List of Blue Peter presenters

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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 2018.[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

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] Singleton presented her last Special Assignment in May 1981 and returned to co-present Blue Peter to moderate the live UK TV link up to launch the 25th Silver Anniversary balloon hunt on 17 October 1983; making her total presenting span 21 years. 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

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]

Harwood left the programme and CBBC on 14 September 2017, meaning there are currently two presenters.

Presenters

No.


Presenter


Tenure began


Tenure ended


Length[22]


Ref(s)


1


Christopher Trace


16 October 1958


24 July 1967


8 years, 281 days


[23]


2


Leila Williams


16 October 1958


8 January 1962


3 years, 84 days


[7][a]


*


Ann Taylor


17 September 1959


11 December 1959


85 days


[b]


*


Tony Hart


13 November 1959


20 November 1959


7 days


[c]


3


Anita West


7 May 1962


3 September 1962


119 days


[9]


4


Valerie Singleton


3 September 1962


3 July 1972


9 years, 304 days


[24]


*


Sandra Michaels


20 April 1964


27 April 1964


7 days


[d]


5


John Noakes


30 December 1965


26 June 1978


12 years, 178 days


[14]


6


Peter Purves


16 November 1967


23 March 1978


10 years, 127 days


[25]


7


Lesley Judd


5 May 1972


12 April 1979


6 years, 342 days


[26]


8


Simon Groom


15 May 1978


23 June 1986


8 years, 39 days


[27]


9


Christopher Wenner


14 September 1978


23 June 1980


1 year, 283 days


[28]


10


Tina Heath


5 April 1979


23 June 1980


1 year, 79 days


[29]


11


Sarah Greene


19 May 1980


27 June 1983


3 years, 39 days


[30][e]


12


Peter Duncan


11 September 1980


18 June 1984


3 years, 281 days


[15]


13


Janet Ellis


28 April 1983


29 June 1987


4 years, 62 days


[31]


14


Michael Sundin


13 September 1984


24 June 1985


284 days


[32]


*


Peter Duncan


9 September 1985


27 November 1986


1 year, 79 days


[15]


15


Mark Curry


23 June 1986


26 June 1989


3 years, 3 days


[33]


16


Caron Keating


10 November 1986


22 January 1990


3 years, 70 days


[34]


17


Yvette Fielding


29 June 1987


29 June 1992


5 years, 0 days


[13][f]


18


John Leslie


20 April 1989


20 January 1994


4 years, 275 days


[35]


19


Diane-Louise Jordan


25 January 1990


26 February 1996


6 years, 32 days


[36]


20


Anthea Turner


14 September 1992


27 June 1994


1 year, 286 days


[37]


21


Tim Vincent


16 December 1993


24 January 1997


3 years, 39 days


[38]


22


Stuart Miles


27 June 1994


21 June 1999


4 years, 359 days


[39]


23


Katy Hill


23 June 1995


21 June 2000


4 years, 362 days


[40]


24


Romana D'Annunzio


1 March 1996


20 February 1998


1 year, 356 days


[41]


25


Richard Bacon


21 February 1997


16 October 1998


1 year, 240 days


[42]


26


Konnie Huq


1 December 1997


23 January 2008


10 years, 53 days


[43][44]


27


Simon Thomas


8 January 1999


25 April 2005


6 years, 107 days


[45]


28


Matt Baker


25 June 1999


26 June 2006


7 years, 1 day


[46]


29


Liz Barker


23 June 2000


10 April 2006


5 years, 291 days


[47][48]


30


Zöe Salmon


23 December 2004


25 June 2008


3 years, 185 days


[49][50]


31 Gethin Jones


26 April 2005


25 June 2008


3 years, 59 days


[51][52]


32


Andy Akinwolere


28 June 2006


28 June 2011


5 years, 0 days


[53]


33


Helen Skelton


23 September 2008


26 September 2013


5 years, 3 days


[54]


34


Joel Defries


23 September 2008


14 December 2010


2 years, 82 days


[55]


35


Barney Harwood


17 January 2011


14 September 2017


6 years, 240 days


[56] [57]


36


Lindsey Russelldouble-dagger


5 September 2013


Present


5 years, 63 days


[18]


37


Radzi Chinyanganyadouble-dagger


17 October 2013


Present


5 years, 21 days


[58]



A colour photograph of a young man with a curtains hairstyle
Tim Vincent, the 21st presenter, from 1993 to 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 to 2008
Helen Skelton was the 33rd presenter, from 2008 to 2013

 double-dagger  : Current Blue Peter presenter

Timeline blue peter

Notes

  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

  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 978-1-900203-30-2.
  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. ^ "Blue Peter". The Radio Times (2710): 30. 1975-10-16.
  12. ^ "Blue Peter". The Radio Times (2719): 72. 1975-12-18.
  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. 2013-08-08. 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. [permanent dead link]
  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. ^ "Blue Peter – Say goodbye to Barney!". Archived from the original on 21 August 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  58. ^ ""Helen Skelton to leave Blue Peter"".

External links

  • Blue Peter BBC
  • Blue Peter on IMDb
  • Blue Peter Museum of Broadcast Communications
  • The A–Z of Blue Peter The Independent, 12 March 2005

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