Blue Peter hosts now after John Leslie doc – drug scandals, ghosts and sex tape

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This week, Channel 5 aired the documentary The Rise & Fall of John Leslie, which looked at the scandal that surrounded him after he was wrongly accused of rape.

After a number of other false allegations, he was cleared in trial and never convicted of any crimes while a judge told him he could return to his career "without a stain on his character".

More allegations followed but he was found not guilty of sexual assault in June 2018 and again in October 2020.

John isn't the only former Blue Peter presenter to go through difficult times in a very public way though.

From drug scandals to health battles, these former kids' TV presenters have been through it all.

Richard Bacon

Richard Bacon, 46, 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".

More recently, he has joined the rotating roster of presenters on Good Morning Britain after Piers Morgan quit the show.

Anthea Turner

Anthea Turner, 61, 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

Konnie Huq, 46, first graced the Blue Peter studio in 1997 and stayed on the show for 11 years, becoming the longest-running female presenter.

She went on to 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.

More 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, 57, 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 wrongful 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 2017 he was accused of putting his hand down the back of a woman's trousers while dancing but denied the allegation.

He was found not guilty of sexual assault in June 2018.

Then in August 2020, Leslie was found not guilty to another allegation of sexual assault at Southwark Crown Court.

Judge Deborah Taylor told him: "You, for the second time, leave this court without a stain on your character and I hope it will be the last time you have to attend."

The star has never been convicted of any crime, however he has struggled to win favour again with the public.

Since his Blue Peter days he has hosted radio shows in Scotland, after moving to a bungalow on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Matt Baker

Matt Baker, 44, 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.

In December 2019 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.

More recently, he has returned to screens with his own show – Matt Baker: Our Farm in the Dales – which airs on Channel 4.

Yvette Fielding

Yvette Fielding, 53, 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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