The 90s were legendary, you can’t deny it. Remember the awful tracksuits, jelly shoes and awesome pop tunes to which we would sing at school discos? Yes my friend, those were the days. And within that wonderful decade, one thing just can’t forget is BBC’s Blue Peter – one of the best-loved TV series to ever grace our screens.
Many were the days when we would rush home from school to see what awesome crafts they would be making and which famous guests would be joining them on the sofa. However, what we’d all like to know is…whatever happened to Blue Peter’s most famous 90’s presenters?
Way before her days presenting Most Haunted, you may remember that one of Yvette Fielding’s first-ever presenting gigs was on Blue Peter when she was just a teen. She presented the show for five years between 1987-1992,
However, Yvette’s career sky-rocketed due to this platform and went on to become best-known for hosting shows with paranormal and ghostly themes – as mentioned, her most famous credit being Most Haunted. There’s an old expression – to stick with who brought you to the dance – and Yvette certainly knew all about that phrase, as she hosted countless paranormal shows, even becoming known as the “first lady of the paranormal.”
But there were more strings to her bow than just walking down dark old mansion halls and pretending that she’d seen something (only joking Yvette, that one time did look like there was something there). In fact, she’s also appeared on a host of daytime shows, including The Wright Stuff, Through the Keyhole and Celebrity Mastermind. And, get this, her specialist subject was Henry VIII. Very impressive – given that a lot of celebrities who go on there cop out and choose Star Trek or something.
She also went on to appear in the 2016 series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here, and eventually came in tenth.
Scotsman John Leslie appeared on the show between 1989-1994 and was best-known for competing in a wide scope of risky challenges. In the show’s history, he was only the second Blue Peter presenter to take part in the London Marathon and even took his competitive nature to new heights when he was dared to abseil down the Television Centre building. Yikes!
Aside from being the resident Evel Knievel of the show, John also expanded his horizons and undertook other TV work such as ITV’s This Morning and the game show Wheel of Fortune.
But while John went on to have a successful career when his time on Blue Peter came to an end, things took a turn for the worst when he was charged with sexual assault and even rape later on in his life. Despite being cleared for some of these cases, the negative publicity hit John hard. He once even stated that during this difficult time, he had considered taking his own life.
Diane may never have been part of the Blue Peter team at all, if it wasn’t for the fact that she made one life-changing decision that completely reshaped her destiny. In 1990, she was offered a presenting role on the show and was even considered for a role in Coronation Street as well. She did, of course, decide to go for Blue Peter and was perhaps the best outcome she could have hoped for. She also holds the distinction of being the first black presenter to ever host the long-standing TV institution.
These days, you can see Diane presenting another classic BBC show ‘Songs of Praise’ and even has her own spot on Radio 2 entitled The Sunday Hour. Aside from her work on TV, she is also a keen supporter of various institutions. She is the vice-president of Action for Children, she sits on the council The Prince’s Trust and is also a trustee for BBC Children in Need. Moreover, she also supports the Bone Cancer Research Trust.
However, despite her seemingly altruistic nature, Diane did get into a spot of trouble with the police after she was warned for an outburst of erratic behaviour at a school sports day. I’m all for supporting your own flesh and blood, but there’s a time and a place!
When Yvette decided to leave the show, Anthea Turner took her place. She was already extremely well-known at the time, having presented Top of the Pops, and a gig hosting Blue Peter definitely boosted her career even further.
Although she had the ‘nice-girl’ image, Anthea has had to face tough press over the years. When appearing opposite Eamonn Holmes on GMTV, the pair were reportedly at loggerheads throughout the duration of their working relationship, which made numerous headlines at the time.
In recent years, we haven’t seen much of Anthea in the media, apart from her short-lived home show entitled Anthea Turner: The Perfect Housewife, as well as taking part in a few reality shows such as Dancing on Ice and Celebrity Big Brother.
However, in recent times Anthea has faced a downward turn in fortune. She was hounded through the courts over money ever since her ex-husband’s £100 million property empire collapsed.
Before joining the presenting gang on Blue Peter, Tim was already a well-known face for his role on the kid’s TV show Children’s Ward.
Since then, he went on to make use of his acting talents, by landing a role in Emmerdale, playing the role of Adam Forrester and was even lucky enough to make a break in the states by presenting The Miss World and Miss USA contests.
He also took on other presenting roles, such as Short Change and Fully Booked. He also took the plunge into reality TV as he appeared on the first series I’m Famous and I’m Frightened as well as the Sky One series There’s Something About Miriam.
