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Romana D'Annunzio
Born 14 January 1972 (1972-01-14) (age 38)
Edinburgh
Nationality Scottish
Occupation Teacher
Known for Blue Peter

Romana D'Annunzio (born 14 January 1972 Edinburgh) is a Scottish television presenter, who presented the children's programme Blue Peter from 1 March 1996 until 20 February 1998; she got the job after a chance meeting its then-editor, Lewis Bronze, at the Edinburgh Television Festival.

Romana became the show's second Scottish presenter and she soon became known for her love of dressing up but keen to pursue an acting career, Romana was given time off to star as Aladdin in Aberdeen over Christmas 1997. Shortly afterwards on 20th February 1998 she made her final Blue Peter appearance. During the show her favourite pop group, Mike Flowers' Pops, performed a special song for her.

During her two years on Blue Peter, one of D'Annunzio's most memorable moments was a wing walking assignment. She also went on two 'Summer Expeditions', to Hong Kong and Canada. Romana presented with Tim Vincent, Stuart Miles, Katy Hill, Richard Bacon and Konnie Huq. Her highlights were ballroom dancing in China, dramatic rock climbing assignments and an entertaining wingwalk!


After leaving Blue Peter, D'Annunzio decided to concentrate on stage acting and performed in many stage productions. However, she did return to television for a small role as a female clubber in the Channel 4 drama The Young Person's Guide To Becoming A Rock Star. In 2005, D'Annunzio took part in the Channel 4 successful programme When Blue Peter Became ABBA; at the time of filming, she was a full-time degree-level student. From 2004, D'Annunzio studied English and Italian at Edinburgh university and worked as an English teacher in Rome, supported by the British Council.[1] D'Annunzio completed her post-graduate in education at Glasgow University.[2]


Romana had a mind of her own and was truthful to herself and others which annoyed alot of people. The editor who worked on Blue Peter and who 'had it in' for Romana at the time called Oliver Macfarlane was also sacked from the show. Romana was subject to his bullying tactics. However despite this she carried on and coped for as long as she could as she loved the programme and her fans. Romana was a free spirit and was largely misunderstood on the show. She was a girl who cut her hair without asking and who wore high heeled shoes when she wanted.

The following information below is inaccurate and written by sacked editor M arson.

Producer Richard Marson was less than complimentary about D'Annunzio's time on the program, writing the following comments in his 2008 Blue Peter 50th Anniversary Book: "She often gave the impression of running to keep up with her fellow presenters. They liked her perhaps, partly because they could sense that she was no competition. Presenters sometimes kick against 'infantilizing' of their lives, every minute of which is defined by the job. The hard working production team get frustrated when presenters seem unwilling or unable to bring a positive attitude to the work. Romana became an acute example of the divide between the two. Production felt she was neither listening nor trying. Once Romana turned up for a rock climbing item wearing platform shoes. Another time she had a radical new haircut without consulting the team, making that year's summer trip films look out of date before they were even shown. She was taken wing walking... The pictures were spectacular, but the all important commentary was.. uninspired. Viewer's weren't convinced and the problems got worse during the 1997 expedition to Canada. When Romana refused to be filmed on a white-knuckle ride with the other presenters, (the producer) intercut them with shots of her on a rollercoaster designed for infants. On 31st October 1997, there was a Hallowe'en special. For the producer it turned out to be the straw that broke the camel's back. In this programme there was an apple bobbing game. Romana just faked it, not putting her head in the water, and giving the excuse later that she didn't want to ruin her make up. For me, that was the end. If a presenter can't take part properly in a simple party game, there's no point in them being there. When the inevitable request for Romana to take part in a pantomime came along, something we usually refused, I let her go." [3].

Preceded by
Diane-Louise Jordan
Blue Peter Presenter No. 24
1996-98
Succeeded by
Konnie Huq

References

  1. ^ British Council Scotland - Romana D'Annunzio, July 2007, retrieved on 24 September 2008
  2. ^ University of Glasgow - Former Blue Peter Presenter Graduates, 22nd June 2009
  3. ^ Marson, Richard (21 September 2008). "Blue Peter" 50th Anniversary Book: The Story of Television's Longest-running Children's Programme. Hamlyn. ISBN 9780600617938. 
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