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Janet Ellis
Born 16 September 1955 (1955-09-16) (age 54)
Kent, England
Occupation TV presenter and actress
Known for Blue Peter presenter
Children Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Jackson Ellis-Leach
Martha-Rose Ellis Leach

Janet Ellis (born 16 September 1955) is a British television presenter and actress, who appeared on BBC children's television in the 1980s, including a four year period as a presenter on Blue Peter, a role she won after hosting the award-winning children's programme Jigsaw.

Contents

Early life

Ellis's father was soldier, stationed during her childhood at various places in England and Germany. Accordingly, she attended seven schools, including, from the ages 13–17, Richmond County School for Girls[1]. Afterwards, following a number of temporary jobs undertaken to gain life experience, she studied, from age 19, at the Central School of speech and Drama in London[1]. Her first television appearance was a bit part in The Sweeney. Her big break came in 1979, when she played Teka in the Doctor Who story The Horns of Nimon.

Blue Peter years

Ellis joined Blue Peter on 28 April 1983, and during her stint, co-presented with Simon Groom, Sarah Greene, Peter Duncan, Michael Sundin, Mark Curry and Caron Keating. She immediately became a hit with the teen and pre-teen viewers.

During her tenure on Jigsaw and Blue Peter, Ellis was particularly popular with male viewers. She is regularly cited by viewers as the most attractive children's TV presenter of her era. Referring to an episode of Jigsaw, comedian Richard Herring observes that "many men of my age have very similar memories of the awakening of their sexual desire thanks to the rather low cut dress that Janet Ellis was wearing".[2]

Personal life

She has three children, all born in London: Sophie Ellis-Bextor (born 1979), Jackson Ellis Leach (born 1987, Hounslow) and Martha Rose Leach (born 1991, Hammersmith).[3]

Later years

Ellis presented the daytime Open Air for the BBC and a large range of programmes on topics such as gardens, cars, holidays, cookery and childcare. She is a frequent contributor to children's charity Scene & Heard.

She is the author of How To Get Married Without Divorcing Your Family with Caron Keating, and presented the 2005 series of The Great Garden Challenge for Channel 4. She has been a regular panelist on Five's The Wright Stuff since 2002.

In May 2008 she appeared naked in a magazine in support of PETA[4] and in June of the same year she won The Weakest Link Blue Peter celebrity charity special. She donated the winnings of £13,150 to Maggie's Centers, a cancer care charity.

She has also appeared in a 2009 episode of Hotel Babylon[1].

In December 2009 she narrated The Man Behind the Masquerade, a BBC documentary about Kit Williams.

Just the Two of Us

In January 2007, Ellis appeared on the BBC reality singing show Just the Two of Us partnered with Alexander O'Neal. Despite being 'saved' by Stewart Copeland on the previous night, she left the show in acrimony on 4 January 2007, after judge CeCe Sammy described her as having the vocal characteristics of "a cat on speed". Ellis managed to show good humour in the face of the defeat, stating that she had had "fun, a lot of fun".[5]

Notes

External links

Preceded by
Sarah Greene
Blue Peter Presenter No. 13
1983-87
Succeeded by
Yvette Fielding
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