Page 3 Profile: Helen Skelton, television presenter


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The Independent Online

Why is everyone’s favourite ‘daredevil’ Blue Peter presenter in the news? Has she climbed the Shard or something?

Not quite, but yesterday was the action star’s last day fronting the iconic children’s show. She’ll be putting down the sticky-back plastic and double-sided Sellotape to be the face of conference league and women’s super-league football on BT Sport. But fear not, she can still be seen on the BBC presenting Holiday Hit Squad and reporting for Inspire: The Olympic Journey, both be shown on BBC1.

Who will do all the stunts now?

Who knows, but anyone wanting to match this Penrith milk farmer’s daughter will need to work very hard. She has taken on a host of death-defying challenges over the years, all in the name of children’s television. She became only the second women ever to complete the Namibia Ultra Marathon, making her way round the gruelling 78-mile desert course in under 24 hours. In 2010 she broke two Guinness World Records when she kayaked 2,010 miles down the Amazon River, in aid of Sport Relief. She also walked on a wire between two chimneys at Battersea Power station. And in her final coup de grace, the former Newsround anchor will don a 32lb backpack and do the Royal Marines Yomp, a 30-mile march across Dartmoor in under eight hours.

So she has many strings to her bow?

That’s right, she’s even a qualified tap dancer, and has said that if she wasn’t a broadcaster she would try teaching because, she confessed: “I love the sound of my own voice.”

Why is she going into football?

She is from a “sports mad” family, so it isn’t a surprise. Her brother Gavin plays football for Conference North side Workington Reds and her rugby-playing fiancé is Warrington Wolves scrum-half Richie Myler. On her career she says: “When I’m a grandma I just want to be proud of what I’ve done in my life”.