He also had the chance to use his connections to the USA, forged through presenting various Miss World competitions, to work as a reporter for Access Hollywood.
In recent years, Vincent has been splitting his time between the UK and the USA – hosting the NBC show Phenomenon and more recently hosting shows on London’s Capital FM.
Stuart Miles presented Blue Peter for approximately five years, but eventually decided to quit after believing that the entire structure and themes within the show needed a huge update, feeling that the show was “out of touch” with the modern generation of kids. He also expressed frustration at not being selected for the then-vacant position of Programme Editor, and felt that the sacking of Richard Bacon had not been handled well.
After leaving Blue Peter, Stuart presented on a bunch of shows such as This Morning, Holiday and Soap Fever.
But while kid’s telly seemed to be right up his street, Stuart took his career in quite a different direction when he decided to start his very own drag act, which certainly wouldn’t be the most suitable viewing for young viewers. At the time, he said: The stuff I do now is definitely not suitable for children,” – Oooh, I say – we’d definitely love to have a sneak-peak of his act!
In 2008, Stuart’s drag show had evolved into a sort of comedy-live show, wonderfully entitled the Adventures of Pink Peter. He went on to appear at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Romana was also another presenter who got the job through hard work. Although she was only a student at the time, producers decided to offer her a presenting job on the show, despite only applying for a spot of work experience to further her career.
Her presenting career was cut short though, as she decided to have a complete change of plan and went on to study for a Masters degree in English and Italian at Edinburgh University. As a result, she went on to teach the English language to Italian students and now lives the high-life in Dubai.
Richard was only a part of the Blue Peter presenting line-up for a short 18 months, however, he became one of the most well-known faces on the box in the 90s. If you can remember that far back, his exit wasn’t out of his own choice though – as it was reported that he had been using drugs and was therefore sacked from the job.
Nevertheless, the small blip didn’t impact Richard’s career too much and went on to present shows such as Top of the Pops and The Big Breakfast.
Here’s a fun fact for you: Katy may not have ever been part of the Blue Peter presenting line-up if it wasn’t for her persuasive nature. Apparently, she was only a secretary in the BBC studios, but begged one of the producers to give her chance of presenting back in 1995 – it just shows what a little perseverance can do.
After she left Blue Peter, she went on to present a host of other TV programmes, such as Live & Kicking, Top of the Pops, Football Fever (which she took to with gusto as a keen supporter of Newcastle United) and The Millenium Quiz Show with Michael Parkinson.
In more recent years, Katy has gone on to further her career, by presenting segments on Daybreak and This Morning.
Around October last year, Hill made the news for reasons of a tad more controversial nature, after ranting on Twitter about older people complaining about her children in a Pizza Express.
Taking to Twitter, she wrote: “You dislike children in restaurants? I dislike miserable older people who choose FAMILY restaurants!”.
The blonde mother-of-two added: “DON’T GO TO PIZZA EXPRESS IN HALF TERM! Simples! Hope I never get old and bitter.”
Katy received a hounding from the public and media for this tweet!
It just goes to show that being pushy in a highly competitive industry can go a long way in a TV career as Simon Thomas also convinced producers that he was the right guy to fit the bill. He reportedly applied to the show a whopping three times before he was even considered for an audition – but in the end, he got the job.
While children’s TV seemed to be Simon’s thing, he soon went on to make his name in Sports broadcasting and presenting and moved to Sky Sports.
Thomas’s wife, Gemma, tragically died on the 24th November last year, just three days after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
Let’s face it – Matt Baker hasn’t changed one bit and hasn’t really been off our screens since he quit the show back in 2006, therefore he’s basically grown-up with us -aw!
Matt seems to have stuck with the BBC ever since his Blue Peter days and can now be seen hosting shows such as The One Show, Countryfile and even the annual coverage of Crufts. Understandably, his high-profile jobs have meant that he is now one of the highest-earning BBC presenters – good on him we say!
If you were a kid in the late 90’s and early noughties, you’re bound to remember Konnie Huq. In fact, she served on the show for a whole ten years, so became a familiar face to a whole generation of audiences. Yet, in 2008, she decided to call it a day and move on to new things.
Soon after, Konnie went on to present The Xtra Factor (which perhaps didn’t last as long as she may have hoped) and later married Charlie Brooker, in which she appeared in a guest role in his sketch of Screenwipe; and the pair have two children together.