By Tanny Hossain

27th February 2019

This Is What The Blue Peter Presenters Look Like Now!

Was there anyone who DIDN’T want the Blue Peter badge? The badge wasn’t everything though – remember the Blue Peter presenters? This is them now

Yvette Fielding – THEN

Yvette Fielding

Image Source/Pinterest

This lady holds the record for one of the youngest Blue Peter presenters ever. She got the role just shy of her 19th birthday! As if that wasn’t impressive enough, she competed against some of the big names, like Cilla Black and Kylie Minogue, to win the SOS Award for the Most Popular Woman on Television!

Yvette’s rollercoaster trip with Mark Curry was also voted ‘Favourite Blue Peter moment of all time’ – do you agree?

Since her Blue Peter days, you may have recognised Yvette briefly from Loose Women and I’m a Celeb! Her current role is on Most Haunted; she has starred on the show since 2002!

It’s certainly a big change, from talking to children to talking to ghosts… but some people may argue that kids are the scarier option of the bunch!

Yvette Fielding – NOW

 

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Oh YES!!!

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John Leslie – THEN

John Leslie

Image Source/The Bot News

John was the first ever Scottish member of the Blue Peter presenters. Can you believe that they didn’t have one until 1989?! Who doesn’t a love a bit of Scotland?!

Apparently he also holds the record for the tallest presenter (he is six foot four inches)… if you’re wondering who actually sits there and measures all these things… we’re wondering the same!

Since Blue Peter, John was a presenter on This Morning with Fern Britton (alongside Phil and Holly). However, he was dismissed from the programme in 2002 after some rape allegations were brought to light.

He was cleared of these charges in 2018 due to the lack of evidence. He then went onto appear on his old workplace, This Morning, to discuss how the court case affected his life.

John Leslie – NOW
John Leslie

Image Source/Youtube

Diane-Louise Jordan – THEN

Diane-Louise Jordan

Image Source/Buzzfeed

This presenter was setting some records of her own too – not about heights and accents though. Diane-Louise was the first black presenter of Blue Peter after being discovered by the show’s editor.

She turned down a role in Coronation Street for this job! When she decided to leave, Blue Peter dedicated two whole shows to her. What a send-off!

Diane-Louise also had a run-in with the law. She received a PIN (Police Information Notice) which she signed thinking she had no choice. Her accuser ended up imprisoned for perverting the court of justice!

Nowadays, Diane-Louise is enjoying spending time with her daughter Justine, as well as presenting ‘The Sunday Hour’ on BBC Radio 2!

Diane-Louise Jordan – NOW
Diane-Louise Jordan

Image Source/Twitter

Konnie Huq – THEN

Konnie Huq

Image Source/Wikipedia

She’s best known for being the longest-serving female presenter of Blue Peter… but did you know that Konnie was doing rounds around the BBC studios as a child too?

She was a guest on Blue Peter at the age of 14 and even interviewed interviewed Labour leader Neil Kinnock for Newsround! Konnie also ended up breaking a Guinness World Record by pinning 17 badges on Andy Akinwolere’s shirt in a minute.

About her time on the show, she said:

“I was enjoying it so much that I stayed on it for ages and ages and ages because I just loved doing that job.” Aw!

Since leaving the show in 2008, Konnie’s been winning awards at Monaco’s International Film Festival as well as co-writing critically-acclaimed episodes for Black Mirror with her husband, Charlie Brooker. She also has two sons with him!

Konnie Huq – NOW

Richard Bacon – THEN

Richard Bacon

Image Source/Mirror

Richard presented the show for 18 months and sadly had his contract terminated mid-season. Why? A news report was published by News Of The World about Richard taking cocaine in a nightclub in London. Not the kind of thing you want associated with you if you’re one of the Blue Peter presenters, right?

Lucky for Richard, his career survived the Blue Peter setback. He went onto become a presenter for many shows like Top of the Pops and BBC Radio 5.

