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Helen Skelton
Born 19 July 1983 (1983-07-19) (age 26)
Kirkby Thore, Cumbria, England
Nationality British
Occupation Television presenter
Years active 1999 -present
Known for Blue Peter presenter

Helen Skelton (born 19 July 1983) is an English television presenter from Cumbria. She has been a presenter on the children's television magazine show Blue Peter since 2008.

Contents

Biography

Helen Skelton was brought up on a farm,[1] in the village of Kirkby Thore in Cumbria. She attended Kirkby Thore Primary School, and then Appleby Grammar School.

She attended Cumbria Institute of the Arts where she gained a BA(Hons) degree in Journalism.[2] During her time at college, she worked as an extra on Coronation Street and Cutting It.

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Career

After briefly working in public relations, Helen decided to concentrate on journalism. She worked in the newsroom at CFM Radio and was involved with various programmes at Border Television, before becoming a breakfast presenter on BBC Radio Cumbria in 2005.[1][2]

She was a reporter and occasional presenter on children's news programme Newsround before being revealed as a new Blue Peter presenter on 28 August 2008. Helen presents the show with Andy Akinwolere and Joel Defries, having been introduced on 23 September 2008.[3] In a challenge for the show, she took an uncredited role in the BBC production of Merlin.

Extreme sports

In April 2009, Helen became only the second woman ever to finish the 78 miles (126 km) Namibia Ultra Marathon.[4] She managed the desert run in 23 hours and 45 minutes - just 15 minutes under the time limit of one day. "It was a gruelling experience, but one I'll never forget. There were tough times but also amazing times," she told Newsround.[5] Just weeks later, she completed the 2009 London Marathon.

In early 2010, Skelton kayaked the entire length of the River Amazon for Sport Relief. She clocked up 2,010 miles on her solo journey from Nauta in Peru on 20th January to Almeirim, Brazil on 28th February. She had never been in a kayak before training but broke two world records as she became the first woman to paddle the length of the river. The records - for the longest solo journey by kayak and the longest distance in a kayak in 24 hours by a woman - are awaiting official verification.[6] Helen's feat even came to the attention of Parliamentarians when Conservative MP for the Ribble Valley, Nigel Evans, tabled the following Early Day Motion in the House of Commons:

"That this House congratulates Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton on her 2,000 mile kayak along the Amazon to raise money for Sport Relief; notes her considerable position as a role model to young people and the magnificent example she sets; further notes the forthcoming verification by Guinness World Records of the two records set by Helen during her effort - longest solo journey by kayak and the longest distance travelled in a kayak in 24 hours by a woman; and further notes the work of Sport Relief in raising money to help transform the lives of poor and vulnerable people, both in the UK and all over the world."[7]

Personal life

Her brother, Gavin, is a professional footballer currently playing for Scottish Premier League side Kilmarnock. When she joined Blue Peter, she was dating his former Gretna team-mate David Graham;[2] the couple broke up in October 2008.[8]

She is a qualified tap dance teacher and has said that if she was not a broadcaster she would be a teacher as "I like the sound of my own voice."[2]

Filmography

Radio

Television

References

External links

Preceded by
Zöe Salmon
Blue Peter Presenter No. 33
2008–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent

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