Blue Peter hosts of yesterday – drug scandals, ghost hunting and sex tape leaks

It's been 62 years since BBC children's TV show Blue Peter hit the small screen.

Known for its string of wholesome activities, it's "here's one I made earlier" line, the well-loved Blue Peter garden and resident pets, the TV stalwart has welcomed many rising stars over the decades.

And who could forget the iconic badges, with kids desperate to get their hands on one of the classic boat pins – or a gold one if they did something extra special?

But the show hasn't been short of controversies, having witnessed a career-halting drug scandal, a sex tape and an autobiography flop.

We take a look at some of the break-out stars from the BBC show.

Richard Bacon

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Richard Bacon hosted Blue Peter in 1997 for just 18 months, when he became embroiled in a drug scandal.

He was the first-ever presenter to have his contract terminated mid-season after he admitted taking cocaine in a London nightclub.

However, despite the incident, he has forged a successful TV and radio career having guest hosted This Morning and The Wright Stuff, and his 5Live radio show until 2014.

Richard, along with his wife Rebecca and their two children, now resides in Los Angeles where he works in US television.

In July 2018, he was placed in an induced coma, after becoming ill with pneumonia aboard a flight from the States to the UK.

He later recovered and thanked the Lewisham Hospital staff for "saving his life".

Anthea Turner

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Anthea Turner was a formidable force on Blue Peter from 1992 until 1994, until she became GMTV's host from 1994 until 1996.

She became involved in the National Lottery, co-presenting the show alongside Noel Edmonds and Gordon Kennedy from 1994 until 1996, until it moved to ITV.

During the noughties, however, her career began to decline which saw the star's autobiography, Fools Rush In, sell just 451 copies in its first week of release in November 2000 and enter the bestseller charts at No531.

Since then, she's featured on many reality TV programmes including Celebrity Big Brother, Channel 4's First Dates and Celebs In Solitary, where she attempted to spend five days in solitary confinement

Konnie Huq

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Konnie Huq first graced the Blue Peter studio in 1997 and stayed on the show for 11 years, becoming the longest-running female presenter.

She went onto co-host the 2010 Xtra Factor series, before penning short film, Ahmed & Mildred, and co-writing an episode of Black Mirror with husband Charlie Brooker.

The episode, Fifteen Million Merits, aired in the show's first series.

Most recently, she appeared in Good Omens, written by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett.

Konnie entered the Blue Peter hall of fame in 2017 when she was was voted the nation's favourite Blue Peter presenter of all time.

John Leslie

John Leslie graced Blue Peter from 1989 to 1994, but his career soon took a turn for the worse when a sex tape of his model ex-girlfriend Abi Titmuss leaked.

The Scottish presenter later presented This Morning, and popular programme Wheel of Fortune until 2001.

In 2002, after allegations of sexual offences came to light against Leslie, he was dismissed from the ITV daytime programme and replaced by Phillip Schofield from Mondays to Thursdays and by Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on Fridays.

In June 2019, he was charged with sexually assaulting a then 30-year-old woman in Westminster during December 2008.

Then in August, Leslie pleaded not guilty to the offence at Southwark Crown Court – he was released on bail and is due to stand trial in March 2020.

Matt Baker

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Matt Baker appeared on the show from 1999 to 2006, and won two BAFTAs for Best Children's Presenter for the programme two years in a row.

Following his departure, he started co-presenting Countryfile and two years later became a full-time host of The One Show.

Last December he announced on The One Show that he would be leaving in the spring of 2020.

He showed off his dancing prowess in the eighth series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2010, where he was partnered with professional ballroom dancer Aliona Vilani, finishing in second place to the winners Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev in the final.

Yvette Fielding

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Yvette Fielding was 17 when she joined Blue Peter in 1987, and stayed on the show for five years.

Her most notable role came when she presented the Most Haunted series on the Living channel, via her production company co-founded with husband Karl Beattie.

The show was followed by Ghosthunting With…, establishing Fielding as the "first lady of the paranormal".

In 2015 Fielding took part in the ITV reality series I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, and finished in 10th place.

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