In 2018, he was put in an induced coma after becoming ill on a flight from the U.S. As of today, he’s out of the coma and has taken to Twitter to voice his praise for the NHS:

“Who’s going to sit my poor dad down and say “I’m sorry, we did everything we could”. But then I didn’t die. And I didn’t die because I’m on the NHS . VivaTheNHS.”

Good for him!

Richard Bacon – NOW

 

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What camera?

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Matt Baker – THEN

Matt Baker

Image Source/Irish News

Matt was actually going to be a physiotherapist but he didn’t get the right grades so ended up becoming one of the Blue Peter presenters.

His luck only got better from there as his future wife’s aunt found out the show needed a new presenter and suggested Matt try out for the role. Lo and behold, he got the job and ended up becoming a fan favourite.

So much so that he got a BAFTA for Best Children’s Presenter not just once… but twice in a row!

After presenting Blue Peter, you’ve probably seen Matt on Strictly Come Dancing where he came second place.

Recently, he was all over social media for his post-Christmas beard which was getting a mixed reaction from the public. Matt is currently a presenter on The One Show.

Matt Baker – NOW
Matt Baker

Image Source/Digital Spy

Zöe Salmon – THEN

Zoe Salmon

Image Source/Facebook

This presenter was what you’d call a bit of a daredevil! After debuting as the 30th Blue Peter presenter, Zöe said “I’d Try Anything Once”… this became a trend and led to her being asked to do wacky and wonderful things – like wing-walking on top of an antique bi-plane!

Viewers even campaigned for an event where Zöe would be sawed in half by a magician (something she herself had wanted to do, don’t worry!) and it was successful!

Outside of Blue Peter, Zöe is actually a qualified solicitor – she proudly has LLB CPLS on her social media accounts (as she very well should!).

Zöe’s husband, Will, says that the former Blue Peter presenter is always in and out of country with her busy life but they make it work. #relationshipgoals

Zöe Salmon – NOW

 

Gethin Jones – THEN

Gethin Jones

Image Source/Whats On TV

Before this certain Blue Peter presenter’s television career began, he did a few odd jobs here and there as a bank clerk, telephone hotline officer, research assistant and a builder laying down house foundations!

On Blue Peter though, he was a wild one! He did submarine escape training with the Royal Navy; survived the dangerous Bolivian jungle; and also fought as a samurai warrior in Japan!

Since Blue Peter, Gethin has continued presenting for shows such as ‘Sunday Morning Breakfast’ on the Heart Network, Daybreak, Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two and is currently a co-presenter for ‘Hits Radio Breakfast Show’.

Gethin’s co-presenter Gemma Atkinson likes making jokes about how he’s single and saying she’s “on a mission” to find him a new wife. Good luck, mate!

Gethin Jones – NOW

 

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Join us at 8pm @channel5_tv as we go live for the first time ever with @helptheanimals. Fingers crossed to raising a lot of money!

A post shared by Geth Jones (@gethincjones) on

 

Andy Akinwolere – THEN

Andy Blue

Image Source/BBC

This guy was actually just a runner for the BBC when he was asked to audition as one of the Blue Peter presenters. Had he not gone for it, he would’ve gone into documentary-making and radio!

Andy was also a beloved presenter and was nominated for two BAFTAs as a result.

On Blue Peter, his first challenge was to complete a 150-yard abseil and an 1100 ft Hele Bungee! Anyone else thinking they wouldn’t have lasted a minute on the show? Far too much exercise for our liking!

Since leaving the show in 2011, Ayo (as he calls himself now) has worked as a broadcaster and interviewed some of the biggest names in the sports world like Usain Bolt and Lewis Hamilton. He’s currently presenting Inside Out for the West Midlands!

Ayo Akinwolere – NOW

 

Joel Defries – THEN

Joel Defries

Image Source/BBC

Joel’s Twitter description says “I still have my Blue Peter badge, yes!” – if that’s not the mark of a good Blue Peter presenter, what is?!

