingdom Choir.

Mwaksy Mudenda – 2020 to present

Mwaksy Mudenda, Blue Peter’s 39th presenter


Mwaksy joined the show in May 2020 – starting her time on Blue Peter in the middle of the UK lockdown.

She finally got to make her debut in the studio in September this year.

Her first ever show was recorded from home and she broke a World Record for highest number of sticky notes stuck to her face.

Adam Beales – 2020 to present

Adam is the 40th host


The newest Blue Peter host, Adam was famous before for his online vlog and appearing on CBBC’s The Dog Ate My Homework.

He lives at home in Northern Ireland with his Mum, Dad, younger brother and dog Bailey.

Adam completed a mountain rescue drill for his first challenge and broke a World Record live on the show catching ping pong balls on his shaving-foam covered head.

Originally from

Leave a Comment