This guy presented the show from 2008 to 2011 and he recalls being terrible with the early morning calls like 6am shoots. 
Anyone remember the scene when he was sat next to a lion? Live?! We wouldn’t be able to do that!

As of now, Joel is enjoying fatherhood and even blogs about his parenting experiences on theearlyhour.com. Additionally, he also talks about his time as one of the Blue Peter presenters, claiming that being on TV isn’t good for the soul because you become a weird parody version of yourself.

Guess we never really know what goes on behind the scenes. At least he’s happier now!

Joel Defries – NOW

Joel Defries

Image Source/The Early Hour

Liz Barker – THEN

Liz Barker

Image Source/Buzzfeed

Liz joined the show in 2000 and stayed for six years!

She got pregnant while on the show and she had scans shown on the show and pictures too! Her baby boy, Dexter, appeared many times on Blue Peter. Did you know she was the first woman to return to the show after having a baby?

Ever the daredevil, Liz took on many challenges, including: an inverted spin in a jet, racing a lawn mower, paragliding, walking a circus high-wire and she cleaned windows at the Canary Wharf tower in London. She took part in the two-woman Bob at the British Bobsleigh championships and won a bronze medal!

After leaving the show to spend more time with her children, she now presents the annual Fiver Awards.

Liz Barker – NOW

Liz from blue peter

Image Source/Buzzfeed

Barney Harwood – THEN

Barney Harwood

Image Source/Pinterest

We had known Barney from Basil’s Swap Shop and Prank Patrol before he became one of the most iconic Blue Peter presenters in 2010.

His cheeky chappy personality was allowed to shine through his use of bad jokes and catchphrases.

We all learnt about his fear of frogs, but managed to face his fears not once… but twice! He was made to hold one on his first ever show and then kiss one on his last show.

Even those who present Blue Peter are craving the badges, and Barney was presented gold badge – AKA their highest honour – on his last show. His fellow presenter, Radzi Chinyanganya, said that he was: ‘at the very top of the list’. Cute!

Barney Harwood – NOW

 

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I am NOT obsessed. Yes I am. #sorrynotsorry #redarrows #sbach #pulse

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Janet Ellis – THEN

Janet Ellis

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In 1983 Janet Ellis joined the long list of Blue Peter presenters; even presenting with show royalty Sarah Greene.

If you think what the other presenters have done is wild, just hear what Janet did! She was asked to become the first civilian woman in Europe to do a free fall from 20,000 feet – AKA 6,100 m!  The worst bit about it all was that she broke her leg during training!

Janet suspiciously left the show at a similar time to when she announced her pregnancy with a man she wasn’t married to.

Many believe that she was forced to leave or even sacked! However, she recently put these rumours to bed stating that it was her choice to leave.

Janet Ellis – NOW

Janet Ellis

Image Source/Telegraph

Simon Thomas – THEN

Simon Thomas

Image Source/Daily Mail

Did you know that Simon applied to be a presenter on three separate occasions before finally being accepted as Richard Bacon’s replacement?!

He was one of the show’s most adventurous presenters. During his time on the show he ran the London marathon twice, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro AND Mont Blanc, did over forty skydives and ran two Great North runs! I’m tired even reading that list…

He had the honour of presenting the queen with a Gold Badge when she came to visit!

He has recently been struck by tragedy – his wife died just THREE days after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Leaving Simon as a single dad to their son, Ethan.

Simon Thomas – NOW

 

Anthea Turner – THEN

Anthea Turner

Image Source/Express

Anthea presented the show for two years from 1992-1994.

While on the show, she was made to face her fear of water by going to Crustal Palace to do a section on high board diving. Speaking about the experience, she said:

‘Never have my knees knocked so much!’

After her very public divorce from Grant Bovey, Anthea hasn’t been in the public eye very much. Hope she’s okay!

Anthea Turner – NOW

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